As always, we do our best to collect as many interviews as possible after the draft to help you guys get to know our newest Royals prospects. It’s been a little slow this year, but Tyler Tolbert, an outfielder from UAB, was kind enough to give us some time to help Royals fans get to know him a bit.
Q: Start off telling us where you’re from, where you went to school, and how/when you started playing baseball?
Tyler: “I am from Trussville, Alabama. I attended high school at Hewitt-Trussville High School. For my college career, I attend the University of Alabama – Birmingham. I started playing baseball at the age of 3. My parents said that I was always running around with a baseball in the house so then they decided to sign me up for little league baseball.”
Q: The Royals love guys that can run. How does it feel to be drafted into an organization that’s going to put a premium on your speed?
Tyler: “It is amazing to be drafted into an organization that perfectly fits my style of play. I can just be myself and play my game and the rest will take care of its self.”
Q: What’s your favorite/best position to play in the OF?
Tyler: “Centerfield is my favorite position to play in the outfield. It allows me to be the commander of the outfield and utilize my speed and athleticism to track down balls and make spectacular plays.”
Q: Brewer Hicklen gave us a pretty good scouting report of you. Tell us about yourself as an offensive player. Things you can work on, what you’re best at, etc.
Tyler: “On offense, I am trying to get on base any type of way and is a very tough out at the plate. If I reach base then our chances of scoring become really high. I like to make things happen on the bases. Which can be stealing bases, going from 1st to 3rd, or even scoring from first from an extra-base hit. I need to work on being more consistent at the plate rather than a streaky hitter and also I need to work on hitting for a little bit of more power.”
Q: If Tyler Tolbert makes it to the big leagues some day, what will be the reason why? Why will we look back and say, “Of course that kid made it.” ?
Tyler: “I am a very hard worker that loves the game and loves his teammates. I like to be a high energy guy on the field and a selfless person in the locker room whom my teammates love being around.”
The Royals have been known for their speed over the last 5-6 years. With prospects like Nick Heath, DJ Burt, Khalil Lee, Tyler James and co. wreaking havoc on minor league base paths, Tyler Tolbert feels like he’s next in line. I’m excited to watch this kid get after it. As a junior at UAB, Tyler stole 41 bases in 47 games and walked in 13.7% of his PA. Tolbert already has a pair of walks and a stolen base in two games for the AZL Royals.
Photo Credits: UAB Baseball