I had the opportunity to speak with Mark Rogers via telephone on September 8, just a few days after the end of his first full season in the Brewers system. It also followed what was one of his best starts of the season (5.2 innings, 2 hits, 7k) against Lake County.
I'd like to thank Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com for helping arrange this interview, and Mark for spending part of his short time in Maine (Mark reports to Arizona to being working in the Instructional League in mid-September) speaking with me.
Brewerfan.net: Mark, congratulations on completing your first full season of professional baseball. Could you tell us a little about yourself?
Mark Rogers: I enjoy hunting a lot. I grew up doing it a lot with my parents and with family. I'm going to northern Maine to do some bear hunting, and I will also go geese hunting while I am up there. In high school and obviously before high school, I played three sports. I played soccer and hockey, as well as baseball. That occupied the majority of my time. During the season this year I realized one of the best things you can do is just rest. Because the season is so long and you are at the park so long, if you don't keep up with your rest you're not going to be very effective out there, whether it's a practice or a game. Even if it's a day you're not pitching, you've got to rest up to be able to go out on the field and really give it a 100%. There are so many times you can see people are really getting worn down, especially at the end of the season.
BF.net: When did you start playing baseball?
MR: Actually I played for as long as I can remember. As soon as I could get a glove on my hand; I'm not exactly sure of what age.
BF.net: Did you pitch from the beginning?
MR: Yeah I did. That was always the part of the game that I liked the most. You have the ball in your hand; you can pick your own pace, and you get to control a lot more of the game than you would as a position player. I grew up pitching and playing SS, but I like being in the action. I like making things happen and knowing when I have the ball in my hand it makes things go.
BF.net: Did you play other positions besides shortstop when not pitching?
MR: I primarily pitched and played shortstop.
BF.net: What kind of hitter were you, or are you?
MR: Exactly, National League team! I was actually a pretty good hitter in high school. In my senior year I hit .565, I think.
BF.net: Are you looking forward to getting the chance to hit in the next couple of years when you get to AA?
MR: Oh absolutely, I can't wait. We got to take a little batting practice this year during spring training, and will do it again during Instructional League. But I love it; it's the other side of the game. What's great about being in the National League is you get to go up there and see what your hitters are facing in every game. In the games you are pitching, you are like