Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Few Minutes With Destin Hood

Destin Hood will be 19 Years Old on April 3, 2009. Even at that young age, this talented young man finds himself in Big League Camp as a Non-Roster Invitee of Our Washington Nationals. Wearing Number 81, Destin still stood out among his peers on the training fields in Viera, Florida. Hood is an athlete, a young man with plus power and the potential to be a very good young baseball player.

After practice on Saturday, February 21, Destin Hood chatted with me as he headed back to The Space Coast Stadium Clubhouse. I found him modest, appreciative of his opportunity and just wanting to fit in. Baseball was the topic, but Destin Hood answers spoke to maturity.

With that, here we go with A Few Minutes With Destin Hood.

Last year you were playing in high school, now you find yourself on a Major League field playing alongside Ryan Zimmerman, Adam Dunn, Dmitri Young, how has that adjustment gone? (SBF)

“It’s been good and it feels good to be standing beside them. I am going to make every attempt to learn as much as I can while I am here. It’s still early, but there is so much to get to know. So far, everyone has been great to me, taking me under their wings, giving me tips and ideas.”

Today I noticed how big and athletic this team is. You, still a teenager, fit into that category. (SBF)

“Everybody around here is an athlete. Easily the best group of guys I have ever played with. But also, they are a great group of guys—some young and some older that hopefully will head us to winning soon—that would be great to be a part of.”

You are here to get a feel for Major League Came. (Yes, that is true. DH) we are three days into camp now—what have you learned so far? (SBF)

“First of all, I am learning how to handle myself on and off the field of play. The game itself is going to come over time. But I am trying to fit in, relax and experience all that is being offered with the opportunity.”

Are you talking about work ethic? (SBF)

“Oh yeah. The very moment you walk on the field you have to do your drills, work on your game. But you also have to work once you walk into that locker room every day. You have to work at everything to become a more complete person, not just a player.”

Many fans of The Nationals have heard your name, but they may not know too much about your baseball skills. What is it that attracted The Washington Nationals to you? (SBF)

(Answering modestly and not wanting to brag) “I bring a good attitude to the park. I am a hard worker. I am here to prove my skills are worthy and work hard to improve on those that need help. That's all I want to do.”

You had a choice when you signed with The Nationals. Football was another option for you. At this early stage of your development, are you happy with your baseball choice? (SBF)

“Yes, definitely. I always wanted to be a Major League Baseball player. I took a chance when my dream came through.”

When I first saw you on the field today, I was stunned at your athletic size. Since you signed with Washington, have you grown significantly? (SBF)

“I was 208 (Lbs) or 210 when I got drafted. Then, I dropped 10 pounds but brought back 20 by working out hard and eating right. I trained in the off-season hard and now I am beginning to see those results.”

You goals for 2009—your first full season in professional baseball? (SBF)

“I just want to work my way up and through the system as things work out. Goal wise, I just need to continue to improve. As far as the coaches here at camp right now, they have told me to just enjoy the experience, soak everything in, play some ball and don’t feel pressured into having to impress. So I am just being myself. And I am having a lot of fun.”

With that Destin Hood made it to the Space Coast Stadium Clubhouse Doors. The conversation concluded.


Anonymous said...

You're doing great work SBF! Thanks for these in-depth posts and pictures. The team really does seem to be way more athletic this year.

See you there for the Viera home opener, and greetings to Sohna!

Anonymous said...

what position does he play?

Screech's Best Friend said...

Destin Hood was drafted as a shortstop, but will be an outfielder in professional baseball. His size puts him there.

Anonymous said...

I'll say it - Are we sure he's 19?

Anonymous said...

Yeah we are sure he is 19...just checked on his profile on the Gulf Coast Nationals website. Just 2 games into the season and Hood has a homer and 4 rbis.