Delino DeShields was the Astros minor league Player of the Year for 2012 and Mike Foltynewicz was the Pitcher of the Year. They have both agreed to participate in a series of mini-interviews as we track their progress throughout the 2013 season. There won't be a set schedule, but I'll do my best to check in with them from time to time.
First up, DeShields talks about his 2012 season and what he's been doing in the off-season.
WTH: You had a whirlwind season with the 101 stolen bases, the promotion to Lancaster, being named MVP of the JetHawks Championship series and Minor League Player of the Year. What memories of the season will you take with you?
DD: I have a lot of memories that I will carry on with me. It was a big year. Was I surprised? No, I just needed to be more calm and study the game. But I did a lot of good things this year. I broke the stolen base record in Lexington and for the whole organization. I think I have the all time hits record in Lexington also. And then being named minor league Player of the Year for our organization was huge for me after having the year that I had before, even though it wasn't all about the numbers in 2011. And then winning a championship and getting MVP of the championship series, and getting to share that with my coaches, teammates, and fans was something very special to me. I haven't won anything like that in my entire life so those memories I know I will carry on with me forever.
WTH: What have you been doing in the off-season to prepare yourself for the 2013 season?
DD: Preparing myself for a bigger challenge. Get stronger, faster, trying to perfect my craft and what I love to do. We all know that no one is perfect but people should strive to be, I believe. Some other things [that I am working on] are my quickness defensively, on the bases, and becoming a better student at the game.
WTH: What have you been doing for fun in the off-season?
DD: Some things I have been doing for fun during the off-season is I have been trying to learn how to play the guitar. Been traveling a bit and really just enjoying my family and friends before I leave again.
WTH: What is your goal for Spring Training? How special is it to be invited to the major league camp again this year?
DD: It's real special to be invited to big league camp for the second year in a row. It's just a blessing to get another opportunity like this to make a mark and to establish myself as a ballplayer and as Delino DeShields. A goal of mine throughout spring training is to just stay healthy. I think that's the number one goal for me because I don't want to miss any opportunities. I don't want things being handed to me. I want to earn everything that I do.