Last Thursday afternoon, I had the excellent opportunity to sit down with Drew Rossi, former Nationals prospect. Drew is currently working for the Pirates Organization.
I got to ask Drew a few questions..
What is the biggest difference between playing in college and playing professional baseball?
For that, the adjustments. just making adjustments because the guys are a lot better. Seeing better players, day in and day out. Not that there’s not good college players, but you’re seeing the better players all get together now. The traveling is much different. You know, you go from going to class, go play a game, go home. Now it’s, you’re packing your bags, packing your stuff, 3 Day road trips, Sometimes 10 days depending on where you’re going. Basically, learning how to schedule your time because there’s a lot more difficulties. You have to be able to make those adjustments.
What advice would you have to a high school baseball player, to get to get where you are today?
The faster you can figure out who you are as a player, the better off you’re going to be. You know, High schoolers aspire to be that big player. They want to be the next Mike Trout, They want to be the next Bryce Harper, They want to be the next Andrew McCutchen. And that’s great, if you can find out who you are as a baseball player and get better at your talents, And make your talents the best they can possibly be, day in and day out. Focus And get that one 10th of 1% better each and every day, as that adds up over time, you be that better person, and it makes you stand out.
Growing up, who were your favorite players to watch?
I Had a couple different ones, based on the abilities they had. Growing up with a father working in professional baseball, and my uncle being a part of a team, Manny Ramirez is one for me. I just loved the way he was able to swing the bat. Looking back at it, everything I tried to do and mold myself off of was [Derek] Jeter. Watching him go about his business, you never heard anything bad about him, he did everything the right way. There was never any type of outside press. He showed up to the ballpark, He got his work done, He made others better, And he wanted to be that guy that helped push his team. Growing up as a kid, watching him win three Straight championships, with my dad being a part of that team was really cool. What really won me over was when we went to the World Series game, I think it was game four, against the braves, it was ’99. I saw Derek Jeter hitting off a tee, behind the turtle, In a World Series game. You’re talking, Game number 170..ish, and he’s still hitting off a tee. It’s just one of those things I’ll never forget. I had the opportunity to meet him two years ago. I got to have a conversation with him when he came down to Scranton Wilkes-Barre. Watching him go about his business and how he was able to finish his career, that was everything.
You started playing professional baseball, in the middle of everything, Taking ground balls,
hitting off tees, etc. Now, you’re on the technical side, seeing it from a totally different angle. Is there anything that you see now that you never noticed at the time?
Absolutely. From where I am now, I watch these guys work and try to put myself back in their shoes. I try to take it from a point of, I had a reason to be nervous. As a player, you want to do your best everyday. But sometimes, while striving to do your best, you put a little bit of unneeded pressure on yourself. But going back, if I could talk to my younger self, I would tell myself that there’s nothing to be tense about. You’ve been playing this game since you were little. Go out and have fun.