He is currently playing for the Brisbane Bandits in the Australian Baseball League. He played for the Australian team in the ABL’s All Star game. He is currently hitting .294/.308/.333 (.641) with a couple of doubles.
Without further ado, here is our interview with Twins minor leaguer Aaron Whitefield. Thank you to Aaron for taking time to respond. Please feel free to ask questions or discuss below.
Seth Stohs (SS): Growing up in Australia, were you able to follow Major League Baseball? Did you have a favorite team or players?
Aaron Whitefield (AW): It's not that big over here, and I was not much of a team follower but more a player follower! My favorite player is Robinson Cano, but I also like the likes of Derek Jeter and Bryce Harper!
SS: You played a lot of softball growing up including representing Australia in some international tournaments. What was it like to represent your country?
AW: I love softball and loved getting to represent my country at a young age. It really helped me develop into a better player playing against/with older world players.
SS: Had you played much baseball early in your life? What was your transition like moving from softball to baseball? At what point did you realize that you were good enough to sign and make baseball a career?
AW: I have only been playing baseball for a year and a half and found it hard to transition especially when I was still playing both at a grade level. So I gave up softball and pursued my career in baseball! I always just played the game hard, and a team looked at me and liked it. So that's when I really pursued that path!
SS: For you, what was it about the Twins that made them the team that you signed with?
AW: The Twins gave me shot, and I took it especially with the pathway that they have. And I had heard a lot of good things about the Twins. So made it an easier decision!
SS: What was the transition last year coming to the States from Australia? What were some of the biggest adjustments on and off the field?
AW: Was not too bad was there for three weeks, the on-field was great, loved a competition and challenge that was there every day! But not too many off- field, a few Aussie slang words people didn't understand but that's all.
SS: At this time, what would you say your biggest strengths are on the baseball field?
AW: My speed. It is my number one tool, and I work on it a lot to try get faster and faster!
SS: What are the areas you would like to improve upon in your game?
AW: Power off the bat which will come. I am seeing more and more, but producing the back spin from the barrel is a real focus point for me at the moment!
SS: What has your Australian Baseball League experience been like with Brisbane? I understand that originally you were only going to be on the home roster.
AW: I love it in the Bandits culture. Great staff and players to share the season with! It makes it a lot easier to play, and great players to learn from!
SS: Who are a few of the people who have helped you most getting to this point in your career?
AW: There are a lot of people that have helped me a lot from the softball culture, and all those people know who they are and I'm very grateful! But John Deeble has helped me with skills and mental part of the game. I could not thank him enough for everything he has done especially when I first came over from softball!
SS: What are some things you enjoy doing when you’re not playing baseball?
AW: I like to hang out with my family and friends, gym and beach!
SS: Favorite Baseball Movie?
AW: The Sandlot
SS: One more question... you have played second base and around the outfield for Brisbane. Where do you like to play and where are you most comfortable playing?
AW: I have played shortstop my whole life and have made the transition to the outfield and second base. I feel a lot more comfortable in the infield but love learning and playing the outfield!
Again, a huge Thank You to Aaron Whitefield for taking time to respond to our questions.