Q&A with Twins Outfielder Alex Presley

Although Justin Morneau’s production had fallen off in recent years, he was still one of Minnesota’s most visible and popular athletes. He carried an aura of accomplishment and respect and was a major presence in the community.

Alex Presley meanwhile, is a 28-year-old centerfielder with just 214 big league games under his belt. Buried behind All Star Andrew McCutchen on Pittsburgh’s organizational depth chart, Presley was ripe for a change of scenery and fresh start.

On July 31 of course, the Twins dealt Morneau to the Pirates and received Presley and a player-to-be-named later in return. Whether or not Presley is a part of the Twins long term plans remains to be seen, but the Man Traded for Morneau hopes to become more than an footnote in Minnesota sports history.

Presley and I chatted outside his locker before last Friday’s game.

DZ: You’ve been here not even quite a week yet…what’s it week been like, the whole process of being traded?

PRESLEY: It’s been crazy. The people here have made it an easy transition for me. It’s been strange (because) I had only been with one team my whole career, so it was weird coming over to a new group of guys, a new staff. It’s been really good so far…I’ve heard nothing but good things about this place and it’s definitely what I’ve seen.

DZ: On a personal level…what’s it like when you have to up and move that quickly?

PRESLEY: I had most of my stuff ready for September anyway, so as far as getting out of my apartment, it was a pretty good transition. I was prepared to be leaving soon anyway. I have been up-and-down four different times, so me going back-and-forth isn’t anything new this year. So, it’s been crazy.

DZ: Where were you when you found out about the trade?

PRESLEY: We were in Indianapolis, the Triple A for Pittsburgh. We were home, so that was nice, not on the road, so I was able to get my stuff together and flew out the next day for the day game in Texas.

DZ: What was your reaction when you found out you were traded for Justin Morneau, who is obviously kind of a big name player?

PRESLEY: It’s definitely good to be traded for someone that’s a good player. I know he was important to this franchise. I feel like with him being the type of player he is, they must have had some interest in me to get me over here in exchange for him. So, it’s definitely a good thing.

DZ: You were probably looking forward to a recall (to Pittsburgh) in September and being in the middle of the pennant race, what’s it like coming here where there isn’t a postseason berth on the line?

PRESLEY: Every game is important, especially in the big leagues. All these games are important to me to establish myself with the team and things like that. In the past three years, I finished with Pittsburgh at the end of the year, were out of it at the end. You just have to keep playing and treat every game as if you are still in it.

DZ: There are a couple of former Pirates here, (Ryan) Doumit and (Kevin) Correia. How well did you know those guys, have they helped you out here at all?

PRESLEY: Yeah, I played with Doumit in 2010, I believe. He’s a good dude, he’s helped me out here, the transition’s been easier. Correia, I played with him last year. So, there are familiar faces here, guys I played against coming up and you are familiar with guys. You don’t necessarily know everybody, but you know through baseball; it’s easy to go over to a new clubhouse and relate to people.

DZ: How closely do you plan on following the Pirates – hopefully – in the playoffs? Will you be watching all the games?

PRESLEY: I will keep up with them. When the playoffs come around, I might catch a couple of games. A lot of the guys I came up with, some of my best friends in baseball are in the middle of that. There is definitely some interest to see how they are going to finish up and I hope they do well.

DZ: Just one last thing, you got No. 1, did they just give that to you, did you pick it, how did that all work?

PRESLEY: I had a couple of choices. I wore 7 in Pittsburgh and I wasn’t going to get that. Yeah, I already knew that ahead of time, so I just wanted a low number.

See more of David Zingler’s interviews with Twins players:

August 22: Glen Perkins
July 9: Josh Roenicke
July 2: Trevor Plouffe
June 19: Caleb Thielbar
June 12: Justin Morneau
April 23: Jared Burton
April 19: Ryan Pressly
April 16: Brendan Harris

One Response to “Q&A with Twins Outfielder Alex Presley”

  1. MinnesotaSCORE » Q&A with Twins First Baseman Chris Colabello Says:

    […] 12: Alex Presley August 22: Glen Perkins July 9: Josh Roenicke July 2: Trevor Plouffe June 19: Caleb Thielbar June […]

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