Welcome to our most recent Road to the Show interview with Spinners 1B/OF Drew Hedman. Hedman was drafted in the 50th and final round of the 2009 MLB Draft out of Division III Pomona College. He dominated competition this year, hitting 24 home runs, batting .489 and posting a .569 OBP. Hedman has had a successful first professional season thus far in Lowell and hit .320 in August. Drew sat down with the Spinners blog to answer a few questions.
You were picked in the 50th and final round of the 2009 MLB Draft, what was draft day like for you and what was the level of interest in you before the draft by the Red Sox and other teams?
There was definitely some interest both from the Red Sox and other teams; I probably talked to 15 different teams in all so I figured I’d be picked up by someone. Draft day was pretty stressful really, I obviously had to wait until the 50th round, everything I heard was for sure I would be taken on the second day, but that didn’t happen. I had to wait until the third day it was a stressful process but I was happy to hear my name called and especially by a franchise like the Red Sox.
You dominated at Pomona this season, hitting 24 home runs; can you describe your time at Pomona and talk about your favorite college moment?
My time at Pomona was great; it’s a division three small school, a different baseball experience than most big time programs. This year we were ranked the number one team in D3 for quite awhile. We had a great team; I have a lot of great memories. My favorite moment was either my sophomore year when we won our league for the first time in a while or this year when we flew up to Oregon for regionals; really seeing the team come together was something I will never forget.
Would you say Power is a big part of your game?
Not necessarily, I feel like its something that just happens. A lot of the home runs I hit I think were line drives that I hit well that just cleared the fence. As you can tell by my numbers here it’s been a lot of doubles, no home runs as of yet. It’s nice to get extra base hits; I’m not focused on hitting home runs. I feel like if I hit the ball well then the home runs will come, I consider myself more of a gap to gap line drive hitter.
You have played the outfield as well as first base this season, which position do you feel suits you better and why?
Right now I still feel more comfortable at first, that’s where I played most of my college career. I’m starting to feel more comfortable in the outfield; my first game out there was a bit different. You have different angles; it’s a long way away from home plate. I’m a good first baseman and a good outfielder, whatever helps the team and gets me in the lineup is where I’ll play.
Describe how it was to play in your first professional game here in Lowell compared to what you were accustomed to in college and high school.
It was great, opening night there was 5,000 people here. My first at bat I got hit in the ribs, I was jogging down to first thinking wow welcome to professional baseball Drew. I’ve had a great time here, at Pomona I was playing in front of like 50 people, half of which being students the other half being family. I just make sure to have fun every step of the way.
You have had a hot month of August, is there any reason for your recent success?
I think it’s just the process of getting acclimated to professional ball, getting used to playing every day, finding what works well for you. Recently I have started getting into a groove, getting consistent at bats and playing time. You get into a rhythm and I think this month I’ve started to find that groove.
What are your goals for the future?
Just to get better every day as a player. I want people to say “hey this guy was picked in the 50th round and he made it to the show”. Obviously making it to Fenway would be my long term goal, for now just making strides in my game and just moving along the ladder.
What is something about Drew Hedman that most people don’t know?
I studied in Spain for four months during college so I lived there for awhile; another thing is I like to play the piano, that’s something I’m sure people would never guess.
What teammate has impressed you most this season and why?
There are a lot of good players here, obviously Ryan Westmoreland stands out. He is really impressive, I feel bad for him just getting hurt like he did the other day, but he has had a great first season. Everyday he’s very consistent in his approach, he gets the job done day in and day out and that’s what it’s all about.
What is your most memorable moment from the season?
I would say opening night, realizing that it’s not college ball anymore and this is what I’m being paid to do. I remember coming into the clubhouse seeing all the guys who played here who are in the majors, and realizing that you are now on the same path that they once were, just truly amazing to realize that.
Just because the Spinners season is coming to a close, doesn’t mean you’ve seen the last of the Road to the Show series, stay tuned for interviews with Wilfed Pichardo, Drew Dominguez, Chez Angeloni, Alex Wilson and Jordan Flasher.
The Lowell Spinners are rolling, their latest victim was their division foe the Oneonta Tigers. The first five Spinners reached base in yesterday’s game and chased Tigers starter Jose Diaz before he even recorded an out.
The Spinners scored four in the first on an RBI single by Ryan Westmoreland, an RBI double by Michael Almanzar, an RBI single by Joantoni Garcia and a sacrifice fly by Dan Butler. Almanzar addd an RBI single in the second and Drew Hedman’s RBI groundout extended the lead to 7-0.
The Tigers rough day continued in the third, as Michael Rockett and hitting coach Luis Quinones were ejected for arguing balls and strikes and Westmoreland added an RBI double to extened the Spinners lead to 9-0.
Spinners starter Jose Alvarez continued his dazzling season with another stellar performance, pitching six innings, allowing only two hits and striking out eight. He earned his seventh win of the season, tying the Spinners franchise record for wins in a season. Chez Angeloni followed with two innings in relief before Dennis Neuman pitched a scoreless ninth inning.
Wilfred Pichardo was 2 for 3 as the leadoff hitter, extending his hitting streak to nine games and raising his batting average to .303. The Spinners now lead the Stedler division by two games over Oneonta and open a three game series vs. Aberdeen tonight at 7:05. Pedro Perez (1-4, 3.08), takes the mound in game one.
Due to a rainout of Saturday’s game, the Spinners played two yesterday in Vermont.
In the first game the Spinners won 4-0, and Jose Alvarez pitched six scoreless innings, allowing only three hits for the win. Michael Almanzar and Ryan Westmoreland led the offense for the Spinners as both had multi-hit games.
In the second game the Spinners were stymied by Vermont starter Mitchell Clegg and the Lake Monster bullpen as the Spinners only mustered four hits, two of them being doubles by Tom DiBenedetto and Drew Hedman.
The Spinners are off today and return home for a six game homestand which begins tommorow night against the Aberdeen Ironbirds, first pitch is scheduled for 7:05