TigsTown Q&A: Outfielder Brent Clevlen

A promising 2003, then a rough 2004 made some question the ability of Lakeland Tigers' outfielder Brent Clevlen. But Clevlen has shown no ill effects of the down year, and is off to a great start in 2005. Lakeland Correspondent Aaron Westgate sat down with TigsTown's Lakeland Player of the Month, and the Detroit Tigers' Minor League Player of the Month.

TigsTown: The team is off to a fast start this year, that's got to feel good?

Brent Clevlen: Not too bad, it's one of the best starts I've ever been part of since I started playing.

TT: This is your second season with Lakeland. How does this team compare with last year's?

BC: This team's a lot better. We had good players last year but we just didn't gel. We had a good team, but we didn't win like we're doing now. This team's a lot of fun. The players all get along.

TT: Your numbers took dip last season, what was the cause?

BC: It was just one of those years. I took it in as a learning experience. I learned a lot last year, about how to handle it when things weren't going too good. It wasn't a good year, but I took good things from it.

TT: What did you do in the off season?

BC: Basically just worked out. Got in shape, got ready for the season. I worked on my hitting a lot. That was my main focus.

TT: Anything in particular that you worked on?

BC: Being aggressive. Swinging at strikes, not swinging at balls.

TT: Have the coaches been working with you?

BC: Yeah, Larry Herndon hasn't been saying much to me, just getting me in the cage early every day and getting me loose, getting my swing in the groove and then just taking that into the game.

TT: Do you set goals for yourself before a season?

BC: I do. The goal I set this year was to have quality at-bats. I want to make sure I hit the ball hard every time. So far it's been working for me.

TT: Would you hope to move up to Erie if your numbers continue?

BC: I'm not going to look ahead too far. I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing and see what happens.

TT: You played football in high school. Did you ever consider going that route?

BC: I'm pretty sure I could have gone to play college football. My coach asked me if I wanted play college football but I told him that I wanted to play baseball. He told all the recruiters, so I never really talked with any schools.

TT: What went into the decision to choose baseball?

BC: I thought I had the best chance of making it somewhere was baseball, so I stuck with that.

TT: Who's your favorite MLB player?

BC: Pujols, I like watching him hit.

TT: Who's the best pitcher you've faced in your career so far?

BC: Roger Clemens. I got to bat against him in spring training last year. I went one for one, got hit by a pitch. It wasn't a fastball; he threw a slider. He's the best pitcher I've faced.

TT: You're from Texas; do you make it back there much?

BC: I live there in the off season. That's where I plan to live when it's all done.

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