One thing that has been mentioned is you have your limitations defensively. Do you think that is a fair assessment?
Josh Alley: I don’t think so. I guess that’s the word? I feel like defense has always been a stronger part of my game, and I feel like I got a little bit faster this year, so hopefully things will work out and I’ll get more reps in center field.
Do you believe you have to improve your agility to increase your versatility in the outfield?
Josh Alley: Yeah. I mean, anyone can afford to be quicker. It’s something that I know is my main focus this year – trying to cut down on the weight, get a step quicker, and prove to them that if they need me in center field, I’m capable to play that position.
The Padres have always considered you valuable at the plate for your ability to take pitches and do multiple things. They mentioned they could put you anywhere in the lineup and you can do some damage. How nice is it to hear something like that?
Josh Alley: It’s real nice. You know, there were a couple of years where I struggled with a foot injury. This past season, it was really nice to have a full season being healthy and showing them what I’m able to do.
You own a career on-base percentage of .393 and hit more extra base hits last year than any other season. Has it been a bit of a conscious effort to get the extra base totals up?
Josh Alley: Yeah, I think it’s just a process. Looking back, when I first came up, I thought I knew more than I did. You just pick up on little things as you go. Hopefully they’ll go up again this year.
You hit better with runners on base than with the bases empty. Is there a different mental approach you take with runners on?
Josh Alley: I try not to. I try to stay the same every at-bat, never waste any at-bat. I think something that I had to learn last year is that there are times that – I know I’m a patient hitter, but there are times when I do need to be more aggressive. If a guy’s on second base and I get a good fastball early in the count, I need to be hacking on it.
So is that something you’ve been working on? Being conscious of guys on base and making adjustments when guys are on base?
Josh Alley: I’ve been working on it and just learning. Being around Max Venable for three years and then to have an opportunity to be around TK (Terry Kennedy) last year, I just pick up as much as I can, listen to them, and try to get better every year.
So what will be a successful 2009 for Josh Alley?
Josh Alley: I don’t know. I’ve tried to keep that on my mind in the past and it just doesn’t work. Right now I’m just thankful to be healthy, I’m thankful to still be playing, and I’m going to go out there and play hard every day, and hopefully they’ll have a spot for me.
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