AP -- Really I think it's just a better job of preparing for games, getting in a routine. The past couple years, the first year I was hurt a little bit, so I didn't really get consistent playing time and last year at points I didn't get consistent playing time. I've been in there pretty much every day this year, and I think that's really helped out a lot.
GVB -- I saw a quote from Pirates Director of Player Development Kyle Stark indicating that you came into spring training this year on a mission and that mission has continued. Is that an accurate statement?
AP -- Yeah, definitely, I knew spring training was going to be huge for me, and I knew I had lots to prove coming in and I worked really hard in the off season coming into it. I just paid attention to every detail that I could to improve my game.
GVB -- Your approach at the plate has worked with the bat staying in the hitting zone longer. Could you talk about your approach at the plate?
AP -- I've definitely been trying to stay to the opposite field and not get out of my game trying to pull too many balls. It's just something again that I worked on in the off season trying to keep my bat in the zone because it's been a problem before. It just allows me to hit more pitches with my bat being in the zone a little bit longer. I'm just trying to stick to that approach and not stray from it at all.
GVB -- The numbers have been fantastic. Have you tried to remain on an even keel because baseball can be a very humbling game at times?
AP -- I try not to look at it and I never get complacent with where I'm at. I just try to come out and do the same thing everyday and forget about the day before and just focus on that moment.
GVB -- You set the franchise record with eight RBI in an 11-1 win over Akron. Was that a big thrill?
AP -- I had no idea until after the game. I don't know it was just one of those things where I had people on base every time I got up there. I hit a couple of home runs which I'd never done before in the same game. It all just kind of came together.
GVB -- Everyone is talking about your hitting, how is your defensive game?
AP -- I think that's coming along pretty well. I've been in left field mainly and last year I played a lot of center field, but this year I've been in left and I'm really getting used to it. I just try to prevent extra base hits and go hard out there, that's really my goal. It's been going pretty well.
GVB -- Altoona has played well, are you happy with the ball club?
AP -- We have a good group. We have a lot of guys from Lynchburg last year that won the championship and also guys that had been here in Altoona last year. We are really jelling and I think we're starting to hit our stride.
GVB -- You are Double A right now are you hoping to move up this year, or don't you worry about things like that?
AP -- Definitely hoping to move up, but it's not something I focus on. The goal is always to move up the ladder. I try not to let that get into my thoughts and just prepare like I've been preparing all year and not really worry about stuff I can't control.