After a subpar sophomore season at the plate, Will Toffey put together a huge season for the Vanderbilt Commodores in 2017. The third baseman hit .354/.475/.602 with 12 homers and a 48:30 BB:K in 56 games. The Oakland Athletics took Toffey with their fourth round pick.
Since turning pro, Toffey has yet to hit for power with the short-season Vermont Lake Monsters, but he has continued to show the advanced approach at the plate that defined all three of his seasons in college. After drawing 133 walks in 189 collegiate games, Toffey has walked 27 times in 38 games for the Lake Monsters. He currently has a .232/.353/.324 slashline and he has played well defensively at the hot corner.
Donald Moore spoke with Toffey about his transition to the pros.
Donald Moore: Hi Will, how is everything going for you so far this season?
Will Toffey: It’s going well. I got a month in now playing professionally and I’m having a lot of fun doing it and the team is having some good success.
DM: What are your goals for this year?
WT: I’m pretty a day-by-day guy, so you know each day I play as hard as I can and try to win the game and take each day for what it is. So that is basically my goals.
DM: What do you feel is your greatest strength as a ball player?
WT: Probably just consistency and showing up to the ballpark everyday working hard.
DM – What would you’d like to improve on?
WT: Just getting to be a bigger, stronger baseball player.
DM: How are you adjusting to professional baseball?
WT: I’m getting used to it. Each game I’m getting more and more comfortable, with each at-bat, each play on the field. At the end of the day, it’s the same game, but there are some differences and some challenges, but getting acclimated, as well.
DM: What do you like best about being a pro athlete?
WT: It’s all on you to get your work done. I really like that freedom aspect of showing up to the ballpark and doing what you need to do to get ready for the game.
DM: Any pre-game routines?
WT: No. We have a pretty good system down with cage time and stuff like that. I like to get a warm up in the first and then head over to the cages for a little bit and swing the bat and play catch, get ground balls and pre-game work in.
DM: Any hobbies?
WT: I like to play golf, when I’m away from baseball. I’m into other sports too, when I get the chance to play them.
DM: Favorite baseball team growing up?
WT: Probably say the Red Sox. I’m from Massachusetts.
DM: If there is one person who taught you the most about baseball, who would that be?
WT: Probably my father.My dad played professionally [for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the minor leagues] and he was always my coach growing up and I learned a lot from him and I still am to this day.
DM: Craziest thing you ever seen on a baseball diamond?
WT: I mean here, we turned a triple play. It’s the first triple play I have ever seen in my playing career, so that is probably the craziest thing I have ever seen.
DM: Any off-season plans?
WT: Probably just head back down to Nashville and live with some of my friends from school, workout there.
DM: Thank you so much for your time and the best of luck to you.
WT: Thank you, I appreciate it.
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