by Nathan Petrashek
I recently had an opportunity to talk with Eric Farris, the Brewers’ 4th round pick in the 2007 draft. He’s spent the past two seasons with the Brewers’ AAA affiliate playing a mix of second base and shortstop. I asked him about rabid fans, adjusting to pro competition, and his future in the organization. Read on for the interview:
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Nate: From what I saw, you were really excited to be at On Deck, the Brewers fan fest. What do you like about interacting with fans?
Eric: I was definitely happy to be at On Deck because it’s a great opportunity to meet and put faces on fans who are rooting for you all season. Being that so many fans dedicate so much time to supporting our organization, I feel that events like On Deck give me the opportunity to show how much their support is appreciated.
Nate: Any horror stories about fan experiences so far?
Eric: Nothing so far but only time will tell … I have a great time seeing and meeting fans!
Nate: You tore the cover off the ball at LMU (Loyola Marymount University). What was the biggest adjustment you made after you were drafted?
Eric: The level of competition is so much different from college to pro ball that the biggest thing was learning to use my strengths and play my game. Making adjustments on a daily basis was something I had to learn as soon as my pro career started.
Nate: What’s your offseason routine like? Is it tough to stay motivated and on top of your training?
Eric: My offseason routine is pretty relaxed for the most part. I obviously have plenty of time dedicated to training and preparing for the next season. I like to spend as much time as possible with my fam and friends and just enjoy my time off with hobbies and such. For me, it’s easy to stay motivated and on top of my training cause I’m still up and coming … I’m hungry and working hard in preparation for the future.
Nate: You joined the Brewers for one day last year. Can you describe that process? I imagine you thought you’d be around longer.
Eric: The process of my call-up happened so fast that I could barely put it into words. There were the obvious feelings of excitement, satisfaction, and nervousness. It was soon followed by disappointment yet also motivation. Being called up even for that one day lit a fire under me that has been motivating me ever since!
Nate: Most agree you’re lights out on defense, so let’s talk offense. What’s one thing – fewer K’s, more walks, more power, etc. – that you’re trying to work on?
Eric: I’m always working to get better defensively, but particularly on offense I want to improve in all categories. Specifically, more walks and just putting together better at-bats in general.
Nate: Is it frustrating being a player on the cusp of the majors? So much is out of your control: injuries, transactions, options, etc.
Eric: Being on the cusp can sometimes be frustrating but being that so much of this game/business is out of my control, I try to focus on the things I can. I can only control how hard I work and what I bring to my team between the lines! I’m a professional and I approach every day as such, on and off the field.
Nate: You played some shortstop last year. With Rickie Weeks signed long-term, is that a position you want to move to full-time?
Eric: Playing shortstop is something that I continue to work at and get better in. I know being able to play the position will only strengthen my value to the club and give them more options. I prepare myself to be ready for anything but when it comes down to it I just want to contribute in any fashion!
Nate: If you’re not with the Brewers out of spring training, do you have any sense what the Sounds have planned for you this year?
Eric: I have no idea what the future holds but I will compete at a high level and when spring training is over I hope to be in the big leagues. That decision isn’t mine to make and I’ll take in stride whatever is handed to me and continue to work.
Nate: Last question. Rule changes to protect catchers were a hot topic after Buster Posey was lost for the season last year. You were on the other end of one of those collisions in 2010, and the injury set you back a bit. Are you shedding any tears for the catchers?
Eric: Injuries are part of the game and when they happen it’s heart-wrenching. Bottom line, I’m healthy and can’t wait to lace my cleats up in Phoenix in a couple weeks!
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Big thanks to Eric for taking time answer a few questions. I know I speak for all our readers when I wish him the best of luck in the upcoming season. You can follow Eric on Twitter at @eRoc86.