Get To Know: Infielder Travis Blankenhorn
He participated in the Twins Florida Instructional League and will head to spring training for the first time next March with a chance to begin his first full season in Cedar Rapids.
Seth Stohs: Drafted by the Twins in the 3rd round... is that about where you thought you might be selected before the draft?
Travis Blankenhorn: Yes, that is around where I expected to be, but that draft is unpredictable so you never know what could happen. I was hoping to be in the 100 picks of the draft, so I was happy to be able to meet that goal.
SS: You had the commitment to play for Gary Henderson at Kentucky. How difficult was the decision to sign, or did you know you wanted to sign all along?
TH: It was an extremely difficult decision for me and my family. Kentucky is an excellent program, competing in one of the best conferences in the NCAA. Coach Henderson and Coach Bohannon were great to me during the process and that made making a decision even more difficult.
SS: What was the biggest adjustment you had to make, going from the high school and amateur season to the pro game? On or off the field?
TH: I would say the biggest adjustment was adapting to the pitching. The level of competition from the high school game to the pro game is noticeable.
SS: You played shortstop primarily in high school. You played various places in your short GCL stint, and solely third base in Elizabethton. Defense is obviously important to the Twins and any team, but where do you feel most comfortable and where do you think is the best position for you?
TH: I feel like I am a versatile player, and I am able to play many positions, but after playing 3rd base, I feel comfortable there.
SS: In these early stages of your career, what would you say are your biggest strengths as a player?
TH: I think the strongest part of my game is when I am at the plate trying to help my team win the game.
SS: What are the things that you feel you need to improve over the offseason and going forward?
TH: Just trying to improve every aspect of my game so that I can be the best possible player.
SS: Growing up in Pennsylvania, who was your favorite team to follow, and who were some of your favorite players?
TH: The Pirates were always my favorite team to follow growing up. My favorite player is Andrew McCutchen.
SS: What were some of the highlights of your high school and amateur career? (What other sports or activities did you participate in?)
TH: I played football for three years going both ways, along with punting and kicking, and received all-state honors my junior year. I played basketball for four years and my team won three league championships and a district championship. I also reached 1000 points in my career and rank second all-time in scoring at my school. I also received all-state honors in basketball my senior year. I played baseball for four years and my team won two league championships and a district championships.
SS: What was the highlight of your first professional baseball season?
TH: My favorite memory of pro ball is my first home run at Elizabethton.
SS: What are your plans for the offseason? Baseball Training, but also what do you enjoy doing away from the game of baseball?
TH: My plans for the off season are to work out with my trainer, Russ Frantz, and continue to improve myself physically. Away from baseball, I plan to do some hunting.
SS: Who are some of the coaches and others who have helped you get to this point in your career?
TH: There have been many coaches who have helped me along the way. My travel coaches, Mark Helsel and Greg Kinneman, were very influential and helpful to me. My high school baseball coaches, Mike Welsh and Ed Terefinko and my high school basketball coach Dave Mullaney all played a role in my development. Also, my family, for supporting me and helping me throughout the whole process.
We would like to thank Travis Blankenhorn for taking time to answer our questions. Please feel free to comment or ask questions
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