Despite putting together a nice season last year at Kane County and playing with the Daytona Cubs this year, Bijan Rademacher is one of the Cubs' most underrated prospects. I recently got the chance to touch base with him to discuss his background and experience thus far in the minors.I really appreciate the time Bijan gave me during the season hope you enjoy the interview Cubs fans.
RW: Can you give us a little background on yourself? Where did you play high school and college baseball?
BR: I went to Canyon High School in Anaheim Hills, CA. My freshmen year, I attended Cal State Fullerton on a baseball scholarship but redshirted that year. I then transferred to Orange Coast College in Newport Beach, CA.
RW: How did you decide to focus on being a position player rather than a pitcher?
BR: When I was growing up my favorite player was Ken Griffey, Jr. Everything he did I copied. From the way he wore his hat to his stance in the box. So from an early age I just wanted to be an outfielder in the Major Leagues. When draft time came around I knew I wanted to be an outfielder if a team was willing to give me a shot. I believe in myself and want to prove that I can play.
RW: Would you say you had a hot start? What was working in April?
BR: Yeah, you can say I had a hot start, but I believe that once I get more consistent with my swing and approach, that's the type of hitter I can be. In April I wasn't really thinking, I was just hitting everything up in the zone, going gap-to-gap and, most importantly, seeing the ball really well.
RW: What's your best advice to high school and college baseball players?
BR: Trust and believe in yourself. Don't let other people tell you that you can't become a Major Leaguer. Hard work and hours of dedication go a long way in realizing your goals.
RW: Who has been your biggest mentor in the Cubs organization?
BR: I don’t know if I can single-handedly choose one person because everyone in this organization goes out of their way to help you become the player you want to be. That's why I feel blessed to be a part of this great organization, but outside of this organization my biggest mentors would be my family. They sacrifice a lot for me so that I can pursue my goals and also help me out every day.
RW: What was it like when you heard your name getting called in the MLB Draft?
BR: It was a surreal experience that I will never forget and I'm so thankful for getting the opportunity to hear my name. It was confirmation that all my hard work and dedication was paying off and that I was one step closer to my dream.
RW: What was it like being a part of the Florida State League Champions at the end of the year for the playoff run for the Daytona Cubs?
BR: Amazing!!!!I have never been a part of a team that has won a championship, so that experience was unreal. I learned a lot from the playoffs that is helping me out this year and years to come.
RW: What's the biggest difference between Midwest League and the Florida State League ?
BR: There's a few differences between the two leagues, such as pitching quality, field dimensions, travel; but the biggest difference is the weather. In the Midwest League you have to deal with the snowy climate in the beginning of the season but then it warms up, so it challenges you to fight through the cold. Then in Florida you have to deal with the humidity and then the constant rain-outs, which will play with your mental side of the game.
RW: It looks like you're having trouble stealing bases. What do you attribute that to?
BR: I haven't really attempted many stolen bases this year, mostly due to Vogy hitting behind me. I don’t think it's really smart in some situations to try to steal and roll the dice when he can use the hole and get us a into a first and third situation or hit a two-run home run instead of a solo shot. This season I have been doing more hit-and-runs and not straight steals; I think that's why on paper it would seem like I have been struggling to steal bases.
RW: You're an on-base machine and it shows with being a constant threat to score runs. What's your secret?
BR: I don’t have one (haha). I just look for a pitch in my zone until I get into two strikes and I'm confident with knowing the strike zone, along with my eyes.
Follow me on Twitter: @Rob_Willer
Thanks for reading; if you enjoyed it, please share with others. And if you'd like to be updated on my future posts, and those from the rest of the Cubs Insider team, you can subscribe below.
Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.
And be sure to like Cubs Insider on Facebook. You can also
Filed under: Interviews