From Rouglas Odor to Razor Shines, baseball is littered with unique and interesting names. However, there are no current players with a cooler name than Rock Shoulders, a young slugging prospect in the Chicago Cubs’ system.
Roderick “Rock” Shoulders is a big lefty swinging and righty throwing first baseman, who was selected last year in the 25th round of the draft. He had previously been drafted by the Red Sox in 2010, but decided to pass on signing in favor of college. Although many expected he would be drafted higher last year, the Cubs believe they got a steal and reportedly signed him for third round money. After getting into just 8 games last year, Shoulders has just been assigned to short-season Boise in the Northwest League. It is hoped that that he will blossom into a top power hitting prospect under the tutelage of hitting coach Bill Buckner.
Prior to this season Shoulders took some time to chat about his time in baseball. Make sure to monitor his progress through the season and also give him a follow on Twitter @RockBigFly24
Who were your favorite team and player when you were growing up, and why?
My favorite team when I was growing up was the New York Yankees because my dad brought me up always watching their games. I don’t have just one favorite player, I actually have two. Ken Griffey, Jr. was my number one, and Barry Bonds was right there with him.
Why did you decide to not sign with Boston after the 2010 draft?
I just didn’t feel like the offer was right considering I had a full ride scholarship to the State College of Florida (SCF).
Can you describe what your 2011 draft experience was like?
The draft in 2011 was a little bit more laid back for me since I went through it the year before right out of high school. I also had a full ride scholarship to the University of South Florida (USF) after my one year at SCF.
What are your feelings to be part of a Chicago organization in major rebuilding mode with Theo Epstein?
I have really good feeling about Theo coming in because look what he did with Boston, and our organization has a lot of young talent in the system right now.
What is the best piece of baseball advice or instruction you have ever received?
My dad has always told me that “I’m as good as the work I put in.” In other words, while my friends are out having fun during the day, I have to go put in my hours at the gym to get stronger. I have to get to the field to hit, throw and run, and most important, think about the game by putting myself in game situations in my mind now, so when they happen in the game I have already played it out before.
What do you like to do for fun when you aren’t playing baseball?
When I’m not playing baseball I like to go fishing, play PlayStation, clean my vehicle, and spend time with my loved ones.
What specifically are you hoping to improve upon this year?
I want to improve on my speed and quickness so that I can play multiple positions and be great at them, not just average. But I would like to improve on all my skills.