RC Interview with Brian Fletcher

The Royals selected Auburn's Brian Fletcher in the 18th round of the 2010 draft. After signing for $275,000, Fletcher was assigned to the Burlington Royals, but he was injured after just four games. This season, the 22-year-old outfielder is off to a great start for the Kane County Cougars. RC's David Malamut recently caught up with Fletcher for an interview.

Royals Corner: Brian, how has the season been going for you so far?

Brian Fletcher: It's going good. Everyone's kind of starting off slow, just trying to get adjusted to full games every day. For the most part it has gone good. My hitting is feeling good, and I'm feeling more and more comfortable each and every day. The weather hasn't really been too good to us, but we are just adapting to it and doing our best.

RC: What do you think of the Midwest League so far?

BF: It's good. Probably the only downside so far has been the weather. But it's going good. The experience has been great.

RC: How did growing up in a big league environment prepare you for pro ball? (Editor's Note: Fletcher's father, Scott, played in the big leagues for 15 years).

BF: It prepared me a lot. My dad has taught me a lot throughout the years when I was younger and to this point. I've been taking it into games and have had a little more of a thought process going into it. It has helped me a lot.

RC: What types of things are you working on offensively?

BF: Not trying to do too much, and not trying to worry about numbers. I'm trying to thing about helping this team win, in situations like hitting the ball the other way with a guy on third, or putting the ball in play. So I'm not trying to worry about average or numbers too much, just trying to do enough to help my team win.

RC: How would you describe your approach at the plate?

BF: I try to stay through the ball and hit it hard up the middle and the opposite gap. That helps me try to stay on the ball a lot better and not pull off. I just try to hit the gaps as much as possible.

RC: You played college ball at Auburn, a major college program. What was that experience like?

BF: It was fun. It was awesome. The last year was really exciting. We hosted a regional against Clemson and had thousands of fans in the stands. It was a great environment to play in.

RC: What were some of the things you learned from your collegiate experience?

BF: I learned about failure and how to come back from it. The college level is when media starts to get involved. It sucks when you start to struggle a little bit, but you learn to bounce back and keep your composure, and to be able to play in front of the types of environments than we did.

RC: Was it a tough decision to leave after your junior year at Auburn and sign with the Royals?

BF: It wasn't necessarily a tough decision. I wanted my junior year to be the year for me to remember, and I definitely was hoping to have one of my better years that season. I was pretty satisfied with what I did. The draft process was pretty crazy, looking back on it now, but it was fun, and I'm glad the Royals were able to select me.

RC: You were drafted along with your college teammate Ryan Jenkins, who is now also playing for Kane County. Has having him around been a big help as you get adjusted?

BF: It's fun having your teammate from back in college, and it definitely makes it feel a little more comfortable having a guy you personally know and played with in college. We both help each other out on the offensive side. It's just fun to be around him.

RC: You debuted last year with the Burlington Royals. What was that experience like, and what did you learn?

BF: It was fun, and it was good experience. Unfortunately I got hurt after about four games, but starting in pro ball was really exciting, and starting to know those other guys and getting involved with them was a lot of fun. I learned about the day-to-day grind. College helped with that as well, but it's a little different here when you're playing through the weekdays and not having those Mondays and Thursdays off.

RC: This year you've been teammates Brett Eibner and Murray Watts, a couple of guys who played at SEC rival Arkansas. Ever have any fun with them?

BF: It's fun, especially at spring training. We kid about it all the time and about being rivals against each other. It's been a lot of fun.

RC: What are your goals for this year?

BF: I haven't really set personal goals. Right now I'm just taking it day by day and seeing where it takes me. But for the most part, I want to get as many wins over .500 as possible.

RC: Besides baseball, what do you like to do?

BF: I like to watch a lot of television, movies, play video games, and hang out with my friends.

RC: Who has been your biggest non-baseball influence?

BF: My mom. My dad has always been there, and my mom was always there supporting me and keeping me on track. She keeps me focused and helps me not have to worry too much.

RC: If you were not playing baseball, what would you be doing?

BF: I don't know. I would have to go back and graduate from college and I guess go from there, whether it involves coaching or something of that nature.

RC: Do you plan to go back and graduate someday?

BF: Yes, eventually. I'm not sure when, but I definitely will graduate.

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