2007 MLB Draft Q&A: Joey Hage

Hage is working on his speed

An exciting outfielder with tools galore, Joey Hage began to draw a great deal of attention from scouts this summer. Out of Douglas High School in Florida, Hage has impressed anyone who has watched him with his strong arm, great defense and raw power. We recently sat down with Joey for a Q&A session.

Scout.com: First of all, it was a summer of showcases for you. How you do you feel your summer went and what were you able to get out of it?

Joey Hage: I feel my summer went very good. I batted .410 for the summer with the All-American Prospects and we played the best competition in the country. We won the Perfect Game World Wood Bat championships in Marietta GA. I feel my reputation as a top level outfielder and clutch hitter is what I gained the most out of this summer.

Scout.com: Which event do you think you had your best showing at and why?

Joey Hage: My best showing came at the world wood bat championships. I ended the tournament with a team best 16 for 28 (.571) batting average. I was 8 for 11 during the quarterfinals, semifinals, and the final championship game. I was mentally prepared for this event because I felt that I had been overlooked for a long time. I really wanted to prove to the pro scouts and the college coaches who were there that I was as good as anyone there.

Scout.com: If you had describe your overall game, what are some important things you'd point out and basically what should people know about your style of play?

Joey Hage: I play the game very hard. I feel that you should always hustle. The easiest thing to do is to always give 100 percent effort. I play the game very aggressively. When it comes to my overall game I feel that I have very good baseball speed. I also feel that I have been very good under pressure.

Scout.com: What would you say is your strongest attribute as a player and why?

Joey Hage: My strongest attribute as a player is that I am a good contact hitter. I have worked very hard with my dad on hitting. We hit every day in my back yard, where I have a batting cage. Living in Florida has allowed me to hit twelve months out of the year.

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?

Joey Hage: I have committed to Florida International University. I have thought a lot about the decision to turn pro out of high school or go to college. I feel the draft and what happens there will lead me to the right answer.

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?

Joey Hage: The most significant improvement I have to make over the next year is to get my 60-yard dash time down to 6.5-6.6 seconds. I am currently running the 60 in a range between 6.75-6.80. I am starting to run sprints in the sand and I am running 60-yard dashes pulling a car tire strapped to my waist. My trainers feel this, along with more flexibility, will do the trick.

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 you the added attention?

Joey Hage: I really think that playing in a high profile program like the All-American prospects did a lot to move me up a lot in the rankings. I performed well in front of a lot of scouts and that put me on the map. I also got a lot bigger this summer. I went from 165 pounds to 185 pounds from the beginning to the end of summer. A great diet and exercise program got me very strong.

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?

Joey Hage: The most important thing an organization should know about me is that I have a great work ethic. My parents taught me at a young age that hard work is the only way to get better. I have the attitude that no one will outwork me.

Scout.com: What big league player would you best compare yourself to in terms of style and why?

Joey Hage: I feel I play a lot like Alfonso Soriano. I have good speed and good power like Alfonso. I also play the game hard like Pete Rose used to.

Scout.com: How would you describe your approach at the plate?

Joey Hage: My approach at the plate is very aggressive. I want to hit the first good fastball that I see. I also don't like to swing at a first strike curveball.

Scout.com: You've been praised for your offensive skills by many scouts. What do you think makes you such a strong hitter?

Joey Hage: It feels good to know that I have been praised by many scouts for my offensive skills. Thank you for saying that. It makes me know that the 200 to 300 swings that i take daily with my dad is really paying off. We do a lot of drills. A lot of soft-toss drills with one hand swinging the bat. Front side then back side. We do lots of tee work, working on fundamentals. We work with a mirror so I can see myself. My dad still throws good batting practice, so I am always challenged.

Scout.com: How do you feel playing against such strong competition has helped you as a player?

Joey Hage: To be the best you must play against the best. That's what playing for the All-American Prospects has done for us. I think the prospects has had more first and second round picks the last couple of years compared to any other program.

Scout.com: How would you break down your defensive game? Do you feel it is one of your stronger points?

Joey Hage: My defensive game is one of my stronger points. I have worked really hard to get my throwing velocity at 90 MPH from the outfield. I get to the ball very well off the bat. Mike Adams from the All-American Prospects told me I'm one of the best defensive outfielders in the country. I am very proud of that.

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