We sat down with Nationals' sixteenth round pick, Chris Blackwood, for a Q&A session. Find out how the speedy outfielder from Gloucester County College approaches his game, how he feels being drafted by the Nationals, and much more.
CapitolDugout: What was your initial reaction to being picked by the Nationals and how have the last few weeks been for you?
Chris Blackwood: Thank god. I know that getting drafted is a chance system. I'm just glad that the Nationals are giving me this chance.
CapitolDugout: When you heard what team you were picked by and what round you went in did it surprise you at all? What did you expect out of the draft for yourself?
Chris Blackwood: I was shocked that I was picked in the 16th. I was expecting to get picked a little later; however I knew that the Nationals were very interested
CapitolDugout: At this point, have you done some of your own research on the Nationals and how they run things? What are your expectations of pro ball with them?
Chris Blackwood: Yes. I looked at a few things on MLB.com. I see they I have two outfielders that play my style of baseball in Nook Logan and Brandon Watson. So I feel good about being with the Nationals; its a great fit.
CapitolDugout: Now, how would you describe your approach at the plate? What type of hitter are you?
Chris Blackwood: By any means necessary [I'll get on base]. If I have to get hit by I a pitch I will, draw a walk. I run a 6.4 60 so I really put the ball in play and go.
CapitolDugout: A lot of times teams pick experienced college guys like yourself as "polished players". Do you see yourself as a fairly refined player with your approach and style?
Chris Blackwood: I would. I think going to a JUCO was the best choice I could have ever made. Going to Gloucester got me into the mindset of a pro ball player.
CapitolDugout: Did you have a favorite team or player growing up? And, is there someone you perhaps modeled your game after or would compare yourself to now?
Chris Blackwood: Coming up I watched Ken Griffey Jr. alot. I liked is his style and flare at the plate and the way he robbed batters. Nowadays at the plate like Jose Reyes and in the outfield I like Nook Logan.
CapitolDugout: Looking back at your career so far, what you say has been your best significant baseball moment and why?
Chris Blackwood: Going to the JUCO world series my freshman year. We were down late in the game and I started the inning off with a triple and from there we won the game 4-2
CapitolDugout: What type of player are you on defense?
Chris Blackwood: 1000%. The ball goes up and I track it down. If that batter wants a hit he better hit it over the fence.
CapitolDugout: Would you say there is anything particularly unique about what you bring to the table as a player that a Nationals fan maybe would find interesting?
Chris Blackwood: That I'm a young, exciting player, that's going to make things happen either with his glove or stealing a bag.
CapitolDugout: There are a lot of guys who come into pro ball and really adjust their games due to the opposition being better, even the baseball itself being somewhat different. Do you envision yourself making any adjustments and how well do you think you can adapt if necessary?
Chris Blackwood: The only major adjustment will be hitting with wood, but I will pick that up quick.
CapitolDugout: Obviously Washington is a team that is trying to bounce back from some tough times. Is it encouraging to you to know that they are a team that gives players such as yourself a real chance to move up and make an impact?
Chris Blackwood: I'm glad that they put their trust in me. I'm also glad that they give guys a great chance to make an impact. I'm going to make the best of this chance
CapitolDugout: When a Nationals fans sits and thinks "what type of player is this guy exactly and what does he bring to the table." What is the first thought that should come in their head in your opinion?
Chris Blackwood: A humble and great guy all around. I'm a guy that's going to get on base at least twice a game, make a every play in his area. I'm a ballplayer.