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Jonathan Van Every - Red Sox OF Prospect
interview by David Laurila aka Cambridge

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Cambridge 

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 09:32 PM

A 28-year-old outfielder who spent his first seven professional seasons in the Indiansí organization, Jonathan Van Every was signed by the Red Sox as a minor league free agent in December and added to the 40-man roster. A left-handed hitter, Van Every hit a combined .307 with 12 home runs and a .916 OPS between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Buffalo last season. He is expected to begin the 2008 season as the starting centerfielder in Pawtucket.

http://www.soxprospects.com/players/images/vanevery.jon.jpg

David Laurila: Give us a scouting report on yourself.

Jonathan Van Every: Iím an extremely above-average defender who is capable of playing all three outfield positions. I would think that would be my main strength. As far as at the plate, I have plus power, but a lack of consistency has probably been my downfall in the past. Iíve shown signs of brilliance but have also shown times of turmoil when things have gone bad. The last couple of years, Iíve done a better job of staying consistent over the course of the season.

DL: Has the improved consistency come primarily from a mechanical adjustment or more from a change in your mental approach?

JVE: I think itís been more mental, and it goes along with my daily routine. Last year I basically took command of my own career. I said to myself that it was my career and Iím not going to let anyone else dictate it. I developed a steady routine that I maintained throughout the season, and the numbers are proof that it helped.

DL: Were you being asked to do things that you felt were maybe not in your best interest as a player?

JVE: I think so. I donít think that it was crazy for them to ask those things of me, but I was kind of going outside of my game and thinking too much on the negative side. I was thinking about not striking out, not doing this, not doing that, instead of about what I could do to get better or how I could get more hits. Thinking more on the positive side and developing a new routine helped me tremendously.

DL: You mentioned that you have plus power. Is it mostly to the pull side?

JVE: No, Iím capable of driving the ball to all fields. When I get in trouble is when I try to yank the ball all the time instead of staying with my strengths and hitting it where itís pitched. Hopefully, the wind will blow out for me a lot here in Pawtucket. I donít know what it does as a rule, but hopefully the conditions will be conducive to me putting up some good power numbers.

DL: Why did you decide to sign with the Red Sox organization?

JVE: It was basically the best offer we had. They were willing to put me on the roster and give me an opportunity to contribute at the big league-level, and thatís what everyone wants. Every kidís dream is to play in the big leagues. I felt this was the best fit for the situation Iím in, because thereís not a lot of outfield depth here at the centerfield spot.

DL: It sounds like maybe you have some inside information on a Coco Crisp or Jacoby Ellsbury trade?

JVE: Well, at the time it was looking like they were! Theyíre still here, but all I can do is go out and play hard every day and let the chips fall where they may. Hopefully things will work out in the end.

DL: Youíve played against Brandon Moss. How would you compare your game to his?

JVE: Thatís a tough question. I took a hit away from him last year, and he was kind of mad at me for that, but maybe Iím a little more versatile? Did he play much center field last year? I guess weíre kind of similar, but Iíve played against him maybe 10 times a year, so itís kind of hard to say. I do know that he has some big league experience now, and thatís where Iím trying to get. Mossy is a great player.

DL: Which other Red Sox prospects have impressed you?

JVE: There have been some tough pitchers. David Pauley is one. Clay Buchholz really stood out; he has some electric stuff. We faced him once last year, in Akron, and he was carving everyone up.; he was amazing. He has some of the best stuff Iíve ever seen. Jacoby Ellsbury can run the ball down very well in the outfield and has a good approach at the plate. Dusty Brown calls a pretty good game and is tough behind the plate. He thinks two steps ahead, which in baseball is important because the game is kind of like a chess match where youíre trying to figure out what the other guy is thinking and combat his moves.

DL: Getting back to your own game, are you more of a see-it-and-hit-it guy or do you go up to the plate with a specific plan?

JVE: I have a plan in place. Some guys can do the see-it-and-hit-it, and I tried that for awhile, but it didnít work for me. I like to study scouting reports and have an idea of how a pitcher is going to attack me. It goes without saying that thereís a game within the game, from situational hitting to how a guy wants to get you out, so I think itís beneficial for any hitter to have an idea and a plan.

DL: Prior to signing here, did you talk to anyone in the organization, about hitting philosophy?

JVE: No, not at all. Hitting philosophy -- I wouldnít say that itís generic, but throughout baseball itís kind of the same. But every guy is different, and you donít want to try to clone hitters. Iíve had people try to do that to me, and it doesnít work. Everyone is different, so you just need to stay with the same game-plan and approach. I think consistency is the key.

DL: Can you talk a little about your background?

JVE: I grew up in Mississippi, right outside of Jackson, and Iíve always loved to play baseball, right from being a little kid. My first word was ďball.Ē I just took to the game, and itís stuck with me ever since. Itís been a constant in my life, and Iíve always chased the dream of playing in the big leagues. Now Iím really close, and hopefully I can make it and stay in the game for a long time.
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alskor 

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 10:18 PM

Quote

Jonathan Van Every - Red Sox OF Prospect, interview by David Laurila aka Cambridge


"prospect?"

EDIT: Not to be a dick or anything... also, good interview

This post has been edited by alskor: 25 January 2008 - 10:19 PM

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 09:48 AM

The guy could pass as Mike Lowell's kid brother...
Thanks David!
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