Mychal Givens was the Orioles’ 2nd round draft pick out of Plant HS, Florida. He’s working hard and focusing solely on hitting and fielding, after also spending time on the mound in high school.
I caught up with Mychal at Twin Lakes Park on April 3, 2010 during spring training.
JT: You pitched and played SS in high school, which one did you like playing more?
MG: I don’t have one I like the most. Putting on an Orioles uniform puts the icing on the cake right now.
JT: You have a very good arm, how important is that when playing SS?
MG: It is very important. Especially if there is a ball deep in the hole and for cutoffs and relays. A strong arm is a very good thing to have right now and will be helpful if I need to pitch again.
JT: A lot of guys out here are joking around a lot, what’s the atmosphere like?
MG: It’s more still baseball. The big atmosphere, bigger guys and older guys. But, it’s just another day of baseball.
JT: What were your first thoughts when you got drafted?
MG: Basically I was getting ready to go into the real world. It’s a new job, a grind and work my way up to the Baltimore Orioles.
JT: What’d you do when you found out the Orioles selected you?
MG: I’m not really a big excitement person. I just looked at my family, gave everybody a big hug and smiled.
JT: At what level do you think you’ll start the 2010 season?
MG: Not positive, not 100%, but hopefully Short-Season A-Ball in Aberdeen Maryland.
JT: Between the time you got drafted and the time you signed your contract what’d you do to stay in shape for baseball?
MG: I went back to my high school team. I helped coach them, hit live pitching and worked out at my high school.
JT: Are there any universal principles being taught throughout the system?
MG: Yeah, basically if you are having trouble, make sure you grind it out. You need to know there is a next day to play baseball. Don’t put your head down, and just keep working hard.
JT: You see NBA players jump straight from high school to the NBA. Do you ever wonder why it takes a baseball player longer to develop?
MG: Not really, it’s more just player development. Everyone has different talents and God’s gift. You can’t really think about that.
JT: Is there any special routine you do before each game?
MG: Pretty much just joke around with my teammates. I play my iPod in my locker and listen to all the songs I have on my iPod.
JT: What do you feel your strengths and weaknesses are?
MG: Strengths is just going out there and having fun. Weaknesses, don’t say I have any. But, all it is is going out there and having fun.
JT: Do you have any goals for 2010 and how do you want to improve?
MG: Make it to Baltimore, that’s it.
Big thanks to Mychal for taking the time to answer questions for me!