Pirates Prospect Interview: Brian Friday

Brian Friday was selected in the third round of last year's baseball draft out of Rice. He signed right after the All-Star break and took over as the regular SS at State College in late July. He started this season a Class A Lynchburg and is off to a great start batting .300 with one home run and 17 RBI. PiratesDugout.com's George Von Benko spoke with Friday recently.

GVB-- You had your first taste of professional baseball last season – how did it go?

BF-- I enjoyed it – I went into it looking at it as a learning experience and it definitely was. It was kind of a weird year going from college to playing professional baseball and the biggest adjustment was learning how to play everyday and keep yourself in shape and strong. But I had a lot of fun and it was a good place to start up at State College.

GVB-- What was the biggest difference in the pro game?

BF-- The biggest thing for me has been the grind and I would say the second thing – everyone talks about the wood bat, but you are facing pitchers and everybody is a good pitcher. You are not facing any slouches where you are padding your stats. That goes along with the grind – you've got to be focused every single inning.

GVB-- What are some of the things they have had you working on?

BF-- Tony Beasley was the infield coordinator last year and he really helped me out with a few minor things – with my defense – with my setup and approach. Little things and with my hitting Greg Ritchie and I have been working moving my hands a little bit and getting more rhythm in my swing. Nothing too major, but just a lot of little things and they really preach about playing the game the right way.

GVB-- What do you consider your strengths as a player?

BF-- My strengths at shortstop is defense and I pride myself on playing good defense and a complete game, but my number one focus is defense. At the same time I don't consider myself a slouch at the plate and that's an area I'm constantly trying to improve also.

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