Hom might be moving from third base
An athletic middle infielder out of De La Salle High School in California, Nicholas Hom got a great deal of attention for his improved overall game in the summer of 2006. He's shown good hands in the field and pop at the plate, a combination that intrigued colleges and pro scouts. We recently caught up with the USD signee for a Q&A session.
Scout.com: First of all, it was a summer of showcases for you. How do you feel your summer went and what were you able to get out of it?
Nicholas Hom: The summer went well for me; this summer was about having fun for the last time with my summer ball team, and as far as that goes, the summer was great. My skills are best displayed during tournaments versus showcases. I was able to compete against some of the best competition in the country and do well.
Scout.com: Which event do you think you had your best showing at and why?
Nicholas Hom: I had my best showing at the Sunbelt Classic in Oklahoma. We played some of the best competition in the country and my swing felt great, hit several home runs, hit for high average, and the game seemed to slow down for me.
Scout.com: If you had to describe your overall game, what are some important things you'd point out and basically what should people know about your style of play?
Nicholas Hom: I am a gap to gap guy who will hit for high average that can hit for power as well. I will take my share of bags with good speed. When the game slows down for me, my defense is very strong; I have a strong arm, very good range, and soft hands.
Scout.com: What would you say is your strongest attribute as a player and why?
Nicholas Hom: My bat is my strongest attribute, because it is the part of my game that I have spent the most time working on, and I know my swing up and down.
Scout.com: Have you committed to college yet? If so, which one and have you thought ahead about the decision you could have to make between going pro and college?
Nicholas Hom: I have committed to the University of San Diego, and as for going pro, I am fully committed to go to USD at this time, but given the right situation, I would be willing to consider going in the draft.
Scout.com: What do you feel are the most significant improvements you have to make over the next year and how do you plan to correct them?
Nicholas Hom: The most important for me to work on this fall is my opposite field hitting. Even though the level of play was very high, going to another level will require me going back to what has worked for me in the past and what previous coaches have taught me.
Scout.com: It seems that you were a player that moved up a lot on many prospects lists this summer. What differences do you think there were in your game that got your the added attention?
Nicholas Hom: I don't really think that anything changed in my game, but more scouts were able to see me play in important games this year and in the National Showcases over the summer.
Scout.com: What do you feel is the most important thing an organization should know about you that they might not see at first glance?
Nicholas Hom: I think that the most important part of my game that people won't see at first glance is my knowledge of the game. I have played in some very big games and enjoy playing and being successful under the pressure of critical situations.
Scout.com: What big league player would you best compare yourself to in terms of style and why?
Nicholas Hom: I like to think that I play third like Eric Chavez with my soft hands and good range in the infield. And I listen to Steve Springer's hitting tapes a couple of times a month to make sure that I can engrain a good hitting plan into my head.
Scout.com: How would you describe your approach at the plate?
Nicholas Hom: I try to look for something that I'm going to get as opposed to what I want to hit. And, I step into the box knowing that if the pitcher puts a ball over the plate, I'm going to put a good swing on the ball.
Scout.com: You've been praised for your skills at third base by many scouts. Do you see yourself as a third baseman long term?
Nicholas Hom: No, though I play third base for our high school and our summer travel team, USD has already mentioned that with my range, they would like me to move to the middle infield and I think that will suit a player like me better in the pros.
Scout.com: How do you feel playing against such strong competition has helped you as a player?
Nicholas Hom: I don't think that I would have the knowledge or half the skill that I have now, if I hadn't been a part of NorCal Baseball and De La Salle and have competed against some of the strongest competition in the country. Having to keep up with the pitching that we see in the summer has really helped my swing, because if your swing isn't right, then you have no chance at hitting some of the guys that we see.
Scout.com: How would you break down your defensive game? Do you feel it is one of your stronger points?
Nicholas Hom: I feel that when I slow the game down and keep my head between my legs, I can play defense as well as anyone. It is a strong part of my over all ability with my knowledge of game situations, range, soft hands, and a strong arm, but my ability to hit is my strongest part of my game.
Scout.com: In what ways have you tried to deal with the pressures of picking a college and getting attention from pro scouts?
Nicholas Hom: I committed very early, so I haven't really had to deal with the picking a college over the summer. Having been seen early in my career, we were able to filter through the various schools and focus on a specific set of schools. I was blessed to be given an offer by the college that was at the top of my list. Being a position player, I have been lucky to play with and against high profile pitchers, so pro scouts have seen me in high profile high school and summer games as well as National Showcases over the summer.