(Photo courtesy of Trenton Thunder)
Trenton Thunder third baseman Rob Segedin has been one of the Eastern League’s hottest hitters early in the 2013 season. After Monday’s victory, he has hit safely in seven of his last eight games, and has recorded multiple hits in each of his last four games. Segedin’s .333 batting average is second among Trenton regulars, and he currently leads the team in doubles with five. With a steady role at third base and a new look at the Double-A level, Segedin is poised to break out in 2013 and put himself squarely in the discussion for a promotion by mid-season. I got a chance to sit down with the New Jersey native prior to Saturday’s game and discuss a variety of topics regarding the 2013 season.
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You struggled a bit upon getting to Trenton last season. What did you change in your offseason approach to prepare for coming back to Trenton for another year?
It was a whole learning process last year. Coming up here is a little bit more competition than High-A, and it was just whatever I learned from the daily grind up here, and going at-bat to at-bat and preparing and planning has helped have the most success possible.
You were invited to Spring Training for the first time this year. How was the experience, and did you take any lessons away from it?
Oh, yeah. Just watching those guys go about their daily business, all the preparation for them to get ready, it’s a great learning experience. Even if you’re not getting the reps over there, just to be over there and be in the same clubhouse, have conversations with those guys, talk the game of baseball, it’s a big help for my career.
Did the team change anything mechanically in your swing?
Ah, no. This offseason, I changed, uh, last season I experimented with a little leg kick and had a lot of early success with it and then not as much. I kinda just went back to how I hit when I got drafted and (in) the first year of professional baseball.
Do nights like Friday night where you had a big hit (in the seventh) and times like now where you’ve hit safely in [seven out of the last eight] games build even more confidence in you?
Yeah, I mean, the game changes every day and you’re gonna have ups and downs over the course of the whole season, but you just try to keep the ups higher than the downs. When you have a bad day, you have to come back to the ballpark the next day and be ready to go.
Last year you were bouncing around a bit between third and left and right when you got up here. Does having a steady position this year really make a difference for you?
It’s not really a difference, but it’s good to know that I’ll be sticking at third base and getting reps at third because that’s where I feel most comfortable playing. Skip’s always telling me ‘be ready to play outfield’ and you know, if the team needs me in a pinch, I can still go out there and be comfortable out there as well.
What are your expectations going forward this year, not just for yourself but for this team?
We got a real good club here, we have the capability of getting back into the playoffs and this year hopefully taking it home. Personally, I just want to get better at all aspects of my game. I’ve tried to solidify myself at third base and defensively there, and have a big year offensively and help this team win.
Last year, you had a chance to play all the way into the Eastern League Championship Series. You grew up on championship teams…was it the same type of feeling for you, the same level of excitement?
Whenever you’re in the playoffs, it’s like a clean season with a lot of excitement and a lot of energy. Growing up, I always played on winning teams, and it never gets old. You’re always going to have that excitement.
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Follow Dan on Twitter at @danpfeiffer74.