Interview Outtakes: Pirates Outfielders Josh Bell and Gregory Polanco

Earlier this morning, MiLB.com published the first installment (link here) of my joint Q&A with Pirates outfielders Josh Bell and Gregory Polanco, who are ranked sixth and fifth respectively among Pittsburgh farmhands. I would encourage you to check that out initially. Below is a second installment of outtake questions and answers. Enjoy.

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QUESTIONS FOR JOSH BELL:

Me: What’s your your daily routine at the IMG Academy?

Bell: From about 8:30 to 9:00 [a.m.], we stretch. For the next hour, we train our muscles, train on the glute and the hamstrings and the hip flexors to power through while we run. We do different drills, whether it be ladders or just working on karaoke or sled training. An hour is a long time to be doing anything, really. It’s the toughest part of the day, but it’s nice to see results. Even in this first week, I feel like my running mechanics have sharpened up a little bit, so that’s good.

Me: Do you have time for other stuff?

Bell: It’s an all-day thing. I have time after lunch until we play ball. Pedro Alvarez is up here right now. It’s cool to see a big leaguer. Everyone else is in the Minor Leagues. J.R. Murphy is with us. Just guys trying to get better for the upcoming season.

Me: What outfield position do you see yourself at long-term?

Bell: I got moved to right field last year. I don’t really care. The outfield is fun [no matter the position]. I love tracking balls, so wherever, depends on what the team needs.

Me: Is there a ballplayer you model yourself after?

Bell: Do I model myself after anyone specifically? I follow a couple guys on Twitter if that means anything, I guess, for the off-the-field aspect. I really like [Andrew] McCutchen and Matt Kemp, younger guys that have had success in the game. You gotta love Mike Trout, the way he plays.

Me: Have you met McCutchen?

Bell: I shook hands with him once and went to a players-only question-and-answer session that was like 45 minutes long. We could pick his brain and ask him whatever we wanted. It was cool behind the scenes, since we’re players  we probably get more answers to our questions than reporters would. I just realized he was a normal guy. It was really cool.

Me: Aside from staying healthy, what are your goals for 2013?

Bell: I haven’t made a goal sheet for next season. This offseason, I just want to get as strong as I can and not leave anything in the tank. I have nothing to worry about this season because I know I have prepared myself the way I know I needed to. I’ll definitely go into Spring Training with a lot more confidence and being more trusting than I was last year.

Me: Where do both expect to begin the 2013 season?

Bell: I would expect [to be back at West Virginia], but I guess that depends on how I play in Spring Training. We’ll see.

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QUESTIONS FOR GREGORY POLANCO (@El_Coffee):

Me: Were there adjustments you made before or during last season to put yourself in a position to have such success?

Polanco: I made a lot of adjustments before and during the season. You never stop making adjustments.

Me: Were you surprised by your breakout 2012? Does it raise your expectations for the 2013 campaign?

Polanco: I wasn’t surprised because I worked really hard for that, and thank god I had a great season, and it definitely has risen my expectations for this year.

Me: What is your favorite thing about playing in the Minors?

Polanco: Being able to work on my game everyday, so I can maximize my tools the day I arrive in Pittsburgh.

Me: Who is the toughest starting pitcher you have faced in the Minors?

Polanco: Jose Fernandez from the Marlins.

Me: What part of your game needs the most work?

Polanco: My consistency.

Me: What is your long-term baseball goal?

Polanco: Playing 20 years in the big leagues.

Me: Where do both expect to begin the 2013 season?

Polanco: I’m not sure but I will probably start in the FSL [with the Bradenton Marauders].

Me: Aside from baseball, what is your passion?

Polanco: Video games since I was a little kid. I’m addicted to PS3.

Me: Lastly, is there anything you want your fans and our readers to know about you?

Polanco: Everybody calls me “El Coffee.” It comes from my skin color. My coach growing up gave me [the name]. Growing up, I was a pitcher, too, tall lanky lefty.

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