Last Tuesday night during Seth's weekly podcast, I expressed some surprise that the Twins hadn't drafted a middle infielder yet. Right away Wednesday morning, the Twins drafted a high schooler from Lexington (KY) Catholic (Ben Revere's alma mater).
Not only did they get a guy who can slot in nicely to the system's middle infield, but they got a guy that will go far in MiLB.com's annual "best name contest". I had the chance recently to exchange some emails with one of the newest Twins.
Twins fans, meet Will Hurt.
The following interview was originally posted at ManCenter.com
Jeremy Nygaard: First of all, congratulations on getting drafted. Tell us what this week has been like for you, not only in baseball terms, but also with high school.
Will Hurt: Thank you! It's been a very fun and exciting process but at the same time a very hard decision to make. All of my friends at school have been very supportive throughout the whole thing and I cannot thank them enough for that.
What were your expectations coming into the draft?
WH: I always have high expectations of myself but there's always doubt that something could go wrong. However, I've known throughout the year that my chances of getting drafted were very high it was just a matter of where and how much.
Now that the draft is over, you have made, presumably, a very difficult decision: Sign instead of going to Coastal Carolina. Tell us how you arrived on that decision and now that you've made your decision, what's next for you?
WH: It was an extremely hard decision, by far the hardest I've ever had to make. The coaches at Coastal are great guys, I don't think there is a college program with greater guys as coaches. Coach Gilmore and Coach Schnall were the biggest reason I decided so early to go ahead and choose where I wanted to play college ball. It was privilege and an honor for them to think so highly of me to give me the chance to play baseball at such a great school.
I made my decision because it's obviously something I've always wanted to do so why not go ahead and take advantage of having three years of pro experience instead of those three years in college ball? I feel like it was in my best interest to go ahead and get started.
Coach Gilmore at Coastal Carolina says losing you to professional baseball would be a “crushing blow”. As a Twins fan, I read that as getting you to sign was a “huge steal.” Speaking of steals, it sounds as though speed is your number one tool. How do you use your speed to produce on the field?
WH: I always want to try and make everyone I'm involved with happy as best I can. Unfortunately, in the situation, I can't do that. I've got to do what I think is best for me and my future.
I love stealing bases and laying down drag bunts to use my speed as my advantage. On the defensive side, speed gives me a huge advantage at SS by being able to get to balls most people cannot.
The Twins were introduced to Lexington Catholic when they took Ben Revere in the first round of the 2007 draft. Have you had a chance to meet Ben Revere? And if so, did you seek his guidance in making a decision to play pro ball?
WH: Ben actually tweeted me the day after I got drafted and told me he'd make sure to get in contact with me as soon as possible. Everyone I've met that knows Ben have told me nothing but good things about him. I love the way he plays the game. He looks like he's having so much fun out there, always smiling and playing hard. I made my decision before I had a chance to speak with him, however. If I'm ever in need of advice I feel like he'll be a guy I can go to.
Revere was signed by scout Billy Corrigan. Was Corrigan the scout responsible for drafting you and what types of conversations did you have with him leading up to the draft?
WH: The scouts I interacted with the most were Rick Sellers and Tim O'Neil. Both are great guys who were very informative and helpful with every question my family and I had (there were a lot). Both told me to do what I think is best for me and that nobody else can make this decision for me. They not only told me about the positives of playing pro ball but how hard and how much work it is which really made me trust in them that they weren't just trying sign me for their own benefit but that they also wanted what's best for me.
Will, thanks a ton for taking the time to help us learn more about you. Good luck with the rest of the season; great to have you in the system!
WH: Thank you and I appreciate it! Can't wait to get started.
Will will report to Fort Myers on Friday and will receive his assignment then. He will most likely remain there with the GCL Twins. You can follow Will on Twitter @will_hurt