Editor’s note: These interviews took place midseason, but personal circumstances prevented us from publishing them at the time of the interviews. We still wanted to share them even if they are a few months after the fact. Thank you!
After three years as a starter at South Carolina, Jonah Bride burst onto the professional scene with a strong pro debut season with the short-season Vermont Lake Monsters. The third baseman hit .287/.376/.421 with 24 walks and 34 RBI in 54 games for the Lake Monsters and he was named a mid-season New York-Penn League All-Star.
Donald Moore spoke with Bride during the Lake Monsters’ regular season about his transition to pro ball.
Donald Moore: Hi Jonah, how is everything going for so far this season?
Jonah Bride: It’s going really good and getting used to pro ball, learning how things work and playing everyday and the transition is going really well.
DM: What are your goals for this year?
JB: I want to keep transitioning and and being consistent and playing everyday, mentor some young guys and stay loose, and do whatever I can do to help this team win.
DM: What do you feel is your greatest strength as a ballplayer?
JB: For me I think staying consistent every time I come out and try to be the same guy every single day. Play good defense and help this team win ball games. Try to be a good situational hitter and try to win.
DM: What would you’d like to improve on?
JB: I always like to improve on all aspects of my game. For me, keep the ball in play, be more gap to gap with doubles and extra base hits. That I’d like to improve on for sure.
DM: How are you acclimating to professional baseball?
JB: It’s really good. It’s definitely different than college and but being able to play everyday is awesome and a dream come true. I’m able to put on a uniform and I’m excited for the future.
DM: What is the best thing about being a professional athlete?
JB: I think being able to play everyday. In college you play a lot, but here you play almost every day. You show up to practice then play. It’s mainly strictly playing baseball and I love it.
DM: What is the hardest thing being a pro?
JB: It really hasn’t been that hard for me. I have been away from home a lot, In college it seemed as though it was a thousand miles away from home, but everything has been really great so far.
DM: Any pre-game routines?
JB: Not really. Just stretch and usually hit off the tee before batting practice.
DM: Any hobbies?
JB: I like playing video games but that’s about it.
DM: Favorite baseball team growing up?
JB: I was born in Milwaukee, so I was a Brewers fan then. Then I moved to Oklahoma and never liked any other team since then.
DM: Where are you originally from?
JB: Milwaukee, but then moved to Owasso, Oklahoma.
DM: If there is one person who taught you the most about baseball, who would that be?
JB: Growing up, just my dad, and my mom, too. My mom used to catch my bullpen stuff and throw to me, so both my mother and father were the ones who taught me the most about baseball.
DM: Craziest thing you have ever seen on a baseball diamond?
JB: When we were in Arizona, I saw an almost triple play. They called interference at second, so it never happened. That would have been really cool if it did though..
DM: Any off-season plans?
JB: I’m going to go back home and be working out and stuff and probably go back to South Carolina as well and work out at the campus there.
DM: I want to thank you for your time and the best of luck to you and your career.
JB: Thank you. It was nice to meet you and I appreciate it very much.