Every year baseball players from all over the country descend upon Bradenton, Florida to train at the IMG Academy baseball program prior to reporting for Spring Training. The athletes hail from MLB clubs and their affiliates from around the country with aspirations of fine tuning their game in an attempt to get a jump-start on the upcoming season. During the time we have these players at IMG Academies, we like to sit down with them to learn more about the player and the person...
When people tell Bobby Borchering he is being chipper...they usually are not talking about him being cheerful, lively, and spirited. Although he may be all of those things, the chipper reference more specifically draws on his on-field comparisons to the Atlanta Brave's great third basemen Chipper Jones. Bobby is now in his second year of training with IMG Academy. He is coming off of his first full year in Single A baseball after being drafted 16th overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2009 draft. Bobby took the time out of his baseball-packed schedule to speak with us about items such as video games, draft day nerves, and of course, baseball.
Bobby Borchering on...
â¦his second year training with IMG Academy: I feel comfortable coming here and working out. The great thing about IMG Academy is that they offer the whole package of getting physically and mentally prepared for the season. I came here last season after a full year and had a better idea of what it takes to get through the entire baseball season and how important my physical conditioning has to be.
â¦the big day: I was home with his mother, father and his sister watching on TV. Leading up to the draft I wasn't overly nervous, but during the whole process I was getting increasingly anxious pick by pick waiting to hear my name get called. In the end though, it turned out very well and I was happy to be selected by the Diamondbacks. I feel blessed to have the people around me that I do, and think that I have been put in a great position.
â¦baseball being the one: I started playing when I was very young and haven't looked back sense. I did play other sports as a child in elementary and middle school, but I just always had a different feel for baseball. It was the sport that became my main focus, and I was constantly playing and getting better and better. I developed an unmatched love and passion for the sport, more than any other.
â¦having the everyday mindset: You have to be in control of your feelings and emotions, and that is a skill that is developed. Being able to lock-in on each at-bat during the game, remaining at even keel throughout the season, etc. are some of baseball's most underrated struggles. The game is a lot quicker at this level then it was in high school so having that driven baseball frame of mind makes all the difference.
â¦the constant comparisons to Chipper Jones: It's cool. Chipper is still a great player and was for so many years. He was one of the guys that was so much fun for me to watch growing up. Felix Pie, one of the MLB guys out here training with me at IMG Academy, is always giving me a hard time saying, âOh, Bobby Jones, Bobby Jones!â So I call him Felix Crawford because he gets compared to Carl Crawford. We always have a good laugh about it. I don't compare myself to Chipper in any way though. I admire the man and what he has done, but at the end of the day I go out there and do my own thing.
â¦life outside the foul poles: Baseball consumes so much of my life. Between games and practice and conditioning there isn't much more time for anything else. To be honest though, I don't think I would have it any other way. When I do have time, I enjoy listening to music and playing video games. Obviously, sports games are my favorite. I like to load up my video game teams with the best players to win. That's fun for me.
â¦the upcoming 2011 season: My main thing is to go out there with the right mind set and do all the small things right. I want to be balanced in my swing and have good rhythm. Also, I want to let the ball carry a little more from the left side of the plate and stay long through the ball on both sides. On the defensive side of things, I have been working a lot on moving my feet and feeling more connected to the ground when I'm moving. Aside from that, I just have to adjust some small things such as my arm slot and getting carry with a little bit more whip on my throws. Just a bunch of little things that can add up to a big season.