TigsTown Q&A: Lakeland 1B Jeff Larish

Jeff Larish was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 5th round of the draft out of Arizona State University. Larish finished the season as the team leader in most of the power categories while hitting .258. Steve Vardardipone spoke with Larish just before his '06 season came to a close.

TigsTown: You were drafted after your Junior year but decided not to sign, why?

Jeff Larish: "I didn't have all that great of a year and it didn't live up to my expectations. I really didn't want to leave college on that note, and I wanted another shot at the College World Series."

TT: You were a projected 1st rounder but was drafted in the 5th, was that frustrating?

JL: "Yeah, going into my junior year I was expected to go high, and then after going back to school I dropped. But I believe that everything happens for a reason and I'm very content where I'm at. The draft is just the start of your career and it doesn't dictate if you make it to the major leagues."

TT: Does that disappointment motivate you?

JL: "Definitely, just knowing my ability and dropping like that motivated me more."

TT: Were you excited about being drafted by the Tigers?

JL: "I was but I honestly didn't know a lot about the organization. I learned that there are great people up and down this organization, and getting out and meeting everybody I have enjoyed everything about it."

TT: Have you always been a power hitter?

JL: "It's come with maturity and putting on size and understanding my strengths and getting pitches to drive."

TT: You have been consistent all year with no real dropoff in production, what do you attribute that to?

JL: "I've been fortunate enough to have been around great people and it continues everywhere I go here. It is a goal of mine to be consistent and I feel that I am capable of being more consistent. There are some adjustments that have been made and it has been a good year."

TT: You have a tremendous eye at the plate, where did that come from?

JL: "I remember when I was younger and my dad would throw to me and I just learned the strike zone. I learned to take pitches and it's something I take advantage of"

TT: Do you think you'll be back in Lakeland next season?

JL: Well, I have enjoyed my time here, but my goal is to make the big club so I hope to continue my progress through the organization."

TT: Have you heard anything about moving or do you even pay attention to that?

JL: "I really don't pay attention because rumors always swirl and speculations are made but you really never know until the decision is made. I try to just go about my business and do what I need to do that day."

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