Cleat Geeks

My Interview with Blaise Salter

After picking off a base runner in the 9th inning and preserving their victory over Northwestern on Sunday afternoon at Surprise Recreational Campus in surprise Arizona, I was surprised. College baseball teams tailgate. Yes, I am serious they tailgate, and they invite the team over for food and soft drinks and sometimes they even invite members of the press too.

Michigan State 1st baseman/catcher Blaise Salter.

Michigan State 1st baseman/catcher Blaise Salter.

While I was there I took the time to interview the player who hit the biggest fly ball of the tournament, even if it was foul, Michigan State Catcher and 1st baseman Blaise Salter. He has absolute power as confirmed by the monster shot he hit off a change up that on a line sailed clear out of the ball park and into the parking lot to the left of the left field foul pole. Last year Blaise Led the team and ranked third in the Big Ten with 50 RBIs. He ranked second on the team in batting average (.317)  and his 22 doubles were the most in the Big Ten all while recording a hit in 44 of 57 games.

Michael Ballentine- This is the start of your senior season, so tell me the best thing to happen to you in your first 3 seasons at Michigan State?

Blaise Salter- Probably during my freshman year when we were selected to go to X Game Regionals, I hope we get selected to back there again this year.

Me- You are on some of the different top 100 prospects lists for college players being considered for this years MLB draft, how does that make you feel?

Blaise- All of that is good, but I would rather have team success. I want to be able to win the Big Ten Championship this year. We have not had a chance to win that since I have been here. And I would like to be part of the team that changes that in my senior season.

Me- So then your more about the team as a whole than you as an individual?

Blaise- Of course you win and loose as a team and this year I think we have a chance to win much more often than we loose.

Me- So currently you play 1st base and catcher, which one of those positions do you prefer?

Blaise Salter celebrates with teammates after another home run .

Blaise Salter celebrates with teammates after another home run .

Blaise- It does not matter to me. I like catching because you control everything, and I like playing 1st base as well. Basically, whatever the team needs me to play on a given day I am happy to do.

Me- I was directly behind home plate yesterday watching you catch. You are listed at 6 foot 5 inches tall and 245 pounds. Do you think you are to big to catch long term?

Blaise- I know it is not the norm now a days but I embrace it and I enjoy doing it. Plus, there are and have been some catchers my size in the past in the majors who have done it, so it is not unheard of.

Me- As far as hitting goes, would you rather hit one down the left field line and drive in 2, or take that slow walk around the pillows after crushing one over the fence?

Blaise- I would rather hit the double and drive in the extra RBI to give my team the chance to win.

Me- Again since this is your senior season, what are you looking forward to when you get out of college?

Blaise- I want to make sure that I get my degree, which I will finish up in December. And hopefully I will get the chance to play at the next level. And looking further down the road I think I would like to be a baseball coach somewhere.

Me- So what is your degree in?

Blaise- Sociology

Me- Last question as we wrap things up and I thank you for your time. Today you get a win on a big play in the 9th inning against Northwestern. Yesterday you guys tie the game in the ninth yet you lose to Oregon State in extra innings. Besides the fact that one was a win and one was a loss, what did these games here in Arizona mean to you and this program?

Blaise- Yesterday was a tough game and OSU is one of the better teams in the country. I think it was really good for us as a team to come out here play some really good teams on the west coast. We won today but as you said we hung tough and played hard yesterday and took OSU to extra innings so I am proud of our team for that.

Last year in his junior season with the Spartans, Blaise was the winner of the John Kobs Most Valuable Player and Kirk Gibson Offensive Player of the Year awards. He was a great to talk to and was very generous with his time. I predict that he will get a chance to play at the next level, but that he will eventually move out from behind the dish and become an everyday 1st base/ DH as he advances. We here at wish him all the luck in the world and we hope to be covering him in the big leagues in the not to distant future.


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