Friday, July 20, 2012

Stony Brook Steal- Interview With Johnny Caputo

John Caputo

made the difficult decision to further his education and accepted a scholarship to attend Stony Brook University in the state of New York. Caputo who was drafted in the 12th round by the Oakland Athletics will temporarily forego professional baseball to play for the Division I Seawolves.
The native of Toronto, Ontario is a slick fielding corner infielder who can also play the outfield. Caputo has gap power with a work ethic and leadership skills second to none. Caputo is surely to move up in the draft order with a couple of years of university ball under his belt.

Johnny Caputo Interview:

1. How tough of a decision has is it been trying to decide whether to sign with the Oakland Athletics or attend Stony Brook University and in your opinion do you think you will sign with the Athletics?
This decision has definitely been the toughest I’ve had to make in my lifetime. I am so thankful to the Athletics for giving me the opportunity to play in their system. However, Stony Brook seems to be the right fit for me right now. Hopefully I will be given a chance to sign a Major League contract down the road again someday.
2. In saying that have you had any communication with the Athletics since the draft and are negotiations going as expected?
I have had communication with the Athletics since the draft and negotiations went smoothly on both sides, however I just feel like college is the best option for me right now as a person and a player.
3. Describe “Draft Day” and the days leading up to the Amateur Draft, had you had much dialogue with the Athletics prior to the draft?
I tried not to have high expectations on Draft Day because I did not want to be disappointed by anything. Getting a phone call from Matt Higginson (A’s area scout) was one of the most exciting things I’ve ever experienced. I knew the Athletics were interested in me before the draft, as Matt and I had met several times throughout the spring.
4. You have represented Canada as a member of the Canadian National Team, what was it like playing with the maple leaf on your chest and what is your proudest International moment?
Playing for Team Canada is such a special feeling. Knowing you and 20 something other guys have a whole country behind you is totally surreal. To date my proudest International moment is when we went to Colombia and qualified for the World Junior Championships. We were stacked up against competition like Venezuela and Puerto Rico but we came out successful and punched our ticket to Korea.
5. What was the greatest obstacle growing up in Canada and what advice do you have for aspiring Canadian baseball players?
The greatest obstacle for Canadian players is for almost half of the year, the training is done indoors. Although you can improve fielding and hitting indoors, nothing can match being on a field for 365 days a year. My advice for Canadian players is stay outside for as long of the year as you can, and when you do go inside; don’t let the weather determine how hard you’re going to work. Keep practicing and training because all of the players down south are out on the fields everyday getting better trying to take your spot.
6. What baseball team did you follow growing up and do you emulate your style around any major league players?
I followed the Blue Jays very closely growing up because I was born in the city, and I’ve lived here all my life. I don’t necessary emulate my style after anyone but I would compare my style of play to Evan Longoria.
7. For people who have never seen you play, what type of player can they expect from Johnny Caputo?
I would define myself as a corner infielder/outfielder who can run. I am mostly a gap to gap hitter with a little pop. Also I work hard on defense for many positions. I pride myself on my work ethic and preparation.
8. What has been your biggest baseball related accomplishment to date?
The biggest baseball related accomplishment was getting drafted in the 12th round by the Oakland A’s. It has been a dream of mine to play in the Major Leagues since I can remember and the draft was an unbelievable experience.
9. Who has been the most influential person in helping you develop as a baseball player throughout your career?
I have had many people help me as a baseball player throughout my career. Firstly being my parents for supporting me with whatever I chose to do. Also, Rob Butler, who has been my hitting coach for over 6 years now.
10. What is the one facet of your game you think you need to improve to make it to the Major Leagues?
The facet of my game which needs improvement is consistency. To make it all the way to the Major Leagues you have to be consistent both on defence and offense. Consistency naturally comes with maturity and repetition, so hopefully over time this will be a strong facet of my game.
11. Who has been the toughest pitcher you have face so far to date in your baseball career and secondly who is the best Canadian player you have played with or against?
The toughest pitcher I have had to face so far was probably Joseph Musgrove who was the Blue Jays compensation round pick in 2011. I had the opportunity to face him in April 2012 with Team Canada when we played the Blue Jays rookie ball team. The best Canadian player I have ever played against is Brett Lawrie. I played against Lawrie in March 2012 when he was with the Blue Jays split squad.
This concludes another look at a Canadian prospect, as always follow BHC on Twitter @MLBHotCorner.