Chat transcript: Mike Aviles
Rookie infielder talks about his swing and other things
esders: Congrats on the amazing rookie season, Mike! How is your hand? I heard the X-rays were negative. That looked like it hurt a lot, dude! Will you play today? And if not, how soon can we expect you back in the lineup?
Mike Aviles: Yeah, it did hurt a lot, but I'll play today. It's not broken, so I can play.
coachdg: How did you end up at Concordia College, and what did your college coach see in you that no other coach did?
Aviles: It was the only scholarship offer that I had. The coach was Coach Bob Greiner.
lemlem: When you are up at bat, what are you thinking about?
Aviles: I'm not really thinking anything. I'm just seeing the ball and hitting the ball. Overthinking can be a problem when you are hitting.
23gonzalez: How rough is the road to the Major Leagues, and what is it like in the Minors?
Aviles: It is really rough, but it is a grind, so you have to stay positive and never lose focus.
23gonzalez: What has been your favorite big league ballpark to play in so far?
Aviles: Yankee Stadium, because it is in my hometown and it is the last year it will be open.
kcvolfan: Hello, Mike. I would first like to congratulate you on a very productive season. Secondly, I wanted to know when you came up with your unusual batting-stance practice swings. Is this for momentum or timing purposes? Thanks for your time, Mike.
Aviles: Everything is for timing purposes. The bat wiggle is so that I can stay back on the ball instead of being out in front. It's something that has helped me become a better hitter.
KibosCats: Do you see yourself as a shortstop or second baseman? Have the Royals given you any indication of where you will play next year?
Aviles: I have an indication of where I will play next year, but either second or short would be fine with me because I'm comfortable at both and just want to be in the lineup.
23gonzalez: Who is the toughest pitcher you have faced in the Majors?
Aviles: For me it is either between Josh Beckett or Tim Lincecum. Both of them throw really hard and have great secondary pitches.
dananicb: What hints do you have for all the Royals' September callups about adjusting to the big leagues?
Aviles: To just have fun and play the game the same way they were playing it in the Minor Leagues, because when you have fun, everything takes care of itself.
aviles30: What's up Mike, this is your cousin Chris out in NY ... My question for you is when did you officially start to use the helicopter-type swing and was anyone especially influential in helping you incorporate it?
Aviles: Officially, two years ago the helicopter started. And you know as well as I know everyone in the family has been a great support for me. Give little Chris a big hug for me.
mustapha: Mike, I want to congratulate you from a former Concordia alum -- you are doing big things and it's good to see. How did you keep pushing yourself and keeping focused?
Aviles: I always try to outdo myself from the day before and always try to go out there and push myself. I don't worry about my numbers because if I go out there and give 110 percent, everything will take care of itself. I just like to prove to people that I can compete at this level and help the team win at any cost.
coachdg: What was it like facing Randy Johnson?
Aviles: Kind of intimidating, because he is so tall and releases the ball halfway to home, so you have little time to react. But it was fun and definitely an experience that I won't ever forget.
coachdg: Do you think you'll ever get your No. 13 back or will you stick with No. 30?
Aviles: Not sure because I would like my No. 13, but I have been doing well with 30. It will be a decision in the offseason, because I've worn 13 since I was 12 years old.
kcvolfan: Have you ever played outfield, and if not would you feel comfortable if the Royals wanted to try you there?
Aviles: I have never played outfield, and I'd rather not, but if it was a dire necessity, then I guess I would.
kcr93023: Who was your favorite player growing up?
Aviles: Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey Jr., and I have autographed balls from both of them.
kcbluecrew: Mike, could you see yourself as a Royal for the rest of your career?
Aviles: I would love to be here for the rest of my career because I enjoy playing in Kansas City and enjoy the guys on the team.
tadmerury: What surprised you the most about being a Major Leaguer compared to your dream when you were 12, wanting to be a big leaguer?
Aviles: It actually lived up to my expectations, because it was everything I ever dreamed about.
vsuave: Mike, it's Vic from the Bronx. Can you tell everyone that your Dad was a better hitter than you, despite the fact that he did not reach the Majors?
Aviles: My Dad was not a better hitter than me, Vic, you know that. But I still love him and love all you guys.
mustapha: Mike, this is your boy Mustapha aka Moose, just wanted to say congrats and really good to see you're living your dream -- I haven't been able to get in touch with you, but this is a start. Tell the family hi for me, hopefully we can connect in the future.
Aviles: Thanks. We'll definitely connect in the future. I'll have to find a way to get your number.
KCrews: Mike, what is the best advice that you have recieved since coming into the Majors? And who from?
Aviles: Best advice is to just have fun and play the game the way you normally play. Multiple people gave me that advice.
cohall: Would you rather get a game-winning hit or make a game-saving play and why?
Aviles: I'd rather have a game-saving play, because this way, your pitchers will always have trust in you when they are pitching and they'll feel like you will always have their back.
wrestler60: Were you a Yankees or Mets fan growing up?
Aviles: Neither, because my family was half Yankees fans and half Mets fans, so I stayed out of it.
bentonsmom: Hey Mike, if I tell you this is from your No. 1 fan in Oklahoma City, I'm sure you will recognize who I am. We are so proud of you and never stopped believing that you would be up this year. Can you send your "Lil" Bro a word of advice.
Aviles: Just tell Ben to keep up the good work, because he knows I am proud of him. Never stop believing.
lisaanne02: Is it true you used to eat mayonnaise sandwiches as a kid? I used to eat them too!! Please let us know if you really ate mayonnaise sandwiches for power?
Aviles: Yeah, I used to eat mayonnaise sandwiches as a kid, and yeah, sometimes I still do, but not for power. I just ate them because they tasted good.
kcr93023: Do you have any pregame rituals that you have to do before a game?
Aviles: No, not really. I just depends on how I feel every day. I like to listen to my body. If I feel I need to rest a little longer, than I do. For the most part I just listen to my body and act accordingly.
jeffery11: When did you know you had the skills to play in the Majors?
Aviles: There is no set time. I believed in myself, no matter what people said or reports said, and I never stopped wanting to prove people wrong.
ivanny: What was it like being Division II Player of the Year?
Aviles: It was definitely a great accomplishment to come from a small school and to be recognized as the best player in D2 that year in 2003.
lemmmkc: How has manager Trey Hillman helped you progress through the year?
Aviles: He is a manager that comes over to talk to you when you are doing well and when you are doing bad, so there are open lines of communication, which makes it fun to come to the ballpark and work for a guy like that.
KibosCats: Who is the coolest guy on your team? Why?
Aviles: There are so many, I can't narrow it down to just one.
boycst8: When your average dipped below .300 soon after your callup, what/who do you give the most credit to for turning it around and maintaining the success at the plate you enjoy today?
Aviles: It wasn't necessarily someone in particular, but moreso working hard and doing the things I needed to do in the cage to get back to the way I was when I first got up here.
iheartnats: Does anyone play fantasy baseball on the Royals?
Aviles: Not that I know of, but fantasy football is a big thing with a lot of the guys.
kcvolfan: Mike, is it tough adjusting from aluminum bats to wood?
Aviles: It is definitely tough making the adjustment, because the margin of error on a wood bat is so much smaller than on an alumninum bat. But I think that continued use with a wooden bat would only be an advantage to a young player.
oroylsmike: Mike, we'll be down from Omaha this month to cheer you and the team on. We make sure whoever wears 13 in Omaha plays hard like you do. What helps you get through the batting slumps or past the big errors?
Aviles: I try to let things go as quickly as possible only because every day is a new day and the beauty of this game is that you can do it all over again the next day.
Aviles: Thanks for all the great questions. I have time for just a few more before going to the training room to get ready for the game tonight.
vsuave: I know you do not want to think about Rookie of the Year, but what if you go on a hot streak and surpass many of Evan Longoria's numbers. Do you think the sportswriters will adjust?
Aviles: I'm not really worried about the numbers. I'm more worried about playing hard and I know if I do, that my numbers will take care of themselves and if I was named Rookie of the Year, that would be a great accomplishment. My goals are more to go out there and give it my all every day.
Coachdg: How does it feel to be talked about when it comes to the AL Rookie of the Year?
Aviles: It definitely feels great to be mentioned as a candidate especially when I started the year out in Omaha and wasn't on anyone's radar screens. It means much more to me because I know I have earned everything that I have accomplished so far.
grimmace: What music do you guys listen to to warm up?
Aviles: There is not much music. Sometimes there is, sometimes there isn't. More card playing, if anything.
taylorp: What has made this season such a success for you?
Aviles: I feel that my drive and dedication to playing hard and wanting to show people that I can compete at this level has been a big part of everything, moreso than the actual numbers. I feel blessed to where I can go out there every day and have an opportunity to affect the outcome of the game.
Aviles: Thank you fans for everything, all the support. I appreciate all of it. Continued support for the team would be great. Time for the trainer, thank you again.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.