RC Interview with Sean McCauley

One of the more intriguing picks of the Royals' 2007 draft was the 12th round selection of catcher Sean McCauley. He figured to be a tough sign, since he had a strong commitment to Western Carolina and had hoped to go earlier in the draft. However, fate intervened, and McCauley signed. He immediately became one of the best catching prospects in the system, and RC spoke with him over the weekend.

Royals Corner: Sean, how do you feel your season's going so far?

Sean McCauley: I feel it's going better than I thought it would at first, with my hitting abilities. It was just a good workout this winter that got me prepared to be out here right now, doing what I'm doing, catching and hitting.

RC: You had a pretty strong commitment to Western Carolina University, and I've read that there might be a little bad blood about how everything went down. Was it a tough decision for you to sign with the Royals?

SM: It was tough at first, until I started finding out little things about Coach [Todd] Raleigh leaving, just from one of my buddies who went to school there. And at the end of the year, he was saying "I love you guys. I love everything about y'all." So, they figured he was leaving, so it made my decision a little bit easier. (Editor's note: Raleigh did ultimately leave to accept the head coaching job at Tennessee)

McCauley is hitting .281/.410/.406 thus far this season.

RC: What are some of your strengths as a catcher? What do you bring to the table behind the plate?

SM: Being able to call a pretty good game for my pitcher. As long as he's hitting his spots, we've got a pretty good chance to go out there and win a ballgame. If they're working and hitting spots, throwing all three pitches for strikes, we'll be all right.

RC: How would you grade your arm? I saw you threw behind a runner and picked somebody off [Friday].

SM: My arm has actually been a little tired lately, because of the extensive amount of throwing -- more than I've ever done. I'd say it's above average right now, so hopefully it can stay that way.

RC: What are some of the things you're working on right now behind the plate?

SM: Mainly my footwork to second base. Making it shorter instead of shifting my feet, just going straight to the base with my right foot. And also blocking side to side, making sure that I can get those balls right back to the plate or keep them in front of me.

McCauley calls a good game and has a strong arm

RC: Let's talk a little bit about your approach at the plate. How would you describe it?

SM: My approach recently has just been spreading out my feet a little bit wider and just being able to make that solid contact and stay through the middle of the field.

RC: Do you go up looking for any particular pitch to hit?

SM: I just sit on the fastball.

RC: What are some things you're working on at the plate?

SM: At the plate, I'm just trying to get my timing down or get my front foot down on time and be in a good position ready to hit when the ball's in the hitting zone. That's the biggest thing.

Western Carolina's loss is Kansas City's gain

RC: As a catcher, what are your general thoughts on the pitching staff?

SM: Well the pitching staff is pretty good. When they're working their spots down in the zone -- breaking ball's good, changeup's good, in the dirt a little bit -- then they're pretty good. They're real fun to work with and learn.

RC: Who on this staff would you least like to face as a hitter?

SM: Probably Daniel Duffy. He's nasty.

RC: Why's that?

SM: ‘Cause he just throws hard as hell, and then he's got the little nasty breaking ball. He's got two different breaking balls, and he's got a pretty good changeup to go with it, for righties.

RC: Thanks for speaking with me, Sean, and good luck with the rest of your season.

SM: Thanks a lot.

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