I recently had the chance to ask Brett Phillips several questions over e-mail. Phillips was drafted in the 6th round last year (189th overall), and signed with the Astros for $300,000. Phillips hit .251 in 54 games with the GCL Astros, and will look to improve on his numbers this upcoming season. Here is my interview with the very funny Brett Phillips!
Q: What was your feeling when you were selected by the Astros? Were you expecting to be picked earlier or later by the Astros or a different team?
A: I was very excited and almost relieved that what I’ve been working so hard for growing up is finally starting to pay off. I was pretty surprised when the Astros called, as I was not expecting them at all. I turned down the Phillies, Cubs, and the Indians in the 4th round because there slotted amount was not what i was looking for. In the 6th round when then the Astros called and said here’s what we have for you, I was all over it!
Q: How close were you to declining the Astros offer and moving on to N.C. State as a football player?
A: Not really close at all, I was all about going to play professional baseball! There was a rumor of me playing two sports at N.C. State, but I was just alright at football, nowhere close to being a D1 football player!
Q: After playing 54 games in the minors, what are the things that have surprised you the most?
A: The thing that surprised me the most was adjusting to the pitching. It was difficult at first to adjust, but I came around after a few games and settled in.
A: The four of us were the new guys so we decided to stay close and form a tightly knitted pact, known as the four man wolf pack. We all just get along with each other, and we are all basically on the same page when it comes to everything we associate about. They will always be my boys no matter what, even if they are in a different league than I am, and at the end we will all end up at the same place!
Q: How do you feel about McCullers calling you the best prospect outside the “top 10″ in the Astros organization and future stud in my previous interview with him this past week?
A: Lance is a great guy on and off the baseball field, for him to say that – it means a lot to me. Now I just have to go out there and prove him right!
Q: As you enter spring training, what are you looking to do to improve in your game?
A: I would have to say hit for a little bit more power and steal more bags. I’ve put on 20lbs of muscle since last August and I’m feeling great so we will see how it goes!
Q: What was your first impression of GM Jeff Luhnow?
A: My first impression of Jeff Luhnow is that he is a genius! I have yet to meet him, but the way he handled the draft and all that business was just unbelievable. (Hint: why the Astros were voted #1 for best draft!)
Q: What is your advice for struggling Astros fans?
A: I understand it’s hard to follow a team that doesn’t perform to the expectations of your preference, but the amount of talent, energy, and positivity coming up in this organization is something you’re not going to want to miss in the near future!
First purchase after signing with Astros: Dinner for my mom
Biggest role model growing up: Rick Stegbauer (Baseball coach from age 9-18)
If you weren’t a baseball player you would be: A D2 football player, Ha!
Favorite account you follow on Twitter: @LMcCullers_41
Your twitter account: @Brett_Phillips8
I’d like to thank Brett for taking time to answer these questions. Good luck on the season!