Headlined by Jose Bautista, the Toronto Blue Jays have become known in recent years as a power hitting team, finishing in the top 5 in the American league in home runs in each of the past 3 seasons. With their impressive collection of hitters, there is no indication that they are going to let up any time soon. Helping preserve that dominance will be continuing to replenish the lineup from young players within the organization. Brad Glenn is one of the young sluggers making his way through the Toronto system, and has the power to pound balls to the farthest reaches of the Rogers’ Centre.
Glenn is a right-handed hitting outfielder who was taken by the Blue Jays in the 23rd round of the 2009 MLB Draft. Fresh off a decorated career at Tulsa Union High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Glenn enrolled at the University of Arizona and immediately became a star. In 2006, his first season, he hit a team leading 10 home runs and emerged as a leader on the team. He got better with each season, and in 2008, following his junior season, he was drafted by the Oakland A’s but decided to return for his final collegiate season. Oakland’s loss turned out to be Toronto’s gain, as Glenn signed quickly and began his professional career after the 2009 draft.
Glenn has done exactly what every team hopes of their prospects; he has gotten better and been promoted each year he has spent in the minors. In 2011 he played for Dunedin in High-A, and hit .263 with 26 home runs and 80 RBI in 111 games. He needs to cut back on his strikeouts, but his power potential makes him one of the best young sluggers in the minor leagues. More information about his statistics is available here.
It looks like Glenn will start 2012 in Double-A, and if he continues his track record of incremental improvement he will soon be on the threshold of the major leagues. Prior to leaving for spring training this year, Glenn took some time to chat with me about life in baseball. If you are curious to know more about the promising slugger you can also follow him on Twitter. He is a good bet to be among the home run leaders in the minor leagues and is certainly a player worth watching.
Brad Glenn Interview:
Who were your favorite team and player growing up and why?: My favorite team growing up was the Atlanta Braves, but this was not by choice. My grandparents are from Georgia, and every Christmas they would get me an Atlanta Braves team baseball card set, and all my grandma talked about were the Braves. This made me fall in love with the Braves. You could literally pick anyone from the ‘90s Braves’ teams, and I would probably say they were my favorite player as a kid; that’s how much I liked them.
What coach or manager has been most influential on you so far?: All the coaches I have had in my career have made me a better player on the field and better person off the field in some way. The manager that has been the most influential on my baseball career however is Sal Fasano, manager of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Sal was the manager of my first full season team, Lansing Lugnuts, and it was his first year managing as well. Since Sal had just finished his playing career, I felt as if he connected with the players more than any manager I have had. I look up to Sal for being a great person and great baseball mind.
Can you run through what your draft experience was like with Toronto?: There was not much to my draft experience with the Jays. I was a senior sign, so it was either go play baseball or hang ‘em up. I am grateful, however, that the Jays gave me a chance to further my baseball career.
What led you to decline signing with Oakland after the 2008 draft?: At the time I felt the money they were offering was not enough to miss out on my senior year of college and getting that much closer to my degree.
Do you have a favorite moment from your playing career?: Throughout a season there are many great moments that come and go that define a team and a player individually. These moments are what make baseball such a great sport to play. There are too many to select a single one because they were all the greatest moments at that particular time. Individually the greatest moments have been the honors that are received, whether it be player of the week or announced to an all star team.
How difficult is it to balance marriage and the travel and work schedule of a professional baseball player?: It is very difficult not being with my wife all the time during season, but I would be lying if I said anything else is difficult for me. For her, it must be a never-ending season of difficulties. She makes sure all the laundry is done, that the apartment is always clean, and most importantly, that I am fed at all times. On top of all of this, she has to deal with the ups and downs of a season, whether it be me struggling at the plate or our team struggling to win games. We are a team, but she carries the team.
How much thinking/planning/dreaming do you do about a major league career?: All day, every day. This is what I have been playing for my whole life, so it is what I think about every day when I’m in the gym in the offseason or on the field during season.
What is the best piece of baseball related advice you have ever received?: My father-in-law, who I greatly respect, said this to me; ‘Tough times don’t last, tough people do.’ This relates to all facets of life and especially baseball.