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Mike McDade is part of the outstanding New Hampshire Fisher Cats squad.  McDade is playing very well for a 22 year old in AA, he has 36 extra base hits, including 11 home runs, and his defense is reportedly the best of any first baseman within the Jays system.  I spoke with McDade a week ago in Erie.

BB: I wanted to talk with about development, you were sent to lansing for your first full season at age 18/19.  How tough was that?

MM: It was tough, I was there for parts of two years but it was tough to develop as a player, just to learn the game, how fast the game is.  I also had to learn first base, I had been a catcher in high school.  I was trying to develop as quick as I can, try to learn everything about baseball, and get comfortable so I could just worry about playing the game.

BB: So things started taking off for you your second year in Lansing, was that just a case of getting experience?

MM: Being there the first year I learned a lot from older guys that were up there, then I was sent down to Auburn in the NYPL and I learned from guys there.  The second year was so much easier because I had a better feel for the whole level, I had the same coaches as the year before so I had a better understanding of what they expect.  Being with Justin Mashore we just worked on the hitting aspect of the game, mental, physical, everything.  It helped me tremendously to be sent back there and doing it again.

BB: Last year in Dunedin seemed to be a real break-out year for you, was that just more experience?

MM: Learning the game, going to high A is different from low A, especially weather wise, the heat, humidity, trying to deal with that.  It was another year to work with Mash again (Mashore) and Clayton (McCullogh) on defense.  Clayton helped me a lot at first base and just getting in there and playing every day was a big thing.


BB: Were you surprised to get called to the Arizona Fall League last year?

MM: Yes I was, I didn't really have any idea I was going to go there.

BB: It must have been a great experience for you.

MM: It was phenomenal, it was a great experience, I loved playing out there, we had a great group of guys on our team, I just learned a lot from everybody.

BB: So you are back in the cold Northeast again this year, was the cold spring tough or were you used to it from Lansing?

MM: It was no big deal, going through Lansing two years in a row gets you ready for that.  It's tough coming from Florida where it's 80 degrees to up here where it's 35-40 at night, playing in freezing rain.  It was tough but you just have to adjust to it.

BB: You are a lot slimmer now than you were when I saw you in Lansing, how much weight have you lost?

MM: In the last three years I probably lost 25 to 30 pounds, in the off season I work hard to stay a little slender.  Then working during the season to try and get through the whole season without getting tired and finish the season strong.  That's where you try and get to in the off season, get in shape for the whole season.

BB: How tough is it to stay in form as a switch-hitter and get in enough practice from both sides of the plate compared to the guys doing it from just one side?

MM: It is tough, both sides are two different people.  One side is going to feel better than the other side, you just have to try and stay up with it. You try and take more hacks on the side that's not doing well, and the side that is doing well you have to take some hacks to just keep the feeling so it is tough but I enjoy it.

BB: How is it hitting in New Hampshire, you have the shortish wall in right and the hotel in left?

MM: Yes it is nice, I haven't had the chance to get near to the hotel. Moises Sierra hit the hotel about a week ago and I don't think I ever saw a ball hit that hard, ever.  But it's nice playing there.


Batters Box thanks Mike McDade for his time.

An Interview with Mike McDade - June 2011 | 9 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
brent - Wednesday, June 29 2011 @ 03:00 AM EDT (#237714) #

...a batter feel....


brent - Wednesday, June 29 2011 @ 03:02 AM EDT (#237715) #


In an Edna Krabappel voice, of course.

Forkball - Wednesday, June 29 2011 @ 09:40 AM EDT (#237719) #
A good lesson in patience with prospects.  I remember thinking he was unlikely to amount to much after getting demoted from Lansing to Auburn, and now he is one of the Jays better hitting prospects.

Switch hitters with power are generally pretty rare, no?

Ryan Day - Wednesday, June 29 2011 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#237720) #
It's interesting that Mcdade is the most successful of the 2007 high school draftees, when he was probably the least-heralded at the time. If he continues to improve his control of the strike zone, he could be a very good hitter.
Ishai - Wednesday, June 29 2011 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#237721) #
He obviously takes learning the game seriously, which makes sense given his steady improvement.
Mylegacy - Wednesday, June 29 2011 @ 02:18 PM EDT (#237745) #
McDade overall: 300/347/502/849 with 11 homers and 25 doubles.

Vs Lefties (batting from the right side): 318/354/455/809 2 homers, 6 doubles in 88 at bats
Vs Righties (batting from the left side): 291/344/523/869 9 homers, 19 doubles in 199 at bats

The New Hampshire still lists his weight at 260.

I've heard glowing reports of his defense. A power hitting, high average hitting, switch hitting, first baseman with - dare I say it - a near Gold Glove - we're talking serious prospect here ladies...yum, yum, yum.
uglyone - Wednesday, June 29 2011 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#237757) #
Love that comment about Sierra hitting the hotel. Seems like we only ever hear about Sierra through second hand bits like that, when talking about other prospects.

Sierra's the same age as McDade, but plays a good defensive RF with speed and with a gun of an arm, is showing just as much power as McDade, but with more patience (walks) and fewer strikeouts.

I like McDade quite a bit as a prospect, but I think Sierra's getting overlooked - in general, not here in this article or thread - I just wanted to talk about that hotel HR comment about Sierra :)

that's an un-ironic smiley, in case you were wondering.
bpoz - Wednesday, June 29 2011 @ 05:10 PM EDT (#237766) #
Is it a long drive from the plate to that hotel?
Mylegacy - Wednesday, June 29 2011 @ 07:18 PM EDT (#237777) #
Uglyone - I don't think Sierra is getting overlooked. He's a SERIOUS prospect.

His problem however is he's part of a group that also includes: Snider, Loewen, Thames, Gose, Marisnick, Crouse and Knecht. I wonder how many teams can boast of having EIGHT very young outfielders of this caliber - I suspect no others team does. Did I mention we've got this new kid RFer named Bautista - and he looks like a keeper too.
An Interview with Mike McDade - June 2011 | 9 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.