David Fletcher has long been a friend of Halos Heaven. He’s done multiple interviews and helped out on a story I wrote for Father’s Day about his dad.
Having met David at both Moving Day and a recent Spring Training trip, I can say he’s a genuinely nice, humble guy. He signs autographs for kids, he shakes hands, he’s the kind of guy fans should be happy to see succeed.
The hometown kid has made it to the hometown team. Back at home after Spring Training, David was nice enough to spend a few minutes reflecting on his MLB call up and more insights into his game.
Here’s the transcript of that call:
Thanks for the time again, we really appreciate it. You’ve been a guest here every year since you’ve been drafted, right?
Last year we talked and about a week and a half later you got promoted to the big league club.
How did you find out you were being promoted?
“Our Triple A manager called me. We had an off day and we had a flight that night so I was actually by the pool with the family I was staying with and I got the call then.”
Nice. I didn’t realize you guys still stayed with host families in Salt Lake.
“Oh, we don’t. I just happened to know a family that lived in the area and they had an extra room. So it was kind of a lucky break for me, I guess.”
Definitely. So you get the call, you hop on a flight, you make it to Seattle. Your first hit was a triple and you’re standing on base like you’ve hit 50 Major League triples before. Had it not sunk in yet or were you just so locked in to focusing on your job?
“[Chuckles] I think you just get...well for me at least I get focused on what I’m doing and not a lot of other things can distract me at that time. But I think looking back now it was definitely a really cool moment for me.”
So when did it sink in? After the game? At the hotel that night? When did you just go ‘wow’?
“Probably half way through the game and then after the game. It kind of sunk in that I was finally playing in the big leagues.”
You’re a humble guy but I’m going to publicly thank you for answering a couple of questions for me for the article I wrote about your dad that night. I know that was a huge day for you and I really appreciate you taking a couple of minutes out of that day.
Speaking of which, how is your dad?
“He’s doing great.”
“That was a really cool article. Thanks for doing that.”
Any time. Speaking of really cool things, I saw you at Spring Training this year and you immediately walked over to a group of kids and started signing baseballs. Is that something that you’ve always done, is that something the team focuses on, or is that more of a personal thing?
“For me its kind of hard not to sign, especially when there’s kids out there asking for my autograph. Its really hard for me to say no to that.
Definitely something the team focuses on too. Without the fans we wouldn’t be able to do what we do and I think its really important to appreciate them.”
You were also out at Fanfest at Moving Day and you had quite the long line? How was that experience for you, being the hometown guy on the hometown team?
“For me its really cool to see how many fans I’ve gotten over the last year and it kind of makes me really appreciative and kind of gives me a little extra motivation to make the fans happy.”
And you’ve definitely picked up a lot of fans here on Halos Heaven. Just for coming on and saying ‘hey’ and letting them get to know you a little bit.
I also know you like to focus on baseball. This year you showed up to Spring Training basically with a Major League job for the taking. Was your approach any different this year than it was in previous years?
“Not really. Kind of try to have the same approach every year. I try to come in ready to go every Spring Training and use Spring Training to get ready for the regular season and try to win a job and help the team in any way I can.”
So you still felt like you were fighting for a job when you showed up in Tempe in February?
“Yeah, I think I’ll always kind of feel like that.”
Nice. I like that. You showed up in Spring Training and had a rough first couple of weeks. But in the last couple of weeks you’ve heated up offensively. Did you change something halfway through Spring Training, were you tinkering with something, or is that just the way baseball goes?
“I was working on some little things offensively. And about halfway through Spring Training I kind of went back to what I do best and I felt good the last half of Spring. I felt like I was swinging the bat pretty well.”
The results are like night and day.
Is that really common for guys to be tinkering with things the first couple of weeks of Spring Training?
“I think so. Along with trying to get the timing back, that’s probably the bigger thing.
I think everyone tries to spend the off season getting better at something and its kind of a good test run in Spring Training, I think.”
And last night [Monday] against the Dodgers you did an absolute Rod Carew perfect placement of the ball to drive in a run. I love that type of small ball. Is that something that we can continue expecting from you?
“Yeah, I think a big part of my game is handling the bat and bat control. Obviously I want to produce extra base hits and get on base, but when they’re giving me something I like to take what they give me.”
They were giving it to you and you just went with it.
It was perfect. I love that because there’s nothing the defense can do about it.
You didn’t crush it, you just placed it where there was nobody and got the run in. I’m old enough to remember when that was more looked up to than striking out trying to hit a home run.
We talked about the bat but what has really gotten you a lot of attention is your glove. You can play shortstop in Major League baseball and you’ve played a lot of second and third Do you have a spot you prefer?
“If you’d have asked me that a year or two ago I probably would have said short and second are the two I’m most comfortable at but I definitely feel more comfortable at third now and I can honestly say all three feel equally comfortable for me now.”
The throws are all different from those three. Are you comfortable enough at all three that you no longer think about it you can just play?
“Yeah, for sure.”
I read that they were going to work you more in the outfield in Spring Training and you got some work there, right?
“I played a couple of games in left field in Spring Training. I got three starts out there.”
How do you like being out on the outfield grass?
“It takes a little getting used to but I’ve taken a lot of balls in batting practice and the couple of games I played in Spring Training I got some balls so I’m definitely more comfortable out there than I was before.”
I know you have a game tonight and need to get going, but thanks again for the time. We appreciate it.
“Of course, any time.”
Thanks again and good luck on the season.
“Thanks, appreciate it.”