Advertisement

Four questions with minor-leaguer Brett Phillips

SP_354585_BORC_baseball (05/31/12) (St. Petersburg, FL) All county players of the year Brett Phillips, left, an outfielder with Seminole High and Michael Dunnigan, right, a pitcher at Tarpon Springs High.
SP_354585_BORC_baseball (05/31/12) (St. Petersburg, FL) All county players of the year Brett Phillips, left, an outfielder with Seminole High and Michael Dunnigan, right, a pitcher at Tarpon Springs High.
Published Sept. 24, 2014

Former Seminole High School outfielder Brett Phillips recently completed his first full season in the Houston Astros' minor-league system. Phillips played 103 games for Class A Quad Cities and 27 games with Class A advanced Lancaster. He hit .310 with 29 doubles, 14 triples, 17 home runs, 69 RBIs and 23 stolen bases and was named the Astros' minor-league player of the year. Phillips, who was the Tampa Bay Times' 2012 Pinellas high school player of the year, received his award Sunday at Houston's Minute Maid Park.

When you first entered pro ball two years ago, right out of high school, did it take some time to adjust?

"I knew I could handle it, personality-wise. I'm able to get along with everybody. But physically there was an adjustment. And the pitching can be overpowering. That took some getting used to. It was good to get that first season under my belt.''

Is minor-league ball a grind?

"It is. It is not glamorous. It's not meant to be glamorous. It's meant to prepare you for when you are playing in front of 50,000 people. How are you going to react? How are you going to handle yourself? All of that stuff gets learned in the minors. So you just play as hard as you can each day and try to get better.''

I heard there was a camera crew following you around while you were with Lancaster …

"Did my dad tell you that? Jeez. Yes. It was AOL. They wanted to follow a minor-leaguer around for a day, and since we were in California, which is where they're based, they picked our team. I guess they chose me because I have some personality. It's supposed to air Oct. 8 or 9."

Do you get some time off now or are you going to a winter league?

"I'm taking a break right now. I just got done playing 130 games this summer. I managed to stay healthy so I was able to play a lot. … The hope is to eventually end up in Double A. Whether that will happen right out of spring training or not, I don't know. I could start in Class A."

Rodney Page, Times staff writer