Pirates Prospect Inteview: Matt Hague

Matt Hague

First baseman Matt Hague posted a very good season at Triple A Indianapolis in 2011, batting .309 with 12 home runs and 75 RBI. Through November 30, Hague playing in the Dominican Winter League for Toros del Este is batting .274 in 32 games with two home runs and 15 RBI. PiratesDugout.com's George Von Benko caught up with Hague.

GVB – You won the MVP Award at Indianapolis – were you pleased with the season you had?

MH – Yeah, it was a great year and I had a lot of fun and it was an honor to be named MVP.

GVB – You were hoping for a September call up to the Pirates, that did not happen. Was that a big disappointment? You still came up for a couple of days to get the big league experience, was that a thrill?

MH – Yeah, it was a thrill. I was hoping for a September call up and it didn't happen, but it was awesome to come to PNC Park and get that experience and soak it all in.

GVB – Looking at your numbers at Indy you struggled in April and May and then had a monster June, did that set up everything for you?

MH – At the beginning of the year I was just getting comfortable and getting the experience. Then learning from it I think was the big thing and then after those first couple months really just trusting in my plan and my goal and trying to achieve that daily.

GVB – Did you make any adjustments that got you going after the slow start?

MH – I stuck with my game plan, but at the same time me and the hitting coach Jeff Branson basically started creating a routine and sticking with that no matter what, just trying to be consistent with my plan.

GVB – Looking at the numbers a lot of doubles, some home runs. A RBI guy – is the power still coming or are you basically a gap to gap hitter?

MH – Victory Field is great, but its not a right-handed hitters park, but there's big gaps and I hit a lot more doubles than I did in the past and that is a result of the park.

GVB – You played primarily first base, but I think you also played a little at third – is that correct?

MH – I think I played 25 games or something like that at third base. Anytime you can have two different options it helps me in the long run. I am playing third here in the Dominican, just trying to give as many options as I can.

GVB – Are you getting a lot out of Winter Ball?

MH – Yeah, I played in Mexico last year and it's just going to a different country and basically not being comfortable, we take it for granted how fortunate we are to play baseball herein the United States, especially with the nice facilities we have. It just a different environment in the Winter Leagues, getting used to not being comfortable seems to benefit me.

GVB – You've hit at every level, are you anxious to try and make a statement in spring training?

MH – Yeah, absolutely, but at the same time once I start focusing on stuff I can't control – that's usually when I start struggling at the plate. I'm just kind of taking the approach to just do what I have to do and try and get better and benefit myself and the rest will kind of take care of itself.

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