Welcome everyone to one of many interviews to come out of the 365SportsNetwork’s project “Project Farm System”. Joining us for the first ever prospect story is Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Levi Scott.
Prior to joining the Toronto Blue Jays, Scott was playing his college ball at UT-Arlington and had a brief stint with Howard Junior College, where at both schools he was very successful. His time in College Baseball was well received where he was solid in the field where in his 2014 season he had a team high 427 putouts and 45 fielding double plays. One of the biggest standouts in his College Baseball career was when he helped Howard Junior College to a WJCAC Championship back in 2012.
Enjoy the interview with current Toronto Blue Jays prospect, Levi Scott.
Justin David Kish: Thank you Levi for taking time to do the interview with us, how are things going for you today?
Levi Scott: Everything has been great. Just getting back into a routine at Spring Training and looking forward to the upcoming season.
Justin David Kish: Take us back to where it all started, how did baseball first been brought to your attention?
Levi Scott: Baseball for me started back when I could barely even walk. I could throw and catch shortly after I learned to walk and from there, it just took off. Using a big plastic bat and a whiffle ball in the backyard is where I fell in love with hitting.
Justin David Kish: Growing what team did you grow up watching and who was your baseball hero?
Levi Scott: I just loved to watch everyone so I guess you could say I didn’t have a favorite team or player.
Justin David Kish: Tell us about your Little League experience?
Levi Scott: My little league experience was quick. I always played ahead of my age to face better people and after just a couple of years my family and I learned about travel ball and decided to go that route.
Justin David Kish: You were a very decorative High School Baseball player at Burleson High School, tell us about your time at Burleson?
Levi Scott: My high school days were a blast. I didn’t really get a shot at varsity early on but I eventually knocked on the door enough to where I got my chance to shine and never looked back. I played with many great players who are now in the Big Leagues or are about to make it and that is the ultimate goal for all of us.
Justin David Kish: You won numerous amount of awards in High School ranging from Team MVP, All-Johnson County Pitcher of the Year and 2011 All-Johnson County Team MVP. How does it feel that all your hardwork has payed off and you were recognized for your hardwork with such awards?
Levi Scott: It feels great really. All of the awards were picked by other coaches so for them to choose me it meant a lot. Getting the chance to participate in the Power Showcase Home Run Derby was something I’ll never forget.
Justin David Kish: How did your High School coaches improve you as a player before heading off to College Baseball?
Levi Scott: My high school coaches really helped me in the stamina area of the game. Growing up I was always sick and in the hospital so going into high school I was a bit over weight, but they definitely got me in shape quick!
Justin David Kish: Before you attended UT-Arlington you were drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 21st round of the 2013 MLB Draft, what made you not want to go to the Orioles organization out of High School?
Levi Scott: Well I talked it over with my family and agent and we decided it would be better to get another season or 2 under my belt just so I’d have a better chance of staying in the game in the long run. I had a major ankle injury that year while I was playing for Howard Junior College so I didn’t play until the last 6 weeks of the season, so having another season at least would’ve helped out a lot.
Justin David Kish: Following your decision to forgo your pro career out of High School you committed to UT-Arlington. Tell us about your short-time with the UT-Arlington Baseball Team.
Levi Scott: Out of high I had scholarship offers to Weatherford College, Harvard, and nationally ranked #1 Howard Junior College. Naturally I chose Howard Collee where 2 years later I was drafted by the Orioles. After 2 years at Howard College, I then went on to play at UT Arlington. UTA was great! Playing against top competition like TCU, UT, UL Lafayette, etc. was something I’ll treasure forever. It’s not every day a ball player gets to compete against those nationally ranked schools. The coaches were there for us through good times and bad, and the new facilities are second to none. UT Arlington is definitely putting its name on the map.
Justin David Kish: What was some of your favorite memories with UT-Arlington?
Levi Scott: My favorite memories at UTA would have to be during my Junior year. Just the bond we had with each other was inseparable and the last stretch of the season was remarkable. That last stretch we went 28-3 and went on to play UL Lafayette in the Conference Championship where we lost in the last inning by 1 run.
Justin David Kish: After your College Baseball career you declared for the 2015 MLB Draft where you were drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 28th round of the draft. Tell us about your draft day experience? Were there any teams interested in you in the early rounds?
Levi Scott: Well it could’ve been better the day before I’ll say that. The 2nd day of the draft was going great up until negotiations set me back to the 3rd and final day where I was lucky enough to get picked up by the Blue Jays. If everything would’ve went smoothly I would’ve been taken in the 6-9th round by the Texas Rangers.
Justin David Kish: You are now on your Road to the Show, you have played multiple positions through out your baseball career did you ever consider changing positions?
Levi Scott: I have always thought about playing a new position. Honestly I think I’m a great first baseman, but playing in other spots helps out in the long run. I’ve heard many teams say they would like to see me play outfield, so maybe one day that’s where I’ll be, if first base isn’t where I’m supposed to be.
Justin David Kish: You currently see yourself as a member of the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays, when did you first get notified of your first Minor League assignment?
Levi Scott: As soon as I arrived at the Blue Jays Spring Training complex last season, the coaches had pretty much decided where everyone was going to play. Most of us college seniors reported to the GCL club.
Justin David Kish: Tell us about your first year in the minors in 2015?
Levi Scott: My first year was a great experience. I mean the GCL was tough for sure and everyone had said it’s the hardest league to play in, so now I’m a firm believer of that statement. It could’ve been better at the plate for me but I worked really hard this off-season to better myself. We made history for the Blue Jays Organization by obtaining the best record they’ve ever had in the GCL and made it all the way to the Championship Series against the Red Sox where we unfortunately lost.
Justin David Kish: It is a new year, a new year for baseball, what are your expectations for yourself in 2016?
Levi Scott: I expect to go out and play to my fullest potential and enjoy the moments as a Blue Jay! I trained long and hard during the off season and I’m ready to play some baseball. Wherever I end up at, I’ll be happy!
Justin David Kish: What is your current assignment heading into the 2016 year?
Levi Scott: I don’t know my team assignment yet, but I hope to start in Short-Season Vancouver this year and work my way up from there.
Justin David Kish: Before we let you go when do you expect yourself to be called to the Major League roster? What is your MLB ETA?
Levi Scott: I honestly couldn’t tell you when I’ll make it to the Big Leagues, so I’ll knock on that door when the time is right. I believe it’s about how long you stay in the game, not how quick you can get there.
Justin David Kish: What advice can you give to aspiring High School Baseball players wanting to play baseball in college and professionally?
Levi Scott: I would tell them not to over think or beat themselves up too much. Focus only on what you can control and go from there. I’ll put it like this… when you have friends over and play cards or something like that, we all trash talk and want to win in that game just like baseball, but as soon as that card game is over what happens? We all go do something different or go to the next game and forget the previous game even happened. The same thing applies to baseball. Look at it that way, whether you do good or bad, don’t punish yourself the rest of the day. Lastly I would say know what kind of player you are and stick with it. If you’re a speed guy then use it to your advantage, the power guy needs to drive in runs instead of poking at the ball trying to make contact. Know yourself and don’t sway away from that.