Josh Womack (Photo: Seattle Mariners)
Josh Womack, a second round draft pick in 2002, is one of the top hitters in the Mariners minor league system. Only 20, the outfielder is in his third season of pro ball and showing improvement in all areas of his game. InsidethePark's Kevin Damask talked to the left-handed hitter recently, asking him the questions the fans wants to hear.
InsidethePark.com: You and teammate Adam Jones are both from San Diego. Is San Diego a city known for producing talented baseball players?
Josh Womack: I don’t know about nationwide, but growing up there, I’ve seen all lot of guys who’ve played at the local high schools go on to the big leagues. There’s been a bunch of first round picks to come out of there this year.
ITP: You’ve come back from some early season struggles to have one of the best batting averages on the team. Have you made any changes to your game?
Womack: Not many, I’ve been working with our hitting coach and made a little adjustments here and there. But nothing drastic, I’m being more focused I guess, and just getting comfortable and putting more work in.
ITP: Why do you think the Timber Rattlers’ have struggled offensively?
Womack: I have no clue. You really can’t pin it on one thing. You have your good days and your bad days. I think its just inconsistency; a big part of baseball is being consistent. But I can tell you it’s not from a lack of trying, we’re trying hard, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out.
ITP: How do you prepare for a game?
Womack: I hit off a tee for a while and mentally I see the pitcher. I watch the pitchers throwing in the bullpen and I see the ball come in. During batting practice I play off the balls hit into the outfield. When you come in you just want to relax and not get too worked up before the game.
ITP: As a base stealer, when is the best time to make your move to steal a base?
Womack: I’m still learning that. The best time is anytime you get on base and when you know you can. That’s what (the coaches) have been preaching to me. They always tell me don’t be afraid to go. I’m scared to go at the wrong time; I have to learn to get out of that. I’m still learning when’s a good time to go and when’s not a good time to go. All I know is when (the pitcher) has a high leg kick, that’s a great time to go.
ITP: What is the most important thing you’ve learned since being drafted in 2002?
Womack: Tomorrow’s another day. That was one of the first things I learned playing rookie ball in Arizona. You played every day, but you had like every fifth day off. Playing every day you need to learn to just turn the page and start fresh every day. I think that’s the biggest thing, otherwise you go into the next game carrying a grudge.
ITP: What’s the average salary of a player in the Mariners’ system?
Womack: I know my first year in rookie ball it was $850 a month. I think now I make about a $1,000 a month. It’s not very much but the further you go up the more you make, and of course in the big leagues…
ITP: What type of manager is Steve Roadcap?
Womack: He’s a good one first of all. He’s nothing I’ve ever had before. He basically knows what he wants. He had a great year last year and he knows how to get what he wants. He’s very determined yet very likeable and player friendly. He’s really fun to play for.
ITP: What is the best way to get over a bad performance?
Womack: Wake up the next morning. (laughs) I mean it’s not like I drink or anything. Sometimes you just have to laugh it off. You just have to pick it up and go onto the next day. You just have to try to stay relaxed.
ITP: What advice would you give to a player just drafted out of high school?
Womack: Be a sponge, just soak up all the information you can. Don’t go out there thinking you’re a big shot because you’re pretty much just property. There are twenty other guys that are just waiting to take your spot that are just as good as you. You just have to go out there and enjoy it and have fun. But you have to remember it is work and it’s not like you can go out every night. You have to treat it like a job in some aspects.