Zeke DeVoss: Q&A with the Miami product

The newest sensation for the Boise Hawks, Zeke DeVoss, is turning heads inside and out of the Chicago Cubs organization after being drafted in the third round of the 2011 First-Year Players Draft.

John Engel: Draft day is probably one of the most exciting times for a young prospect with Major League aspirations. Take me through your draft day.

Zeke DeVoss: It was a little bit stressful, I guess, because it’s something that every baseball player looks forward to. I had heard that I was going to get taken high, somewhere in the late second round, so I was anxious waiting to hear my name called. Then I heard my name come off the board as the 98th overall pick by the Cubs and that was a thrilling moment.

JE: Were you getting a little worried when the second round passed without you being selected?

ZD: Everything happens for a reason, so I knew that if I didn’t get selected (in the second round) something better would come along and that’s how it worked out.

JE: What’s your first impression of the organization?

ZD: I really like the organization, I really like how everything is handled and how things are done from the bottom to the top.

JE: What’s the biggest difference between playing at the University of Miami and the Boise Hawks?

ZD: At this point in the minor leagues, it’s not necessarily about winning games everyday; it’s about development and working on things that you need to work on. It’s about working on the little things to help you win at the top level.

JE: Two years ago, you were drafted straight out of high school. What made you decide to attend the “U”?

ZD: Miami is a really good university, academic wise, and the program they have as far as baseball I shouldn’t even have to explain much about that, they have an awesome program there. I knew it would be the right choice for me to go to college and to mature as a player and as a person.

JE: After being drafted you were promoted very quickly and only played four games in Arizona before being sent to Boise. What do you think jumped out most about you so quickly?

ZD: I think mainly my speed, and not only that, my patience as a hitter and swinging at good pitches while hitting the ball hard and getting on base and stealing bases and scoring runs really helps.

JE: You’ve only been in the organization for a couple of weeks and you’re already getting buzz inside and out of the organization. How does that feel as a young player?

ZD: It’s always good to hear positive buzz about your name, but it can be good or it can be bad. It can also hurt you and make you lose your humility.

JE: What’s your first impression of the coaching staff here in Boise?

ZD: I really like the coaching staff here. Everything is really relaxed and they emphasize playing your game and not getting to uptight and I really like that. They can relate to us and they’re not on you about everything. They let you play and give you instruction when it’s needed but they’re not too hard on you.

JE: Do the coaches set goals and expectations for you as a player or is that more on a personal basis?

ZD: It’s much more of a personal thing.

JE: What goals have you set for yourself as a player?

ZD: Obviously the main goal is to make it to the major leagues and to do so quickly and to play at the best level.

JE: In college you played in the outfield as well as second base. Where do you feel most comfortable defensively?

ZD: I really feel comfortable in either place. My freshman year I played centerfield and my sophomore year I played second base, so I can play both outfield and infield. I feel comfortable at both positions.

JE: What’s your favorite part of the game of baseball?

ZD: You know, I just like battling. We’re playing games every day and I like stepping in the box and battling it out with the pitcher. I challenge myself to have a good at bat ever single time. This game is a lot about failure, but you have to forget about because you play games every single day.

JE: Which currently player would you compare yourself to in Major League Baseball?

ZD: I would say Jose Reyes (New York Mets). He’s a switch hitter and plays shortstop but he has speed and a little bit of power, so I really compared myself to him growing up.

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