Clevlen enjoying his time in Arizona
Outfielder playing against top prospects in AFL
Tigers prospect Brent Clevlen participated in an online chat with fans Nov. 9. The outfielder talked about playing in the AFL, his hopes for 2007, and not putting pressure on himself after getting off to a fast start after his Major League debut in 2006.
Molly: Which center fielder do you admire most in the game right now?
Brent Clevlen: The center fielder I most admire in the Majors right now is Torii Hunter with the Twins. I admire him because of his range in center field and the number of hits he takes away from guys.
dan_ciola: Where do you go for Italian food when you are in Austin?
Clevlen: Ciola's, and my favorite item is steak marsala.
jumpinjeanne: How is it playing in the Arizona Fall League? How does one make the decision to go there and play winter ball?
Clevlen: I like the league and the weather is nice. The farm director for the Tigers, Glenn Ezell, called me and told me he would like me to participate in this league. Curtis Granderson played in the league and said that he enjoyed his time here.
jumpinjeanne: Do you have a favorite or preferred outfield positron?
Clevlen: I guess I like center field because you are straight-up with the hitter and you can get a better read off the bat. But really, any of the outfield positions are fine because I have played all three of them.
tigerswinloseordraw2: Did you ever recover the ball you knocked out of Fenway Park?
Clevlen: No, I did not. I did get my first two home run balls, but I did not get the third one in Fenway.
Dan_Engen: Brent, you have a lot of fans across the country cheering for you. You are a great role model for a lot of Little Leaguers including Alex and Austin. Any advice for eighth and fifth graders if they want to pursue a Major League career?
Clevlen: Work hard everyday -- but the big thing is you have to enjoy baseball and have fun with it.
Darin_Sinclair: Have you played in the Venezuela Winter League?
tigerswinloseordraw2: What is your hope regarding next year?
Clevlen: To come to Spring Training in shape and compete for a starting job in Detroit. If not, I'll continue to work on my game wherever they send me out of Spring Training.
dan_ciola: Good answer. We will have one waiting for you when you get back.
Clevlen: I'll take you up on that. I should be home in a couple of weeks.
Molly: You certainly started off your Major League career strongly -- do you feel much pressure looking to next season?
Clevlen: I won't feel any pressure going into next season because if you put a lot of pressure on yourself you usually don't perform the way you would like. I'll do my best and see what happens.
Robin_Narlock: What has been the hardest change in making it to the big leagues?
Clevlen: The pitchers are more around the plate with their pitches. Also, the ballparks are much bigger than most of the Minor League parks.
chelsea_aldrich: Were you upset when the Tigers lost the World Series?
Clevlen: I thought we had the better team so it was a little disappointing -- but to just make it to the World Series was great for the team and the entire organization.
Dan_Engen: Are the lights in Arizona similar to the MLB parks? Can you see the ball as well in Arizona as you can at other MLB ballparks?
Clevlen: The lights are about the same as they are in most top Minor League stadiums, but not close to what you see in the Major League stadiums.
Clevlen: We have time for about two more questions before I head out to practice.
tigerswinloseordraw2: Was it Kenny Rogers who returned that first homerun ball to you? It seems I heard there was a practical joke involved.
Clevlen: No, actually Todd Jones retrieved both of my home run balls from Tampa Bay for me.
Dan_Engen: You have had a long season of baseball. Is the AFL a little more laid back than Erie, Lakeland, or Western Michigan, or is it more competitive?
Clevlen: The AFL is a little more laid back than the regular season, but the competition is much better because all of the players are the top players from the organization.
Clevlen: Thank you, everyone. I have enjoyed chatting with you this morning, but I have got to get to practice now.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.