February 11, 2013
Rick Jones Q&A: one-on one interview
You didn't lose many players from last year, but one of them, Jeremy Schaffer, will be tough to replace for his bat and his arm behind the plate, where he was really good throwing out would-be base-stealers in the first half of last season. Other than Blake Crohan, what are your other options?
"Blake Crohan was signed here to catch. He went through arm surgery, but now he's throwing really well. We have a freshman out of Bellaire (Texas) by the name of Cameron Burns who is as good a defensive catcher when I talk about catch and throw as we've signed in the last few years. He has to catch up a little bit offensively, but the most important thing a catcher has to be able to do is catch. That's why they call it catcher.
"I've spoken to high school clinics and said what's the most important thing a catcher has to be able to do, and a lot of people say throw. No, that's the third most important thing. (Mike) Piazza is going in the Hall of Fame eventually, and he doesn't throw. It's catch, one, and hit, two. You might make five throws a week. You are going to hit five times a game. But you are going to catch 200 pitches a game. If you can't catch, a donut without a hole is a Danish. It's not a donut anymore.
"Right now, Blake and then Cameron Burns. We have a freshman I'm really high on who can play anywhere. We're going to play him in the outfield and in the infield, but he also catch in Timmy Yandel."
Who impressed you in the fall?
"We returned seven starters. A lot of guys had good falls. I've had guys have great springs who had bad falls and vice versa. Brandon Boudreaux had a good fall. Blake Crohan had a good fall. Sean Potkay was coming off shoulder surgery, so his fall was limited. Garrett Cannizaro and Andrew Garner had a good fall. Timmy Yandel, boy he had a good fall. Bowen Woodson had a great fall. Brennan Middleton had a good fall. We had a lot of starters coming back, but our pitching staff was pretty dominant in the fall."
How much of a difference will having 10 seniors make this year?
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