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Top Prospect Alert Interview:
Ned Yost IV -- Milwaukee Brewers

By Ben Lipson

The son of the Milwaukee Brewers manager by the same name, Ned Yost IV is hoping to one day have the opportunity to share the dugout with his father in the big leagues. The 24 year old completed his first full season as a pro batting a combined .259 with 7 homeruns and 52 rbi's between Low-A West Virginia and High-A Brevard County.

Top Prospect Alert is pleased to bring you an interview with Milwaukee Brewers first base prospect Ned Yost IV.

TPA: When did you first realize you were a pretty good baseball player? What was your little league / youth league experience like? Was there a time when you had to decide that you were a baseball player first and scale back participation in other sports as a kid?

NY: I first realized that I was a pretty good baseball player when I was a senior in high school. My junior year I didn't start a single game and had maybe 20 at-bats. I knew that if I wanted to play my senior year that I would have to work pretty hard. Well all that hard work paid off and I helped our team make it to the State Championship Series and was voted our team MVP. I never really played any other sports as a child. Baseball was my favorite sport so that is all I ever wanted to play.

TPA: What was it like growing up in a baseball family? Did you get to hang out with your dad on the road while growing up?

NY: Growing up in a baseball family was awesome. Having the opportunity to go to the park almost everyday and just watch major league players practice and play and be right there next to them is unbelievable. I did get to travel with my dad when I was younger. Me and my two brothers usually went on two road trips a year. We always tried to pick the longest two trips of the summer so we could be with the team as long as possible.

TPA: What was it like playing at three different colleges in five years? Why did you jump around so much? What factors led you to go from Georgia to Dallas Baptist and then from Dallas Baptist to UW Oshkosh?

NY: Playing at three different colleges was a lot of fun. I got to play a lot of different teams and against a lot of different people. I have lived in Georgia for most of my life so getting a chance to live in Texas and Wisconsin for a year was pretty neat. I left UGA because I knew that to have a chance to play pro baseball, I needed to play every inning of every game and I wasn't getting that where I was. I received a few offers after I got my release and narrowed it down between DBU and UW Oshkosh. I chose the warmer of the two schools and went to DBU. I broke my wrist the summer before I went to DBU and had it casted but it never fully healed. After the season ended I had my wrist checked out again and the doctors told me that I needed surgery on it for it to heal completely. I then made the decision to transfer again to UW Oshkosh to be closer to the doctors that did my surgery in case I had any other problems with it.

TPA: What was the feeling when you signed your first professional contract.

NY: Signing my first contract is something that I will never forget. Just the thought of having the chance to be on the same team as my father one day was awesome.

TPA: What was your first spring training like? What was it like getting the chance to hit off some big league pitching and to play for your dad?

NY: Spring training was a lot of fun once I got used to waking up at 5:00 am every morning. I have made some good friends on the team so getting to hang out with them day in and day out was fun. Having the chance to hit off big league pitching was unbelievable. The biggest name that I had an at bat against this past spring was probably Matt Morris. As soon as I got home I called all of my friends and was like "You won't believe who I faced today". But the best part of the spring was getting the chance to play with my dad. He hasn't had the opportunity to see me play very much in my life so the couple of games that I got to travel with him was pretty special to me.

TPA: What's been the biggest difference between college and pro ball and what adjustments have you had to make to deal with those changes?

NY: The biggest difference between college and pro ball is the length of the seasons. In college you play about 70 games and you play around 140 games in pro ball. The biggest adjustment I had to make was keeping my body well rested and in shape, and to eat right. When you are constantly on the go it is tough to sit down and eat a good meal instead of picking up some fast food, or to get a good nights rest.

TPA: Being one of the older players on the West Virginia roster last season, what type of leadership role did you take on with younger players?

NY: I am usually not the most outspoken in the locker room so I try to lead by example. But if some of my teammates did have any problems or concerns they would come to me and ask my advice or ask me to talk to our coach.

TPA: What was the toughest adjustment in moving from the Sally League to the Florida State league late in 2006? How big of a difference was there in the pitching you faced?

NY: The toughest adjustment for me was the weather. It rained almost every day I was in Florida and to stay mentally prepared to play a game that night when it looked like a monsoon outside was really hard for me. The only difference in pitching that I saw was that the pitchers in the FSL are a little bit more consistant with all of their pitches.

TPA: What's been your best memory so far as a pro, both from an playing standpoint, as well as one from something that's happened while on the road in the minors.

NY: My favorite memory so far happened this past summer. We were losing 1 to 0 going in to the bottom of the 9th and I was the 7th batter up that inning. I really wasn't expecting to have another at bat that game but it turns out that we tied the game up and had the bases loaded with two outs. I came up to the plate and smoked the first pitch that I saw. I saw that the ball was headed for the gap in right center and the outfielders weren't going to reach it, so I was excited that I had just won the game. But then I realized that the ball cleared the fence for a walk off grand slam. I had never hit a grand slam or a walk off homerun in my life until then. There isn't really a lot of crazy things that happen on the road but one of my favorite memories was this past summer when we stopped for a few hours in Washington DC. We walked around and saw all the sites. I had never been before so I thought that it was pretty cool.

TPA: Aside from your father who has been most influential to you during you baseball career and why?

NY: There are many people that have influenced me in my career but two that stick out to me are Rick Eckstein and Steve Foster. They both have taught me a ton about the game on and off the field.

TPA: What does a typical day in the offseason consist of for you.

NY: I work construction from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. every day. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday I go to the gym after work and lift weights for a couple of hours. I then come home and eat some dinner, rest for a little bit and then go up to my high school and hit and throw.

TPA: What are your plans after your playing career is over?

NY: I think after my playing career is over I would like to try coaching.

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