Getting to Know the M-Braves: Phil Gosselin
This is the first installment of our “Getting to Know the M-Braves” series. Second baseman Phil Gosselin is the lucky player that got to go first. Gosselin, 24, is batting .247 with 7 runs batted in and 11 runs scored so far this season for the M-Braves. He was drafted in the 5th round of the 2010 MLB Draft by the Braves out of the University of Virginia.
Did you have any childhood heroes as you were growing up learning to play baseball?
My favorite player growing up was Scott Rolen. Being from near Philadelphia he was kinda the man there for a little bit before he left. But he was definitely one of my favorite players growing up. I also liked Alex Rodriguez too, back when he was with the Mariners. Those two guys that I really liked watching growing up.
Has there ever been anyone you tried to model your style of play after?
I guess as I got older I really liked the way Chase Utley played the game. Growing up a Phillies fan watching him play on TV, he always played really hard. That’s the biggest thing, always playing hard every time out there. You might not be having a good game, but give it your all and hustle on and off the field, stuff like that. So I guess I kind of got that from him.
What is your favorite baseball memory?
I guess probably playing in the College World Series in college. That was pretty cool. We were the first team in Virginia history to go to there and that’s something nobody can ever take away from us so it’s a great experience.
You mention the College World Series, you actually hit a homerun off Stephen Strasburg that brought about a little fame and notoriety, what was that like?
It was the first game of our regional and our first tough matchup, obviously, facing the best pitcher in the country. I was able to jump on a first pitch and get a one to nothing lead in the first inning and it kinda took off from there. So it was pretty cool. I heard from a lot of people that I hadn’t heard from for a while, sending me text messages and saying congrats. It’s always cool to know there are people out following you and rooting you on.
What did you focus on the most going into this season?
Right after last season I went down to Orlando. They brought me down there to get bigger and stronger. So that’s biggest thing. I worked hard and put on weight. I got to about 200 pounds, which is the most I’ve been. I feel good there, still feel like I can run and everything. But, that’s the biggest thing. They really wanted me to get a little stronger and more physical and that would help me out on the field.
What are some goals you have for this season?
I don’t really set numbers goals. It’s more so quality plate appearances and stuff like that. Trying to have good at bats every single time, batting average, RBI’s and all that kind of take care of themselves. That was the biggest thing, just try to be consistent and have good quality at bats, and we keep track of that. So that’s probably the most important thing to me.
Since the Birmingham series, the team has been on tear. What happened after that series?
I think it’s a combination of things. We had a meeting, talking about it was a tough series in Birmingham, and everyone has those tough series’, but we’re not going to make excuses. We’re going to come out, we’re going to work hard and go out there every day and try and win games. Sometimes it just takes a little bit for teams to kind of gel together too. A lot of the guys hadn’t played together before. So it might’ve just taken a little bit of time with that I think. For whatever reason it started clicking whenever we got back home, we’ve been on a pretty good roll ever since then.
In now your second season with the M-Braves, how do you view your role on the team?
Being around for a little bit and knowing the area, I know some of the teams, some of the pitchers, things like that. So I do have some insight on some of the guys that we play against. I’m pretty good at remembering pitchers and scouting reports, so I try to help guys out with what we’re going to see from different pitchers if we haven’t faced them before. Batting out of the leadoff hole, I’m just trying to get on base any way I can, try and get on there for the guys behind me. Being the leadoff guy is the biggest thing so far.
What is your favorite city to play in so far?
I got to play in Myrtle Beach a little bit my first year, before we switched to Lynchburg. So going there was pretty cool, being right near the beach and everything. So that’s probably one of the best minor league cities out there. I really enjoyed playing there.