Shealy chats about adjusting to Royals
First baseman is happy about opportunities in Kansas City
First baseman Ryan Shealy, acquired July 31 from the Rockies, chatted online with fans Thursday. Shealy discussed his transition to Kansas City, hitting his first home run as a Royal and his role once Doug Mientkiewicz returns from the disabled list.
Ryan Shealy: Hi everyone! I'm ready to go, so let's get started with the questions.
ntdgg711: Welcome to the Royals, Ryan. Could you see yourself playing any positions other than first base? Have the Royals spoken to you about this?
Shealy: I explored playing the outfield when I was with the Rockies, but had elbow problems. So I think it's pretty much just first base for now.
Base_Ball: Ryan, first of all, go Gators! How have you adjusted to life in Kansas City so far?
Shealy: It's been great so far. The guys in the clubhouse have been very welcoming and I've been impressed with the city as a whole. And God bless you, go Gators!
Base_Ball_2: Ryan, how does it feel being traded to a team where you'll have the ability to compete for an everyday job vs. being stuck behind an All-Star player? Also, congrats on your first home run as a Royal the other night. Are you going to hit the Dodge next time?
Shealy: It feels great just to have an opportunity to play. I'm excited about the direction this organization is going and hope to be a big part of that. I'm not sure about hitting the Dodge, but hopefully I'll hit many more home runs as a Royal.
doublestx11: Ryan, why No. 39?
Shealy: That was the number I was given. I've always been No. 43, but that was take by Leo Nunez. I always wore 43 because that was the biggest jersey when I was little, so I stuck with it.
barnold43: Are you feeling more comfortable as the weeks go on?
Shealy: I'd feel a lot more comfortable if my girlfriend was out here. Hello there lovely lady!
Justin_Gesling: Where do you see yourself once Doug Mientkiewicz gets off the disabled list?
Shealy: Doug's a good player and he will only help our team to finish as good as we can in the last month and a half. Whatever playing time Buddy Bell decides on is fine with me. I'm just trying to improve my skills every day. Doug's definitely been a big help thus far.
Base_Ball: Is there an adjustment from hitting in Colorado to hitting in Kansas City?
Shealy: This is definitely a bigger ballpark. At the same thought, there are a lot of hits out there since the outfield is so big. Hopefully I'll be able to use it to drive in some runs.
shpaul: My name is Blaine Paul, my aunt and uncle are Linda and Wayne Sloan of Jacksonville. You have sent me numerous autographed baseball cards, and I wanted to tell you thank you. My family and I are big big fans and follow your games as closely as we can.
Shealy: Hey Blaine! Thank you so much for your support. I definitely wouldn't be where I am without the support of my friends and family.
Base_Ball_4: What baseball players were your heroes growing up?
Shealy: Dale Murphy. I was huge fan of the Braves because they were about the only games that were on at night in Florida.
Base_Ball_4: How did it feel hitting your first home run in Kauffman? When are you going to hit that Dodge truck?
Shealy: It felt great. Any time you can get the first one under your belt, it's a good feeling. Not to mention my parents were in the stands, so that made it extra special.
doublestx11: How did you feel when you heard the news that you were traded to the Royals?
Shealy: I was extremely excited. I knew that there would be an opportunity to play and everything that I have heard about the management and the direction of this organization has been positive. So I look for big things from the Royals in the upcoming years.
barnold43: What has been your biggest challenge yet with the Royals?
Shealy: Sliders. Kidding, I think just trying to stay within myself and not trying to do to much.
Base_Ball_4: There were a lot of questionable calls in the Outback Bowl. Do you think Florida probably should have lost to Iowa?
Shealy: What a question. It's not the first bowl game to have questionable calls. But the Gators prevailed and that's what was most important.
doublestx11: Have you ever charged the mound, whether it be in the Majors, Minors, or elsewhere?
Shealy: No. Because sometimes it feels like the pitcher has done me a favor by putting me on base!
bobhamelin: Ryan, I want to welcome you to our Royals. The fans' excitement over your arrival has been intense. How excited are you to soon have Alex Gordon, Billy Butler and Zack Greinke as fellow cornerstones of an all new Royals team?
Shealy: Good to have a former Royal in the house Bob! I had the chance to play with Butler and he can really swing the bat. This organization has many talented younger players and hopefully they'll develop sooner rather than later (myself included).
barnold43: Good luck tonight Ryan. You're doing a great job on the chat. Love you!
Shealy: Thanks for participating in the chat. Don't you have a job?
Base_Ball_4: Mike Sweeney or Todd Helton?
Shealy: I haven't been around Mike, so that's an unfair question. But what I have noticed from Mike is his passion for the game. Todd did a lot for me in my career and for that I'm grateful. Ask me again in a couple of months.
Justin_Gesling: It was great to see you come to the Royals. Do you think you can contend for a spot on the team with the up and comers like Alex Gordon and Butler?
Shealy: Definitely. Those guys are talented. Certainly it's one thing to do it in the Minor Leagues. But as I'm finding out, it's a completely different ballgame do it at this level. But it's good to have competition. It will make us all better.
pandu_mul: Hi Ryan, Really enjoy your hitting, but if there is one hole in your game, it seems to be the strikeouts. What are you working on to cut down your strikeouts?
Shealy: Throughout my career I actually haven't struck out a whole lot. When I do, it's usually a combination of being in a funk or facing good pitching. But I'll work on that. Thanks for your concern!
brad63ftl: What do you attribute to your patience and positive attitude regarding your tough situation in Colorado? Could it be compared to a similar situation in Florida when you were over shadowed by a pudgy slugger named Brad?
Shealy: I wouldn't really call it over shadowed. I would refer to it as just being plain better than Brad!
shpaul: What kind of bat and make of glove do use?
Shealy: I use a Mizuno glove and swing a variety of bats, depending on what's working. Tonight I'm going to use my maple Louisville Slugger.
drogd4_umr_edu: Do you agree with the DH or do you think the pitcher should have to have an at-bat?
Shealy: Being the player I am, I agree with the DH because it gives me more options.
Justin_Gesling: Where do you see yourself in a few seasons? Might you try to stay in Kansas City?
Shealy: I'm trying to take it day by day and not look too far ahead. As I'm finding out, you could be in Denver one day or Kansas City the next.
shpaul: Have you gotten any baseball cards out yet with the Royals?
Shealy: No. I think a week is a little too quick. Probably next year.
bobhamelin: Ryan, whose swing is your's most compared to? When I saw your home run highlights, I'd say comparable to Mark McGwire's power, and Ken Griffey's bat speed. Do you model your stance after any particular player?
Shealy: I think if you combined those two, Bob, I would be the best player ever! If I had even half of what those two have, there would be a lot of highlights in Kansas City!
Justin_Gesling: What do you consider your better game -- offense or defense?
Shealy: I try to take pride in both. Earlier in my career, hitting came easier. But I've tried to put in a lot of work on my defense and I have seen the improvement.
shpaul: I am 9 years old and play catcher. What advice do you have to help me move towards the Majors?
Shealy: I would say have fun! As simple as it sounds, we sometimes lose sight of that. Respect the game and remember to respect yourself.
Justin_Gesling: As a weatherman, I am curious how you are adjusting to the hotter weather here in Kansas City.
Shealy: I'm a Floridian, so I'm no stranger to humidity and heat.
gobluego1978: Does the team have any specific goals for the rest of this season?
Shealy: Just to improve and compete and expect to improve every night. We also want to play the role of spoiler, for those teams we face that are in the hunt.
utroyalsfan: What is the biggest difference coming to Kansas City compared to your time in Colorado?
Shealy: The Rockies have a very young team and I came through the system with pretty much their entire team. So adjusting to new teammates and a new environment is the biggest change. I must say though that the Royals have made it easier than I expected.
Shealy: Well, guys, I have to get back to the clubhouse and get ready for batting practice. Thanks for stopping by and for all of your great questions. We'll do this again some time.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.