Thanks to JKearse for another interview.
.396/.496/.723 with 16 homeruns and 16 stolen bases in 202 at bats. These were Gauntlett Eldemire’s college stats as a junior for Ohio University. Gauntlett was the Phillies 2010 draft pick, and the 6’3 195 pound outfielder is known to have plus power along with plus speed. Unlike most Phillies outfielder picks, the 21 year old is right handed and murdered left handed pitching last year at a .400 clip. A 2010 All-Mid-American Conference First Team selection, Eldemire was projected to go anywhere from the second to fourth round and the Phillies grabbed him with a sixth round pick. Unfortunately, while in Philly for his physical with the team, the doctors discovered a chipped bone fragment as well as two torn ligaments which came from being hit by a pitch and it prevents Gauntlett from getting on the field immediately. This was his second unfortunate injury recently, the other being a stress fracture in his leg dooming his shot at playing for Team USA. However, he should be healthy in the fall, and while his skills are raw, he has a ton of potential and could be very exciting to watch once he gets on the field. Thanks to Gauntlett for doing this interview.
Q: In college, you used a metal bat. What do you feel like the transition will be from a wooden bat to a metal one?
A: Getting used to the weight differential between the metal and wood bat will probably be the hardest part. In practice I usually use a wood bat, so hopefully it won’t be too big of an adjustment.
Q: At Ohio, you hit 21 HRS, would you consider yourself a power-first hitter, spray hitter, pull hitter, etc.?
A: I try not to classify myself as one type of hitter. Ideally, I’d like to be a versatile hitter who can hit for power, and hit for average.
Q: A stress fracture in your leg prevented you from USA Baseball. Do you feel that the injuries hurt your draft stock, projected as a 2-4th rounder and getting drafted in the 6th round?
A: Playing for Team USA would have been an awesome opportunity to improve my draft stock. Unfortunately, the past two summer’s injuries kept me from playing summer ball. I feel like not having the opportunity to play organized baseball with a wood bat in front of the right people may have been a factor in going higher in the draft than expected. However, it all worked out, and I’m just excited to be a part of an excellent organization with a winning tradition.
Q: Speaking of injuries, what injury do you have right now and what time period are you expected back?
A: In the beginning of April, I got hit in the wrist by pitch. It was diagnosed as a bone bruise, and I finished the rest of the season after missing only a few games. It was nagging for the rest of the season, but I didn’t think it was anything serious. After the draft I went to Philadelphia to get my physical. There they found a chipped bone fragment and two torn ligaments in my wrist. I got surgery on July 1st, and hope to be back in the fall.
Q: What areas do you feel you need to improve on in order to advance up the minor league levels?
A: Just becoming an overall better player. I think seeing more live pitching, and playing more games will help me to improve.
Q: Who was your favorite player growing up?
A: I don’t really have one favorite player, but admire all the greats like Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Jackie Robinson, and Pete Rose.