Quick – Who holds the Blue Jays’ franchise records for most home runs in a season by a catcher? Who hit a bomb on the first pitch he saw in the big leagues and then followed it up with a single, double and another bomb in the same game? And who recently hung out with NextLevelBallplayer.com to talk baseball? Of course the correct answer to all these questions is JP Arencibia.
Many thanks to JP for taking some time to sit down with NLB before one of his intense off season workouts at D1 Nashville (minutes after the interview he was taking a sledge hammer to a huge truck tire!). In the video below we touch on: the toughest adjustments to make in college and minor league baseball, how he has learned to handle high expectations and external pressure, why hitting slumps are all mental, how he keeps his mind quiet in the batter’s box and much more.
Ballplayer: JP Arencibia
High School: Westminster Christian (Miami, FL)
College: University of Tennessee
Draft: 1st round by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2007
MLB Debut: 8/7/2010 with the Blue Jays
The video is about 14 minutes long. If you prefer skipping to questions of interest, the interview outline is below. (I would love to hear feedback from you guys about ways to make interviews better. Thanks!)
0:31 – What is one baseball related lesson you learned early on that has led to your success?
1:05 – What’s the hardest adjustment to college baseball for you as a freshman at the University of Tennessee? (hint: academics is involved!)
2:48 – Hardest adjustment when getting to the minor leagues?
4:20 – How to handle high expectations and external pressure?
6:05 – How do you get out of slumps? (Hint: It’s MENTAL!)
7:20 – JP’s hitting routine from the dugout to the batters box
8:22 – How do you actually quiet your mind in the batter’s box? (Hint: Breathing)
9:18 – How do you “refocus” after a bad strike call by an umpire or missing a pitch you should have crushed?
11:05 – Hitting for power and his approach at the plate
12:03 – Main advice to aspiring ballplayers who want to get better