Prospect Pulse: Q&A with Curtis Thigpen

Curtis Thigpen

<b>Prospect Pulse</b> returns today as it interviews one of the rising prospects in the Jays system. Curtis Thigpen was a second round draft choice in the 2004 draft and is making an impact with the Lansing Lugnuts early in the 2005 season. InsideTheDome recently caught up with Curtis and asked him about his draft experience last June, his college days and we find out what position Curtis prefers to play in the future.

InsideTheDome: What was it like being drafted by Toronto in the second round? Do you feel any pressure playing in Lansing as a second round draft selection?

Curtis Thigpen: It was an exciting day for me. I was with some other guys that were getting drafted as well. I was excited to hear my name being called in the second round and happy to be a part of the Blue Jays. I don't like to add any extra pressure to myself. There's enough in the baseball already.

InsideTheDome: Were there any other major league teams there were interested in you?

Curtis Thigpen: I talked to quite a few. I didn't have a specific team that I thought was going to draft me. I think it was probably between three or four different teams.

InsideTheDome: You've caught and you played first base at Texas, which is your favorite?

Curtis Thigpen: Catching is my favorite. I played first base at Texas just because we didn't have a first baseman.

InsideTheDome: How much time do you spend with a pitcher before you feel comfortable?

Curtis Thigpen: A couple starts. If he's a relief guy, two or three appearances. Catching bull pens', and spring training helps because you get to catch all the guys. There are definitely some things you have to get used to and there's a lot of communication involved.

InsideTheDome: What was it like winning the College World Series with Texas?

Curtis Thigpen: It was unbelievable, a dream come true. You watch it your whole life growing up. To actually get there, play and win, it was a dream come true. We went three years and we were competitive in it for all three years. It was a lot of fun.

InsideTheDome: What do you look for from the pitcher while in the on-deck circle to prepare for an at-bat?

Curtis Thigpen: Mainly what kind of pitches he's throwing, and I try to get my timing down. You can study his pitching mechanics and delivery from the dugout. Once on deck, I try to get my timing down, get loose and just prepare myself mentally for what I need to do for the at-bat.

InsideTheDome: What did you do in the off season to prepare for a 140 game season?

Curtis Thigpen: I lived in Austin and I got a chance to work out with a couple of major league guys. I worked out with Matt Holiday (2nd year player with the Rockies) and Jesse Crain (2nd year player with the Twins). We had hard workouts. I was trying to rehab from shoulder surgery in November so I had to get healthy.

InsideTheDome: Have the Blue Jays expressed any interest in moving you back to first base and developing you as a first baseman?

Curtis Thigpen: I don't think there are any expectations for me to play at first. I didn't expect that coming in. Maybe in the future, I like to play other positions also. It keeps the game fun for me. It is a change of atmosphere.

InsideTheDome: What are some of your hobbies away from the ball field?

Curtis Thigpen: I like to listen to music. I've gotten into making some music recently as well. Relaxing with buddies and team mates, and I also enjoy performing magic tricks and playing the bongos.

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