Royals Farm Report was able to talk with a few of the Royals prospects as they prepared for spring training this year. We hope to give you more insight into what these guys do and how they prepare for a long season. The preparation to start the 2018 season is different for many players. I was able to speak to 1st round pick from 2014 Chase Vallot about how he has prepared himself for this year’s season and big-league spring training camp.
Chase, who has received his second invitation to big league spring training, talked about how this year will be different from the year before and how he mentally and physically prepared.
What have you done to prepare yourself for this year’s season?
Chase: “Mental prepare better, a lot of working out, working out twice a day and eating healthy. Focus more, try to take care of my body right. When the time comes with baseball start hitting twice a day, a lot of things are twice a day like hitting, throwing, and working out. As the offseason starts to wind down I start to go back to once a day so right before spring training I will be ready to go.”
Have you done anything different this year that you have done years before to prepare?
Chase: “I started working out right when the season ended, versus taking some time off to let my body recover. I would typically take two weeks off and then start working out, but that kind of set me back in years past so as soon as I got home I hit the ground running and I feel better than ever.”
Has coming to early camp in January prepared you more for big league camp?
Chase: “Yes, it gives you a head start as to just sitting around and doing nothing at your house or doing whatever. You are around all the coaches and stuff so you get that little advantage vs somebody else who is not there; you get an extra set of eyes on you and if you are doing something wrong they will critique you or help you versus if you are at home you think you are doing everything right.”
Since this is your second year being invited to big league spring training, do you think you have an advantage over some of the guys, or do you think anything is going to be different from last year?
Chase: “I just feel a lot more conformable. My first year I did not know what to expect. I was the new guy, kind of like your first ever spring training from minor league baseball. You don’t know what to do, and you don’t know the schedule you’re just running around like a chicken with your head cut off. So, with this year I am more comfortable doing whatever and with being around the coaches. It is just a blessing to be there and with the guys, so much knowledge you can learn. So, last year I didn’t ask many questions I would just sit in my locker and not talk to anybody and this year I started talking to a lot more people just to pick their brains.”
Do you think your age comes into effect against the other catchers in the organization?
Chase: “I would defiantly say age is on my side. But the saying goes you don’t stay young forever. Even though age is on my side I still have to perform. I look at it like a good thing and a bad thing. A bad way in the sense that he is only 21 years old. But guys who have played in the big leagues at 19 years old. What is the difference between them and I?”
What pitcher are you more conformable catching for?
Chase: “Most comfortable would probably be Blewett (Scott Blewett), just because I have been around him for four years and I know his tendencies and what he likes to do.”
Who were you least conformable catching at first?
Chase: “Richard (Richard Lovelady) the first time I caught him, just because I didn’t know what he had and what his ball did and what movements he had. But the more I caught him during the season it became a lot easier. And that can be anybody, the first time I usually catch someone I have never caught before I am kind of like, okay what does he like to do? What does his ball do, does it cut? Does it sink? So anytime I have caught somebody for the first time it kind of a little different or a little more challenging to me to try and figure it out.”