A couple of weeks ago I did an article on watching the
last game of the season at Clinton, Iowa. The Lumberkings were
entertaining the West Michigan
Whitecaps. I made mention of my son and
I being very disappointed that Detroit Tigers prospect Neil Jenkins was on
the DL and wasn't with the team. Well, Neil's father (Jim) read the
article and e-mailed me. He expressed how much he loved the site and how I
could get a hold of Neil for signatures. Well being the nosey reporter
type like I am, I asked Mr. Jenkins for an
interview with Neil. Here
it is! Thank you Jim and Neil! Good luck Neil! Adam (my son) and I are the
next biggest fans of yours (your dad is the
Interview questions answered by Neil
1. What are your earliest baseball memories and
what role does it play in your game today?
My earliest memories were just going to the field with my
dad and hitting, taking ground balls, soft toss. I think it gave me a good
2. Who are your baseball idols? What is your earliest
memory of attending a pro game?
Nolan Ryan he's great.... going to the Braves spring
3. Did you play organized baseball as a kid? If
yes, How good of a player were you?
Yes, I started playing when I was 6 years old. I was
not bad but I played with alot of good kids and I think that it made me
4. As a high school player @ W.T.Dwyer H.S. what were your
As a senior I hit .561 16Hr 42Rbi's.
5.What position did you play in high school?
Well, I played a lot of different places my senior year.
It was mostly at 3rd, pitched, even played one game as catcher. Jr. year
it was rightfield. One thing I am proud of is in my 4 years of high school
ball I played at least one game at every position.
6.How did I feel
to be selected by USA Today as a member of the Prep
It was an awesome feeling. I was also proud to be selected
1st team All-American by Baseball America.
7. How did you showcase
your baseball playing talent prior to being drafted by the Tigers in June
Played at Team One Showcase, and did a lot of work
outs for most Major League teams. We had a lot of scout's come to a
lot of games my senior year and played in a lot of all-star
8.What thoughts went though your head prior to being and
after being drafted by the Tigers in the 3rd round of the June 1999
First not knowing were I was going to be taken. Being
told it may be in the First round. Knowing I was a diabetic and some teams
would not draft me; it was a tough day. But going to the Tigers with there
2nd pick, it was awesome.. they were very excited about me being available
and showed me by the way they have treated me.
9. What was your
impression of your first year of ball with the Gulf Coast League Tigers in
1st impression "HOT".baseball in Lakeland Florida in
the summer is hot, hot, hot; but it was a great experience. I got to meet
a lot of great guys..great
10. What differences are
there between your time spent with the Gulf Coast League Tigers and the
West Michigan Whitecaps?
The biggest differences were fans... the West Michigan
fans were great. In fact the whole Midwest League was great.playing in
front of 6 to 14 thousand fans it was an awesome feeling day in and day
out. Playing in the Gulf Coast there were not many fans but it was a lot
closer to home and my family got to come and watch more games.
In the off-season what is your training routine?
I like to lift weights heavy the first month and then
start hitting from the middle to the start of spring training. The Tigers
give us a work out program to follow and it's pretty intense.
Are you going to college in the off-season?
No, not this year.
13. What kind of role does
your family play in your baseball career?
My family are my biggest fans, doing good or doing bad
they are always there giving me support from Mom and Dad to my brothers,
grandparents,aunts and uncles.
14. Did you always dream of becoming
a professional baseball player or is it a talent that just developed over
I always loved playing baseball...and you always hope
you could be a pro, but the odds are so great against you. But if a person
works very hard and has a little talent and a dream they could make it.
So, I guess it takes both.
15. Is there anything you want to share
about yourself (outside of baseball) that you want people to know about
you as a person?
Yes I'm a dog lover and I have a boxer named
Mr. Gierhart just wanted to say thanks. This was fun. I
know my dad likes reading topprospectalert.com and I will get these cards
sent off. I also have something coming to your son. Sorry I missed