A few new names poked their heads through the ground this past week, as the system starts to thrust…
Q & A with Rob Johnson
Rob Johnson: It's kind of interesting. There isn't high school baseball where I come from in Montana so you just play in the summers. I played three other sports - track, basketball, and a little golf during my freshman and sophomore years. My dad and my grandpa had big time interests in baseball and it kind of followed through to me. I was always watching.
ITP: Did that make it difficult to get recruited in college?
Johnson: No, because I was getting recruited in other sports as well. But I knew that I wanted to play baseball so I limited my options down just to baseball schools.
ITP: How did you choose the catching position?
Johnson: I just loved that position; it's the leadership role position. It's very physically demanding which I like. I like being in every play I think it was the best fit for me. I'm not the fastest guy in the word, but I am quick, I have quick feet. I think I have the mental game to be able to call the game.
ITP: What player do you admire?
Johnson: Probably old time guys like Johnny Bench that came from nothing and pure work ethic, getting to the big leagues.
ITP: What player would you compare yourself to?
Johnson: It'd obviously be a catcher, probably "Pudge" (Ivan Rodriguez). I have inspirations to be like him, work hard and try to get where he is.
ITP: What would you be doing if you were not a baseball player?
Johnson: Probably hanging out with my girlfriend. I don't know what I'd be doing. Probably still be going to school trying to get my degree in some type of business with communications.
ITP: What is a typical day off like for you?
Johnson: Nothing. I do absolutely nothing. I lay on the couch and watch TV, make a few phone calls and that's it.
ITP: What is your favorite thing about playing in Wisconsin?
Johnson: Probably the fans, I love the fans here. They let you know when you do well and they let you know when you do bad and I kind of like that. I haven't really played in front of a lot of fans. I've played in front of fans but not consistently as many fans as around here and I like our fans.
ITP: What was your favorite road trip?
Johnson: It'd have to be somewhere there is a casino. Probably the Quad Cities or Clinton, one of the two, not that Clinton is the nicest stadium. Actually it was probably Peoria during the all-star game. When we went on that trip it was a lot of fun. That was my best road trip because it was the all-star game.
ITP: Are you a big trash talker to the opposing batters?
Johnson: No I have a lot of good friends throughout the league and I'll BS a little bit and talk. That's a way of also getting in a hitters head is you just talk. Say, "Man we can't get you out today," and the next thing you know they're swinging for the fences. But no I don't really trash talk that much, just say what's up and go about my business.
ITP: What is your favorite on-field promotion? Are you an oversized boxing guy?
Johnson: Yeah I like that, I also like sumo wrestling. I like the tug of war when the guys have the strings connected and two huge guys go out there, that's cool to watch. And I like it for the kids too, when they do that bouncy ball deal and they're falling off. We have some pretty good on-field promotions.
ITP: What is the biggest difference between the college and minor league game?
Johnson: Just in college it's a way of getting through school. It's totally a different game. A lot of guys take the minors a lot more serious. The biggest thing on field is the bats, the difference between the wood and aluminum, because the pitchers up here are so much better. They have a lot better stuff, you're consistently seeing 90 plus, and you don't see a lot of guys coming in throwing 80.
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