A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to talk with shortstop Mitchell Walding, who was drafted by the Phillies in the fifth round of the 2011 draft. There weren’t many scouting reports on him, so my interview with him was more about getting to know Walding as a player. After the jump, Walding discusses his experience being drafted, his abilities on the field, and a potential move to third base.
Mitchell Walding: I feel my style of game is quite unique. I am a person that absolutely hates to lose and I’m extremely competitive, always wanting to be the guy to make the big play and be a game changer.
PO: What do you think your biggest strength is?
MW: I’d say my biggest strength is being able to hit the ball to the opposite field very well. I can spread my hits throughout the whole field.
PO: How about your biggest weakness? What are you doing to improve it?
MW: My biggest weakness was my power. I Never really had a lot of home runs because I wasn’t too strong [in high school], however this offseason I’ve already went [in size] from 185 to 205 pounds by working in the weight room, and I still have another month and a half of lifting!
MW: There are actually two players I feel like I’m like. First is the Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, because we have a similar body type and play shortstop. Second is Chase Utley because he is the person i model my swing after. His swing is short and compact straight to the ball. I’d have to say that I’m kind of a mix between the two.
PO: You’re a bigger player, at 6’4 205, and scouting reports indicate that you can hit with power. With your size and hitting, do you see yourself staying at shortstop, or do you think you’ll move to third base at some point?
MW: I realize 6’4 is not the typical size for a shortstop, and I have already started to learn third base a bit. If i continue to play shortstop that’d be great but playing third is fine too. Whatever gets me to the Big Leagues faster is ultimately what it comes down to.