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Interview with Andy Jenkins


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Andy Jenkins was taken by the Marlins in the 11th round of the 2005 amateur draft. Spending his college days playing for Oregon State, Andy was named a Pac-10 Conference All-Star at first base during his senior year. He put up an impressive 2007 campaign in High-A Jupiter, and looks to start out the 2008 season in Double-A. While Andy Jenkins may not be the most talked about Marlins prospect, he provides a valuable combination of solid offense and defensive versatility. Andy was nice enough to take the time to answer a few questions via online interview.


W.L.: You showed a lot of versatility this year in Jupiter, splitting time between the outfield, catcher, first base and third base. Do you have any idea what position you?ll be seeing predominantly next year in Double-A? Do you have any preference in position?


Jenkins: There is something I enjoy about all of the positions I play. I hope and plan to contribute at all four again through this up coming season. Catching is something I really enjoy doing and think there is a lot of potential and opportunities for myself. Outfield is new as of last year and I felt relaxed and comfortable out there as the year was winding down. Overall, I have some preferences but, however I can contribute on a daily basis and whichever position helps me reach the big leagues is where I want to be.


W.L.: The jump from Low-A to High-A has historically been a problematic one for Marlins offensive prospects, yet you handled it with ease. What was the biggest adjustment you had to make in your transition to Jupiter in 2007?


Jenkins: The Florida State League is very tough. Great pitching, big parks, and very hot weather. The first month I realized was all about getting off to a slow start in April. However, I was squaring up balls and having zero results. The biggest thing for me was not panicking and trusting my abilities and knowing they will start falling, and they did. In the FSL you have to adjust to the large parks and use it to your advantage by taking what the field or pitcher is giving you.


W.L: In your first professional All-Star game this year in the Florida State League, you won the catcher?s skills challenge for throwing accuracy. You also started the game as a DH and went 1 for 4. If you had to choose, at this point in your career, would you describe yourself as more of an offensively or defensively oriented player?


Jenkins: I think because I play multiple positions people often say or may think ?he can?t find a position?. I don?t believe that?s the case for me. At this point in my career its become very important to be a very solid defensively and I plan to prove my abilities with hard work. I do think offense has gotten me to where I am . My goal defensively now is not to just play four different positions, but to play them well and make defensive impacts on games.


W.L.: Carolina looks to be your starting point next season. Many scouts have said ?If a prospect can successfully hit in Double-A, they can most likely hit Big League pitching?. What is your mindset going into the 2008 season? Especially considering the fact that you play a position (catcher) that the Marlins lack depth in at the Major League level.


Jenkins: I?m very excited about this upcoming season. Although every year is important, this year will be an important one for my career. A lot of people said the same thing about the FSL and how if you can hit there, you can hit anywhere. My mindset is no matter which league or level, it?s going to be the same, because when you can simplify things in baseball I feel the game comes easier. The rules never change. Training hard in the off-season and getting off to a good start in spring training will be important.


W.L. Last season, a few people said that despite the fact that you?re a solid player; a) You?re too old for Single-A and b) Your lack of power was a little troubling. What would you say to those who are critical of those two factors?


Jenkins: Well, I was a senior sign out of college so age was immediately a factor when I started. I know I have to prove myself at all levels given my situation, and I realize as I?m getting higher up, age will become less a factor. So the motivation is to keep grinding. Although home runs haven?t been huge for me, I still have the ability to hit them, and my power has improved even though it was hard to show by (my) numbers in the FSL. I?m confident power numbers will show up for me, but as long as I keep driving in runs, whether it?s a single, double, or home run, they are still worth the same.


W.L.: Who is the most beneficial and influential person you?ve met thus far in your professional career? and how?


Jenkins: The most influential ?people? I have met are the coordinators and head guys in the Marlins system who believe in me and see big league potential. I understand the business side of professional baseball and appreciate all who believe in me as a player. They know what it takes to get there. For them to encourage me and help me understand my role and what I need to do as a player to get to the top is very motivating and encouraging.


W.L. For those who don?t know too much about Andy Jenkins the player, how would you describe way you play the game? Can you think of any Major League player that reminds you of yourself in their style of play?


Jenkins: I think I?m someone who plays hard all the time and enjoys work ethic. I think I can make others around me better players and not only myself. I don?t know one name I could compare myself too, but possibly a versatile player where a manager has a lot of flexibility in their lineups day to day. Someone to always count on.

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