Darin Mastroianni Interview:

Another exclusive!

Our comrade Jay Ballz over @ PhoulBallz requested a couple of players we would like to hear from in AA.  We thought long and hard about it and although Tim Collins and Danny Farquhar were on the list, we couldn't pass up the chance to hear from a guy that doesn't receive the type of press that we think he should.

Darin Mastroianni is one of the reasons why we let Joey Gathright walk in Spring Training.  His speed is off the charts and we here at 1bluejaysway love that part of the game.  It has been 10 years since we had a true threat on the basepaths and we miss seeing the pressure that players like Darin put on the defense.  Now that the big club acquired / stole Fred Lewis from the Giants, Darin's path to the bigs may be slowed down a little.  No matter, we still have a lot of love for the man who we feel will eventually replace Vernon in centrefield.....

Once again, thanks to Jay for his efforts on this one.  Truly an insightful interview.

Darin, you had a big year with steals last season.  Please talk a bit about your success with the speed...

I feel very blessed and fortunate to be able to run like this.  I'm fortunate, I was given that tool and that ability.  Obviously, I love stealing bases.  It's an asset that I enjoy having and I just keep trying to make it work, not only for me, but to help the team.  It can get the guys behind me more fastballs, and maybe make the pitcher slide step more and be more erratic to the plate.

Is there any part of your stealing approach that is less speed related and more cerebral?  Is there anything you look for when picking your spots?

You just kind of watch the pitcher and see what they're doing with guys on base.  You just kind of get the times on them, remember what kind of (pick off) move they have, how many looks they give you...
You know, it's just a reaction thing, pretty much.  As soon as that leg goes, you're off and you let everything else fall into place.

What aspects of your game are you working on improving?

Yeah, this hitting isn't going well right now.  Obviously, I didn't get off to the start that I would have liked.  Leading off, striking out, just really not hitting the ball the way I'd have liked to start the season.  But it's a long season and I feel good at the plate.  I'll keep grinding away with this swing and you always gotta make adjustments throughout the year.  You get 500-600 at bats and you're gonna hit the ups and downs and you just try to minimize those downs the best you can.

What has your experience with New Hampshire been like so far?

I've been fortunate.  I was here for half the year last year and I'm fortunate to come back this year.  It's just a great place to play.  We have a great stadium, a great fan base.  They make it really easy to play.  You come to the field, you know you'll have a lot of fans there to support you.  They care about you.  It's a fun place to play.  It's always nice and you really look forward to being home at the park.

There's a lot of BLOG LOVE surrounding you right now.  How would you react to that sort of positive feedback that you get from great sites like 1 Blue Jays Way?

You know, it's nice.  It's encouraging when people are saying nice things about you.  It helps, you feel good.  Ultimately, they're not the ones who make the decisions and they're not the ones that have to go out there and do it.  Obviously, it's better to have them say nice things than to be ripping me than to tell me I suck and I shouldn't be here and all this stuff.  Last year's in the past and this year's what it is, ya know, and you have to keep playing and try to help the team win.  And I feel like if you're really trying to help the team win, everything's going to fall into place.

Which pitcher would you most like to face some day?

I would say AJ Burnett, because if you get on base, he's pretty slow to the plate.

Who was your favorite player growing up?

I was a New York boy, so Derek Jeter.  How do you not like Jeter growing up in New York?  But, as I got older, I really liked watching Jose Reyes play.  Just anyone with speed, I'd just watch these guys and be like, "Wow, look how they can effect the game."  I enjoyed watching how they could make an impact on the game so quickly.

What was your favorite baseball movie?

I'd have to go with "The Sandlot".  It is just classic.  I feel like that's kinda the way I started playing when I was a kid.  Just playing that backyard baseball.  Being able to run, I was always a big fan of Benny the Jet.  It's just a classic.


To see our latest interview with Darin click here!


  1. Other than the name I wasn't at all familiar with this guy so it's awesome to learn a little. Hope his bat heats up cuz it's difficult to steal bases if you aren't hitting.

  2. Mattt,

    His on base percentage last year was .372 in AA.
    This year he is at .363

    Good numbers for a speedster, hence the love from us. He also uses his legs to play great defense from what we have heard. Keep an eye on him.

  3. Good. The way he made it sound he hasn't been hitting...

  4. I think he is just disappointed with the hit totals 19 in 76 at bats and average .250
    The walks and steals are still there.

  5. He sure as hell is hitting now - and stealing and scoring