Looking at the MLB.com pre-draft rankings, Tanner Schobel found himself checking it at 96th. He started every game of his college career, and has played both up-the-middle positions. Schobel broke out in a big way playing in the Cape Cod League last summer, and he continued to ride that momentum towards a solid season with the Hokies.
Looking forward to getting his professional career started, Schobel was kind enough to answer a few questions first.
Twins Daily: You started all 111 games during your college career. Making a pretty substantial offensive leap over the last two seasons, what would you attribute most to the growth?
Tanner Schobel: Through my two seasons at Virginia Tech I would attribute my growth to the scouting reports that our coaches put in place for us as well as developing and maturing in the weight room as well as in my workouts on the field. Also being around experienced players like Gavin Cross, Nick Biddison, Cade Hunter, and many more I was able to grow in my game and learn from them.
TD: Power production showed up this season, was there a change in approach to generate that? How much do you lean into analytics when looking to improve your swing?
TS: My power numbers were much better this season due to getting stronger in the weight room and paying closer attention to detail. In our pre-game and pre-weekend scout meetings, I would recognize patterns that pitchers would fall into. I would study the at bats before me and get a good idea of what kind of pitch I was getting in which counts. I would also try and pick up on the locations that the pitchers were trying to target. By doing this I had a game plan and a set approach and was able to put good swings on pitches that I was comfortable doing damage with.
TD: As a defender ,the Twins tabbed you as a shortstop. Having played second base as well, is there a side of the diamond you feel more comfortable on? How would you describe your defensive abilities?
TS: At school, I was very comfortable filling in whatever role my coaches wanted of me. If it was at second base, I would do my best to be the best second baseman. If it was at shortstop, I would do my best to be the best shortstop. I am very comfortable on both sides of the infield and view myself as the type of player that can play any position asked of me to help our team win the most amount of games.
TD: When transitioning to pro ball, what is the one thing about your game you feel most confident in and where's an area you look forward to further developing?
TS: Going into professional baseball I am most confident in my knowledge of the game, especially in the batter's box. Being able to have a set game plan and approach that I developed throughout college and have been successful with is really exciting for me moving forward. I understand the game is only getting harder and that I will have to make adjustments physically and mentally but I feel like I have a very good foundation and am excited to get going with it. As I continue to grow in professional baseball I am looking forward to becoming more versatile and learning from the very talented and hardworking players around me. There are things within my game that I may not notice that my teammates and coaches will point out and I’m excited to soak in a ton of information to help me be the best baseball player I can be.
TD: What do you know about the Minnesota Twins? Have you ever been to Target Field?
TS: What I know about the Minnesota Twins is that they are very good at developing their players within the organization from top to bottom and that they want their players to succeed and will give them every opportunity to succeed. I have never been to Target Field before or Minnesota in general but I am excited to make it there someday and compete for the Twins.
TD: Either as a person or a player, what is something you want Twins Territory to know about you?
TS: Something I want Twins Territory to know about me is they will get nothing but my absolute best and I’m excited to win a whole lot of ball games with them.