Pirates Prospect Interview: Josh Bell

Despite being promoted to Double A Altoona in mid July OF Josh Bell was named the Florida State League Player of the Year. At Bradenton he batted .335 with nine home runs and 53 RBI. A bone bruise in his left knee caused him to sit out the last couple of weeks of the season at Altoona, but he will play in the Arizona Fall League. PiratesDugout.com caught up with Bell recently.

PD – Were you surprised to be named Player of the Year in the Florida State League?

JB – That was actually really shocking, but it's definitely an awesome accomplishment for me, my family and my teammates down there. It has been awhile since I've been there, but I guess I deserved it.

PD – How is the knee problem coming along?

JB – It is stable there, nothing to be too worried about and I’m going to be back out there in a couple of weeks.

PD – You will head to the Instructional League and then to Arizona, are you looking forward to it?

JB – Its awesome to not have a season ending injury, because in a couple weeks I’m going to have some at bats in the Instructional League, and then get some more out in the fall league.

PD – The plan is to have you play first base in the fall league, how do you feel about that move?

JB – It's not going to hurt knowing another position. It's never a bad thing in this sport. Look at Josh Harrison and Brock Holt. When you can play all over the diamond, you get playing time. Whatever helps me get to the next level.

PD – You finished the season with a .287 batting average in 24 games at Altoona to go along with the great Florida State League numbers, the off season of hard work paid off. Are you pleased with the number you put up?

JB – Last year I guess the thing that ate me up was strikeouts. I really wanted to cut that down. In the off season I worked on making consistent contact, and that's what showed this year. I've been able to put the ball in play more. Coming off the injury two years ago, I just wanted to be a better outfielder, and I think I did that as well. The work I did in the off season with my father and people back home really paid off.

PD – The Arizona Fall League is great competition, are you excited about that challenge?

JB – I’m excited to get out there and do my thing, and hopefully learn all I can and be the best first baseman I can be. It boils down to another challenge that I’m ready to accept.


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