TigsTown Q&A: 3rd Rd Pick Austin Schotts

The Detroit Tigers selected shortstop Austin Schotts in the third round of the 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft. Recently, Schotts was kind enough to check in with us to discuss his commitment to Oklahoma State and his potential position change.

TigsTown: At what point do you remember deciding that professional baseball, not football, was something that you wanted to pursue?

Austin Schotts: I have always wanted to play baseball as a career but have always loved playing football. Towards the end of my senior football season I realized that I wanted to focus only on baseball.

TigsTown: Talk to me a bit about how everything felt on draft day. Did you know the Tigers were a potential suitor?

Schotts: I had talked to so many teams throughout the season; so I had no idea what team would draft me. Tim Grieve was the scout who we saw the most during games and he came to the house for home visits. We all really like him as a person. The day of the draft I remember hearing my name and I jumped out of my chair. My whole family started screaming and crying. I felt like I was floating on top of the world. I feel so blessed and lucky to be a Tiger. Our phones went crazy for hours! So many Tigers fans have reached out to me in support already. I couldn't have asked for anything better!

TigsTown: You're committed to Oklahoma State; but yesterday on twitter you announced that you'd be moving to Florida this weekend. Does that mean you're close to signing with the Tigers?

Schotts: I felt so blessed to be asked to be an OSU Cowboy. Billy Jones was a coach that believed in me and I was excited to play for him, however, when you are picked second in the draft by a team like the Tigers that is a dream come true that I could never pass up!

TigsTown: Have you discussed contract terms at all yet?

Schotts: Yes, we are in the process now.

TigsTown: You played shortstop this past season but scouts see you as a second-baseman or outfielder down the road. Reports are that the Tigers want to develop you as an outfielder. Have you played there before? And, have you lobbied at all to try to stay in the infield?

Schotts: I have never played outfield but had heard that some teams saw that as a good fit for me because of my speed. I would love to stay in the infield but as long as I am playing ball I am happy to play wherever they feel I am needed the most.

TigsTown: What would you say is your best attribute as a hitter from a scouting standpoint?

Schotts: I have quick hands which is what I have heard the most.

TigsTown: On the flip side, what's an area of your game that will need some work at the next level?

Schotts: Everything. I don't think I have ever been satisfied. I always want to grow and get better as a player each day. That's the great thing about baseball, the sky is the limit for what I can achieve.

TigsTown: Switching gears a bit, who were some of your favorite baseball players growing up? Did you model your game after any of them?

Schotts: To be honest with you, I never really had time to watch TV too much as a kid. I was always playing football, baseball, fishing....just outside doing whatever I could. When I got older I watched videos of players and have always loved watching Rickey Henderson and Pete Rose. I loved how aggressive they were and that's how I play.

TigsTown: What are some things away from the game that you enjoy doing for fun?

Schotts: I like to lift weights, fish, and spend time with my family, my big brother, T.J., and friends.

TigsTown: As we close this out, is there anything you'd like to say to Tigers fans?

Schotts: I love you guys already! You have made me feel so welcome and part of the Tigers' family. I am excited to start this new phase of my life and to do great things. I am excited for the day when I get to step onto the field and play in Detroit someday. I have heard that Tiger's fans are the best around! I hope to make you all proud.

A special thanks goes out to Austin Schotts for taking the time out of his day to answer our questions. If you're not already doing so, be sure to follow him on twitter @austinschotts!

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