Welcome everyone to another “Project Prospect” interview.
If you are new to what Project Prospect is, it is a full interview segment that tells stories about prospects in Major League Baseball’s minor league system’s. The prospects will join an site reporter and talk about their baseball days growing up, in high school and college as well as talking about their MLB Draft process. This will be an ongoing segment on the website. If you are a Minor League Baseball prospect and would love to get featured in an interview please contact us on Twitter @365SportsNet.
Justin David Kish: Thank you so much for your time Nick, I want to jump right into your draft process. After a very successful high school baseball career you were eligible for the 2013 MLB Draft but also you had offers from top colleges from around the United States. What was your college recruitment like? What colleges were interested in you?
Nick Longhi: I was fortunate enough to get a lot of college attention and received letters from lots of D1 schools…the final three that it came down to were MIAMI, FSU, and LSU.
Justin David Kish: You made the decision to go ahead and get declare for the MLB rather than head to Louisiana and play for LSU. Why did you decide to go that route?
Nick Longhi: It was not an easy decision by any means, but it was a good problem to have…either play for my favorite college team that I had always cheered for, or play for my favorite professional team I cheered for ever since I can remember. It was the hardest decision I ever had to make but so far it all seems to be working out.
Justin David Kish: During the MLB Draft process what teams did you speak to? What teams had interest in you during this process?
Nick Longhi: I spoke to quite a few teams and had a good amount of workouts and home visits and out of any team I spoke to, the Red Sox actually seemed the least interested…maybe that’s a strategy of theirs.
Justin David Kish: During the 2013 MLB Draft you were selected in the 30th round by the Boston Red Sox. What was your draft day experience like?
Nick Longhi: Well, draft day certainly wasn’t how I imagined it would be, as every kid hopes to go on Day One, but I was given the opportunity to play for my favorite team and that is something I am thankful for every day.
Justin David Kish: Every player that has been drafted has really came along way from growing up playing stickball in the backyard to high school baseball to college or being drafted out of high school. They follow this road to play professional sports. What was it like signing your first professional contract and that being with a historical franchise, the Boston Red Sox?
Nick Longhi: When I signed, I was obviously happy to be playing for my favorite team and if anyone but the Sox drafted me in the same spot I probably would have been at LSU…it’s amazing to play for such a great organization (my personal favorite) and they take great care of their players!
Justin David Kish: You are currently a rising star in the Red Sox farm system. What is very special about you is that you are multi-position player, playing both first and the outfield. Since being drafted have you found your main stay position or are you continuing to play both first and the outfield?
Nick Longhi: I’m not sure if I have a permanent position yet and that’s up to the organization to decide…if I stay at one spot or if I continue to play multiple positions, whatever they ask me to do, I’ll do.
Justin David Kish: You have been in the minors the past couple of seasons, how has that transition from playing high school ball to now playing professional ball?
Nick Longhi: I’d have to say the hardest part of transitioning into pro ball, aside from the level of competition is the amount of games we play and the toll it takes on you physically. It really shows you that you need to take care of your body better than ever before.
Justin David Kish: You have played four seasons so far in the minor leagues and has been coached by the best baseball has to offer. You have been coached by Nelson Paulino, Angel Berroa and Lee May. What have you learned under the tutelage of these coaches?
Nick Longhi: You know, it’s nice having guys like them to learn from because they have been there…they have played and aside from any mechanical things they can help with, they are also able to coach you through the times when you are struggling and use their own experiences as examples on how to power through it. They don’t hit the panic button, they’re able to keep us calm and pass on their knowledge and make us better.
Justin David Kish: It is now 2016 and you are currently with the Salem Red Sox. What are we to expect from Nick Longhi going forward down the line of his career?
Nick Longhi: It’s hard to say but you can expect me to control how hard I work and push to be a better player each day.
Justin David Kish: Lastly, we can never predict on when prospects will make their MLB debut. But I want to ask you when do you see yourself making your MLB debut? When do you think you will be ready?
Nick Longhi: Well every kid wants to go to the bigs out of high school, but that’s not realistic, and as far as a debut, that’s not up to me that’s up to the organization and when they think I’m ready, I’ll be ready.