Get To Know: Kernels Outfielder Casey Scoggins
Let’s get to the Q&A. Get to know a little bit more about Kernels outfielder and Twins 2016 draft pick Casey Scoggins.
Seth Stohs (SS): Growing up in south Florida, which was your favorite team and who were some of your favorite players?
Casey Scoggins (CS): Growing up I didn't really have a favorite team. I like different players such as Torii Hunter, Barry Bonds, Jim Edmonds, Derek Jeter, and David Eckstein. Torii was my favorite outfielder because he always made sick plays and robbed home runs and David was my favorite infielder because he was small and scrappy like me.
SS: What were some of your best memories from high school baseball? Did you play other sports? Participate in other activities?
CS: My favorite memory from high school was playing in the State Tournament my freshman year. A lot of my favorite memories came from playing summer ball throughout high school on a team called Team Worth we were always the underdogs every tournament we went to because we didn't have any big-name kids on the team. We would beat some of the top teams, and it was just a good feeling. I also played football and soccer in high school.
SS: What were your options coming out of high school? What was it about Santa Fe College and then Tampa that made them the right place for you at those times?
CS: Well coming out of high school I didn't have the grades and a lot of colleges, especially Jucos, told me I was too small and not big enough to play. Coach Wiggs at Santa Fe gave me a chance to walk on my first year, and I did what I had to do to make my way into the starting line up. After freshman year of college, I verbally committed to the University of Florida for my junior junior year. Some other D1 schools recruited me also and the long story short, things didn't work out with Florida, and I fell in love with Tampa and felt at home when I went on my visit.
SS: You won a couple of college Gold Glove awards. How much pride do you take in your defense and what makes you so good, in your opinion?
CS: Defense is what I take pride in. I'm not the biggest guy offensively, so I told myself I want to be the biggest threat defensively. It started growing up with my dad. He was an outfielder for the University of Florida. He started me with baseball. But, I’ve got to give credit to my mom also because at all my dad’s softball games growing up, she was the one that threw me fly balls, and I always liked running them down and trying to rob home runs. So between my parents, I was literally taking fly balls almost every day growing up for fun and I had no idea. But winning a Gold Glove made me feel like I'm getting somewhere, but I can still get better. Hopefully I get one at the next level.
SS: Did you talk to a lot of scouts before the draft? Specifically, did you talk to any of the Twins scouts?
CS: I actually talked to a handful of scouts at the end of my junior year and throughout my senior year. The Twins didn't come into play till Day 3 of the draft.
SS: Drafted by the Twins in the 39th round... is that about where you thought you might be selected before the draft?
CS: Absolutely not. I thought I would go way before that based on how the scouts were talking to me. But, being a senior sign, I figured it might happen, but not as late as it did. It just gives me more motivation. I'm very thankful that the Twins are giving me an opportunity to show what I can do.
SS: Did you watch or listen to the draft? Where were you and who were you with when you found out? How busy was your phone at that time?
CS: I was at home with my parents and now fiancé and some friends. I didn't want to listen to the draft, but my parents did, so I gave in. My phone didn't get busy until Day 2 and 3. That's when the phone calls started coming in pretty steady.
SS: In these early stages of your career, what would you say are your biggest strengths as a player?
CS: My biggest strengths, I would say, are my defense and my aggressiveness, chippy play. Also, my ability to work counts and get on base.
SS: What was the adjustment like, on and off the field, going from college to pro baseball?
CS: Honestly I adjusted pretty easy. Joe Urso at Tampa runs his program like pro ball so I did pretty well with the overall adjustment. But, if I had to pick, I would say pitching was the biggest adjustment for me. Just seeing better pitching. In E-town, my at-bats weren't the best, but then when I got to Cedar Rapids, I was able to get comfortable.
SS: Were you surprised to move up to Cedar Rapids so quickly, and what was the atmosphere like during the playoff push and in the playoffs?
CS: Oh yes, I was very surprised especially with my slow start in E-town. It caught me by surprise, but I knew that I was a better player than what I was showing. I felt more comfortable moving up. The playoffs were great even though it wasn't the outcome we wanted. The atmosphere overall was awesome. The baseball, it just felt different. The series with Clinton, even though they didn't have a lot of fans, the baseball was like playing in the College World Series again.
SS: What do you enjoy doing away from the game of baseball?
CS: I enjoy spending time with my family and my fiancé. I like to try and travel as much as I can. I also like to try to help my old coaches from college anyway I can with what they need if I see them or see a player they might like. I was lucky enough to form great relationships with my college coaches so that's why I can go them if they need any help.
SS:Do you have any specific personal goals for 2017? When do you head to Ft. Myers?
CS: My goals for myself is to have a better season than last. Definitely get a lot more stolen bases. Just don't put too much pressure on myself. I go back to Ft. Myers the beginning of March, but I'll probably go back a little earlier if I'm allowed just because I'm getting bored here on the east coast, and it's not bad to get settled in early.
SS: Who are some of the coaches and others who have helped you get to this point in your career?
CS: A lot of people helped me along the way. My dad and mom obviously, but it started in Little league, then my travel-ball coaches. They helped me develop and get to college. Now, my college coaches polished me and help me mature and develop to make it to pro ball. Coach Wiggs at Santa Fe and Coach Urso at Tampa, they put me in position and pushed me to get better and put me in position to be seen.
SS: Favorite Baseball Movie?
CS: As a kid it was Little Big League. Now it’s Moneyball.
Thank you very much to Casey Scoggins for taking the time to respond to our questions.