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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Boston Red Sox Prospect Mike Meyers: Not the First But Aiming to Be the Best

Being the first at something is often awarded great importance in life. However, it should not be considered the end-all, be-all. Hopefully, that’s something Boston Red Sox infield prospect Mike Meyers realizes as he continues his journey to the major leagues.

Meyers isn’t the first Meyers or even the first Mike Meyers to be employed by the Red Sox, as left-handed reliever Mike Meyers appeared in 90 games with the team in 2004-2005.

The most recent Mike Meyers was a star shortstop for Silverado High School in Las Vegas. He was taken by Boston in the 12th round of the 2012 draft (391st overall selection) and signed on, thus beginning his professional career. He got his first taste of pro ball that year, playing shortstop and second base. The right-handed hitter appeared in 30 games in the Gulf Coast League, hitting .337 with a home run and 10 RBIs.

Last season, he moved to outfield but only got into 28 games between the Gulf Coast League and the short-season Lowell Spinners because of injuries. He combined to hit .255 with seven RBIs. Although it wasn’t a great statistical season, it hopefully got his feet underneath him with the position change and primed him for a breakout campaign in 2014.

Recently, the 20-year-old Meyers answered some questions about his playing career. In addition to getting to know Boston’s prospect a little better, make sure to give him a follow on Twitter and keep up with his progress this season.

Mike Meyers Interview:

Who was your favorite player when you were growing up, and why?: My favorite player growing up was Derek Jeter. I grew up watching pretty much every Yankees game because my dad is a huge Yankees fan and because I played shortstop growing up, so it was pretty easy to look up to Derek Jeter.

Jeter could do anything on a baseball field in his prime and was always so humble. I’ve always enjoyed watching him be able to hit the ball to all fields and make amazing plays on defense.

How difficult was it to weigh going to college against going pro?: It was extremely difficult. I was always a good student in school, and with both my parents being teachers, good grades has always been a top priority.

I got drafted a little later than I had expected, so at first I was leaning towards going to college but as I weighed my options I realized that playing professional baseball was my dream, and mentally I felt like I could deal with the hard times of the minor leagues. So once the Red Sox agreed to give me a large amount for school when I was finished with baseball, I decided I couldn't pass up the opportunity.

How did you first find out that the Red Sox were interested in you?: I found out when the Red Sox area scout, Jim Woodward, arranged to come to my house and meet with me and my family, and told us the Red Sox were interested in drafting me.

What position do you believe you will ultimately play, and what are the primary skills you bring to the table?: That is a tough question. I just moved from second base to outfield and I think I can play both pretty well. So for now I believe the outfield, either left or center field, is where I will ultimately play. But I think I will always be able to come back to the infield if needed.

The primary skills I bring to the field every day would have to be my ability to hit the ball to all fields, and speed. I haven't mastered how to steal bases yet, but I believe it will become an important part of my game in the next few years.

What do you like to do outside of baseball?: Outside of baseball I enjoy fishing and golfing. There are not many places to fish in Las Vegas, but whenever me and my dad get a chance to go out on a fishing trip, we take it.

I just recently got more interested in golf, and I’m hooked. It’s a sport I only play in the offseason because I don't want it to mess with my swing. But whenever I get the chance to play I do.

What is the most impressive thing you have ever seen on a baseball field?: The most impressive thing I have ever seen on a field is how talented a player Joey Gallo is.  In a playoff game in high school, Joey hit a home run off us that probably went 500 feet, and then in the next inning he came in to pitch and hit 100 mph on the gun. Pretty impressive.

Have you received any mentoring from players from the major league squad?: I wouldn't really consider it mentoring but when I first signed and was assigned to the Gulf Coast League team, Jacoby Ellsbury was down in Ft. Myers rehabbing and I got to take batting practice with him for a few days. In those days he really tried to help me with my swing and gave me some advice about how to deal with different situations in the game that I will never forget.

What career would you have pursued if not for baseball?: If not for baseball, I would be in school studying to be a doctor.  I’ve always wanted to be an anesthesiologist, and if baseball doesn't work out that is what I will work towards becoming.

You can check me out on Facebook or follow me on Twitter @historianandrew

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