Monday's edition of the Blue Jays Minor League Notebook spotlights the outstanding play of Brian…
Prospect Pulse: Brian Bormaster
Brian Bormaster: Well, of course I want to get my average up. I'm not really result oriented, but I'm putting good at bats together up and down and I just want to be consistent. Catching wise, I'm feeling really good and I'm working well with the staff which is the most important thing for me. I'm in a back up role here, so it is really important for me when I get in there to take care of my pitchers and make sure that we throw strikes and we take care of business.
InsideTheDome: You're throwing would be base stealers out at over a 60% clip so far this year. That's an absurd number, so what is up with that?
Brian Bormaster: Do you want me to be honest, or do you want me to tell you the truth? I really don't know what is up with it. The pitchers are giving me good pitches to throw on and they are giving them more than one look and they're working hard holding the runners on for me so they are giving me good looks to throw people out.
InsideTheDome: I noticed that you played your freshman year of college ball at Rice and then you transferred to Tulane. I thought that was odd since you are from Houston, so what are some of the things that occurred that made you decide to go that way?
Brian Bormaster: Rice was just a bad situation for me. My first year I played in 29 games and I moved all around. I was king of going to be in the same boat my next year there and I wanted a chance to start somewhere and that was Tulane. Plus to be honest with you I really wanted to get away from home. I was five minutes from my house and I just needed to get away for a little bit.
InsideTheDome: Well after you left Rice went on and won the College World Series. Did that bother you after that and maybe make you second guess your decision?
Brian Bormaster: I was like, ‘Wow, I leave and then they go ahead and win it', but I loved Tulane and I loved everything about it and I wouldn't change it for anything.
InsideTheDome: Looking at your profile on the Tulane website, it appears that you really didn't start catching until your sophmore year. Was that your first time catching or did you spend some time doing that in high school?
Brian Bormaster: No, I played second base my whole high school career. When I got to college, I played left, third, second and DH'd a little bit. My sophmore year, two of our catchers got hurt and they asked me if I could catch. I said ‘Yeah, I will try it', and it was kind of the perfect role for me.
InsideTheDome: That is not an easy transition to make. How did you make it work out?
Brian Bormaster: From January and the time that I got back to school until the season started, every single day I really worked with my assistant coach. He had also made the transition when he got to pro ball so he worked with me a ton. It was a little shaky in the beginning but after that it just seemed like it clicked for me and it felt like that is where I was supposed to be. There was talk out of high school that I may have gotten drafted and they would have moved me to catcher so they saw the future. It just happened a little later than I thought.
InsideTheDome: What do you think made people look at you and decide you were a catcher. Was it your arm strength, your footwork around second or something else?
Brian Bormaster: I'm good defensively. Around second base I was always solid. I just didn't have the range anymore. I wasn't as fast, so they put me at third for a little bit and I played there alright. I got lucky because our catchers did go down and I was the only one that they thought really could catch so it worked out for me.
InsideTheDome: With the draft having wrapped up just recently, can you tell me what your draft experience was like looking back on that time for you?
Brian Bormaster: It was unbelievable. I really didn't know if I was going to get drafted. I talked to the Blue Jays a little bit and one other team. Before a game I was down in the cages hitting with the assistant coach and we got a call down there they go ‘You got drafted'. I was like, wow. I was very surprised. I actually went higher than where I thought that I would go. The 26th round was great for me because my numbers were good, not great. It was exciting. I definitely celebrated that night.
InsideTheDome: The one thing that I have noticed in watching how you go about your business Brian is that you seem to enjoy every experience of the game more than a lot of players I have watched at this level. It just seems that you enjoy everything about the game from warming up to talking to us press guys after the game and it doesn't seem to matter whether things are going good or going bad.
Brian Bormaster: I learned when I was young that the more you beat up on yourself and the more that you don't have fun, the worse you're going to do. It wasn't going to help me to sulk all the time and get mad at myself because I was hitting .150. I have to enjoy that I'm getting the chance to play and have a good time. This is what every kid dreams to do, getting the chance to play professional baseball. We're a very small percentage of the population that get chance to do this and I cherish every moment that I get to do it.
InsideTheDome: You have had a chance to catch all of these guys now and for a majority of the staff, this is your second season catching them. Do you feel you know what each guy likes to do in certain situations and what their strengths are?
Brian Bormaster: I kind of pride myself on catching and taking care of my pitchers. I get in the game and I see what is working for them that day and we go with that. All of the pitchers have good stuff and good command. It makes it easy most of the time. When I'm calling a game we work together. They have confidence in me and I have confidence in them and it kind of flows pretty smooth for us. They make it really easy.
InsideTheDome: Is there anyone on the staff that give you trouble while catching?
Brian Bormaster: My first year I would have, but now I've been to two instructional leagues, two spring trainings, three years so I've seen it all. Kristian Bell has really good stuff. He throw's hard and he can be difficult to catch, but I'm so used to him now that it just comes second nature to me. They are making it really easy though because they are around the zone most of the time and it's fun to do.
InsideTheDome: When you get down to spring training, do you try and line yourself up with some of the major league guys like Greg Zaun or this year Bengie Molina just to watch how they go about their business?
Brian Bormaster: Actually this year I got a chance to go to a big league spring training game. I didn't get a chance to catch, but I did get an at bat. I did get a chance to catch in the bullpen and talk to some big league pitchers and catchers. They come to the minor league spring training every once in a while just to hang out with us and we get a chance to see how they go about their business. Another thing is that they are always positive. They realize that this is a game and they are having fun doing it and I think that that is the most important thing in baseball. Just having fun and enjoying what you are doing. I also want to say that Mike Basso (Syracuse manager) has just been unbelievable. He works with us in instructional league on our catching. He was a catch guy. He never did great but he was a solid catcher. He has helped me and all the catchers a ton in this organization.
InsideTheDome: Last question Brian. I got a chance to talk to you a bit in Dunedin during spring training this year and one of the questions that I asked you were if you had established any goals. At the time you said that you really hadn't and I think you were mainly focused on getting into game shape and focusing on making a full season team. With that behind you, have you had a chance to establish any goals?
Brian Bormaster: Really, I have learned my role as a catcher in this organization. I'm not a front line guy you know. I go out there and I am known for my catching. I accept my role as a backup. It is valuable throughout the organization if they need me, they can use me. I can't put too much pressure on myself hitting and I can't put too much pressure on myself doing anything really. I just go out there and I try to take care of my business. I don't really set goals, I just try to go out there, play hard and do the best that I can.
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