AL – Absolutely, it's a great honor being a player-of-the-Year in an organization like this is something that I'm really proud of. We've got a lot of talent in this organization, here in Pittsburgh and coming up, so it's a pretty big honor. This is an organization that's doing a lot of good things right now, and we've got a lot of great affiliates and there's is a lot of great talent on those affiliates, so it is a big honor.
GVB – It is a testament to the hard work because you went through some rough times and had to turn things around and turn your game around. You did it, how do you feel about your season?
AL – I had some rough times and had to think about and look at yourself in the mirror and and I wasn't giving a hundred and ten percent to the organization and to myself, so I reevaluated some things in the off season and came back and came prepared for a new season, and I just wanted to show this organization that I wanted to be in the big leagues and contribute to the Pirates any way I can, and that's everybody's goal and I'm very happy to be up in the big leagues and to be a part of what happened this season.
GVB – What was the key to getting your career back on track this season?
AL – I think just the way you go about your business and about your game. When you are preparing for the season and you are preparing for your game, not saying the game comes a lot easier, but you go home knowing that you did your best that day, and you see how these guys work and how they prepare and the way they go about things and at they end of the day you either came up short or you did your jobs. But your preparation needs to be there everyday and sometimes when you don't have the right preparation a lot of what if's, a lot of should of could of would a comes into play, but when you're preparing right and your body is healthy and you gave it a hundred and ten percent, at the end of the day that's it, that's baseball. I think I needed to do that and I think my preparation has been there this year.
GVB – The power numbers were striking, but that has always been there, you just had to get it to come out – right?
AL – The talent has been there, I know the talent is in there. But it's me just having my ability and working hard and seeing how hard I can push myself physically and mentally. Power numbers were exciting and I was happy. Going up there everyday I wasn't trying to hit a home run. I was trying to do some damage and get the head out and barrel up some balls and good things happened.
GVB – Bradenton manager Tom Prince really helped you didn't he?
AL – Yes he did. A lot of people were big influences, but definitely Tom was one that really pushed me in my rehab program last year when I was hurt and he definitely pushed me to a different level and made me bear down and dig down deep and seeing how much I had left in the tank.
GVB – Winter ball they are using you at first base, are you coming along there?
AL – I got drafted as a first baseman. The Dodgers felt that they saw something, and I played both first and outfield. Whatever the Pirates want me to do, they know that I'm a pretty good athlete, so they know I can be a little bit versatile. I let them know last season that I can play first base, and anything that can help value to get up there and contribute I'll do. You obviously have to get adjusted to game speed. It's one thing practicing, taking little ground balls, but it's a whole different story when you get in a game.
GVB – What about the future, it figures to be an exciting spring training for you this upcoming season?
AL – I have some goals in spring training and this off season I'm going to be preparing for those goals and coming into spring is going to be exciting and it's going to be a challenge, but this is a great organization and I definitely want to be a part of this organization for a very long time.