A few weeks ago I was able to talk with Cincinnati Reds third base prospect Travis ‘Moose’ Mattair. He had a real breakout season in 2012 and hopes to build upon that for 2013. You can follow him on twitter @mooser3226
RML: Since being drafted in 2007 you have seen two organizations and gone on to play college basketball. Has that journey helped your career?
Travis Mattair: It absolutely has shaped me of who I am today. Leaving baseball was the hardest decision I ever had to make. I live life one day at a time and that is what was best for me at that time in my life. I had to clear up the “what if” with basketball! I realized what I had in baseball and the great opportunities it provided me. I don’t think I would be in my position now if I hadn’t left baseball for the 2010 season. I wouldn’t change my decision, and am happy I went through that phase in my life.
RML: 2012 was a big breakout for you with career highs nearly across the board, especially in home runs. What can you attribute that to?
Travis Mattair: I attribute last year to a lot of things but most of all hard work. I continue to push myself harder every year so hopefully seasons like that will continue.
RML: Was there one game or moment that stood out from the 2012 year for you?
Travis Mattair: I wouldn’t say one game stood out to me. But I will say one moment did. I was really struggling early on in the season, playing every third day. It was really tough, with a lot of failure. I continued to press and press. Ken Griffey Sr., my manager called me into his office. He told me to get back to playing the game like a kid. “It’s a kids game” he always said. Have fun and enjoy every moment! Once I bought into that way of thinking my season turned around.
RML: What do you think are your strengths and weaknesses as a player?
Travis Mattair: My defense has always been a big strength of mine. I need to continue to work on maturing as a hitter, and taking one at bat at a time.
RML: The Cal League is known to be a hitters paradise as a league, but is there one place where you can just tell the ball flies differently?
Travis Mattair: High Desert, CA The ball doesn’t only fly there, there is a stuff wind almost every day at that ball park!
RML: What was the offseason like for you?
Travis Mattair: In the off season I really love being around my family. I try and see then every minute I possibly can, because during season I don’t get to see them very often. My brother is a personal trainer so he trained me this off season and really kicked my butt! He took a lot of pride in getting me in shape and I feel I am in great shape heading into this 2013 season.
RML: Do you have any goals set for your 2013 season?
Travis Mattair: I always have goals set for myself long term as short term. But my biggest is to stay even keel at all times. There will be ups and there and there will be downs. I never want to get too excited and never want to get too down. It’s all a mind set. One day, one at bat, one pitch at a time.
RML: Was there a player you grew up watching and tried to emulate on the field?
Travis Mattair: I always watched Scott Rolen. I love how he goes about the game on the field and off the field. He literally gave everything he had every game. He also took so much pride in his defense which I like a lot.
RML: If you weren’t a baseball player, what would you like to be doing?
Travis Mattair: If I wasn’t a baseball player I would be back in school. I don’t exactly know what I would want to do this second but something with people. I love dealing with people and and building relationships!
I just wanted to thank Travis again for taking the time to sit down and answer some questions.