Prospect Chat With Ryan Westmoreland

    Diane (San Fran): Hi Ryan. What are your thoughts on Fenway Park itself? How many longballs do you think you can launch out of it over the course of a season?

Ryan Westmoreland: Growing up in New England, it was a dream just to go watch a game there and working to play there is the ultimate goal. It's got a short porch down the line deep to right center though if I got a good inside pitch I know could put a few out.

    Ben (Leland Grove): Ryan, what went through your mind when you first found out you were the Top Red Sox prospect according to BA?

Ryan Westmoreland: It's an honor being the number one prospect and I am proud but after I let it sink in I know I need to let it come out on the field to prove that I deserve that destinction.

    Sean (Conyers, GA): Hey Ryan, I can't wait to see you play this upcoming season. I am looking forward to it. What was the number thing the Red Sox organization stressed to you work on this off-season and moving forward?

Ryan Westmoreland: The number one thing everyone is stressing is health. I have been unlucky with the injuries. I have been doing everything I can do to maintain the health in both shoulders. I am doing everything I can to stay healthy for the upcoming season.

    Henry (Boston, Mass): How excited were you when you heard you were drafted by the Sox? Growing up in RI were you a sox fan?

Ryan Westmoreland: Yes I have always been a Red Sox fan. It was a dream come true just to be drafted but, to be drafted by the Red Sox was surreal. It finally sank in when I went down to Florida and put on the uniform for the first time.

    Todd (Red Sox Nation): Hi Ryan, thanks for doing this! Who are some sleepers in your system that we should be aware of? One name I heard after instructs was Kyle Stroup. Can you share some light on him and others. Thanks.

Ryan Westmoreland: Stroup is a good friend of mine. He is a really hard worker and he has great stuff. He's a great clubhouse guy and a fun guy to be around off the field. Chris McGuiness is a good power hitting first baseman that has fantastic plate discipline and he is another guy that is great off the field.

    Michael (San Diego): All of the Adrian Gonzalez rumors to the Red Sox seem to revolve around involving you in the deal. Is it flattering how sought after you are and how reluctant the Sox are to trade you?

Ryan Westmoreland: It definitely makes me feel good to be talked about to be traded for a respected big leaguer. At the same time it's a bit nerve-racking but I don't let it affect me on the field.

    Colin (Longmeadow, MA): How do you prepare on a daily basis before a game?

Ryan Westmoreland: I usually get to the field around 1PM and hang out for a little bit. At 2:30 I do some soft toss to get the blood flowing. After that I take my mind off the game for a while before I take BP at 5PM. After BP I take a look at the pitcher we face in the clubhouse and after that I take the field.

    Radiohix (Zarzis, Tunisia): Hi Ryan, Did your experience being a pitcher in HS helped you at anticipating the Pickoffs moves when stealing bases?

Ryan Westmoreland: No. I had an awful pickoff move so I never really got used to that. I worked really hard last spring training with our base-running coordinator on how to get better jumps on picthers.

    Trent (Texas): Hey Ryan, how well do you feel you are progressing through the farm system, and if you had to give yourself a ETA to the show, how long do you think it will be?

Ryan Westmoreland: It's not my call, so I am just going to go out every year produce like I know I can. As long as I do that rest will take care of itself.

    Wessel Brocken (Bergen, The Netherlands): Do you have a special diet, or can you eat whatever you want?

Ryan Westmoreland: I would be lying if I said I ate healthy all the time, because you get those cravings for Taco Bell late at night. I try to eat a salad with every meal so I do try to stay healthy in that sense.

    Paul (Denver): Who among the current Sox players are you most excited about potentially playing with?

Ryan Westmoreland: David Ortiz because he is an exciting guy to watch. I would love to play with Big Papi.

    Dan (PA): Who is your current favorite major league player?

Ryan Westmoreland: Carl Crawford. I feel like we have similar tools on the field. Also, Rocco Baldelli. He is another guy from Rhode Island that I have been compared to. I know him off the field also and he is a great guy.

    Dan (PA): Who was your favorite ballplayer growing up?

Ryan Westmoreland: That is a tie between Nomar and Pedro Martinez. Those were always the big Red Sox names. Being a pitcher and a shortstop when I was younger those were the guys I always followed.

    Greg (Sterling, MA): What part of your game do you want to improve most in order to succeed at the next level?

Ryan Westmoreland: Base-running. I want to be more of a threat on the bases and I am looking to get better at that as I progress. When you first make it to the big league you want to be able to help out wherever you can and I feel that pinch-running is one of those areas where you can have an impact.

    Dave Smith (central florida): Do you prefer leadoff or the three hole?best of luck go SOX

Ryan Westmoreland: I did a bit of both growing up but I don't necessarily have a preference. It doesn't really matter to me, just get me in the lineup.

    Andrew (Boston): 5 favorite movies?

Ryan Westmoreland: Number one all-time is definitely Dumb and Dumber. The Rookie. Happy Gilmore. Billy Madison. The Hangover. I'm a big music guy also. Linkin Park is my favorite rock band, Jay-Z is my favorite rapper, and I also listen to my fair share of country.

    Ryan (Clinton, MA): The ProJo said in a story this week you have added about 20 pounds of muscle and are 6'2, 220. Is that height and weight accurate?

Ryan Westmoreland: Yes that's accurate. I'm about 6'3 and I have been consistently weighing in between 215-220. I have been crushing it at the weight room and trying my hardest to put on as much 'good' weight as possible.

    Josh (New York): Did you find that it was more difficult to gain recognition as a high schooler out of the Northeast?

Ryan Westmoreland: Absolutely. My my whole life people have said the competition isn't as good up here but, I know a ton of guys from around here that are college players and high draft picks. It would be nice for it to be 80 degrees year round though.

    Franklin (Frankfurt): What are your personal goals for 2010 and beyond?

Ryan Westmoreland: I don't know where they are going to put me but, wherever I am I want to play to my potential. I don't really look at stats but I hope I can go out every day and play to the best of my ability.

    Bill Lancellotta (north kingstown, rhode island): How are you recovering from your injuries? Best of luck to you. I will be looking forward to your advancement thru the Sox system. Especially excited to see you in AAA Pawtucket. Good luck in Spring Training. I will be in Ft Myers on vacation in March—hope I see you there.

Ryan Westmoreland: Thanks for asking. Everything is coming along great. I feel awesome. At this time last year I still had a little pain but this year I feel better than ever and I hope to be full-go by spring training.

    Lance F (Tampa, FL): Ryan, (we'll fast forward a little) Your first major league Red Sox vs. Yankees series - What's running through your mind as you step out on the field? Good Luck this year and we'll see you soon.

Ryan Westmoreland: Walking onto that field I will probably have some pretty serious butterflies and cottonmouth. I want to try and take it as just another game though. Hopefully I can get those first inning jitters out of there and treat it as just like another contest.

    Joel (Kansas City): Ryan, Thanks for chatting with us baseball nerds! Which players have you enjoyed watching the most growing up, and who would you most compare your game to? Also, as a follow up, what would you consider your best tool and why? Thanks again.

Ryan Westmoreland: Speed, because you can use it in all aspects of your game whether playing the field or using it on the base-path.

    Mark (New York City): In what ways do you feel you've matured since going professional, and how has it effected how you play? And in what ways do you feel you can still mature?

Ryan Westmoreland: Watching a lot of big leaguers and seeing how they go about their business has really helped me mature on and off the field. With that said, there are still things I am learning from these guys on a day-to-day basis.

    Sean (Calgary, Alberta): Do you think there is any extra pressure that goes with being a top prospect in a major market? How do you deal with that pressure?

Ryan Westmoreland: There is always a little pressure but there are tons of other guys with similar goals so you just try to block it out. There are 25 other guys on the team that are doing the same thing you are so you just try to go out there and battle every day.

    Sean (Calgary, Alberta): Do you model your game after anyone?

Ryan Westmoreland: I don't necessarily think about that stuff. I know other people compare me to players but I don't specifically model my game after anyone else. In the weight room, I see the way guys like Kevin Youkilis carry themselves and I definitely want to work as hard as they do.

    Josh (NY): How difficult was it to walk away from the opportunity to play for someone as esteemed in the baseball community as Tim Corbin?

Ryan Westmoreland: It was a tough decision the whole time. Coach Corbin is a great guy and we still talk to this day but the opportunity to go play for the Red Sox was one that I couldn't pass up. I wish him and the program the best. Thanks for all the questions guys. I had a lot of fun doing this. I look forward to seeing you guys at Fort Myers at Spring Training. And a big thanks to the guys at Baseball America. You guys are awesome.