Q-and-A with Brandon Decker, ThunderBolts outfielder
July 12, 2012 10:34PM
Windy City's Brandon Decker tosses away his bat after striking out in the fourth inning against the River City Rascals Saturday at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood. The Thunderbolts won 1-0. Mary Beth Nolan~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 14, 2012 6:26AM
Decker is in his first year with the ThunderBolts after spending two seasons in the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim organization. He is hitting .276 with 26 RBI and ranks fourth in the Frontier League with 11 home runs. Decker is a native of Holiday, Fla., and a product of Valdosta State University.
You’ve been on a nice hot streak, hitting a lot of home runs lately. What’s been the key to your success?
I just try to go out there and do the same thing every day. I just try to play hard for my team, try to help them score some runs and get some wins.
You and Chad (Cregar, who has 12 home runs) are neck and neck for the team lead in home runs now. Do you have a competition going on?
Yeah, we like it. We kind of push each other to be better, so it works out. One’s not rooting against the other. We both like each other. We just want to push each other.
Coming to the team this year, did you hear about how hard it’s been to hit home runs at Standard Bank Stadium the past few years?
Yeah, I heard about it here and there. People said “You’re in the Thunder Dome now, and it’s hard to hit home runs here.” But, you know, I just try to do what I do and let baseball do its thing.
Do you feel like you’ve conquered the “Thunder Dome” now?
I mean, most of my home runs have been here, so I would hope so. I try not to worry about that kind of stuff, though.
Early on this season, you weren’t playing every day. Was it tough to be patient?
I was a new guy and Morgan (Burkhart) was the new manager with the team, so he didn’t know me from anyone else. I just tried to show him what I do and get my role on the team. I knew I had to earn it.
Are you disappointed you weren’t picked for the All-Star team?
Yeah, of course, it would be nice to be on the All-Star team, but I didn’t get picked so I’ve just got to worry about the season and try to help us win the championship.
You’ve played on some teams with interesting names in the past, such as the Orem Owlz and the Cedar Rapids Kernels. What’s the strangest name of a team you’ve played on?
The Kernels last year was pretty odd. Our mascot was pretty rough. It was just a guy with a baseball head. There wasn’t one thing corn-related about it. It was weird.
Who’s the goofiest guy in this clubhouse?
(Reliever Michael) Click is a pretty goofy guy. We all joke around and goof on each other, though. We have a good time. Everyone gets along in the clubhouse.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I like all sports. I like to golf. It’s nice because I golf right-handed and bat left-handed, so I don’t have to worry about messing up my swing or anything. I do everything right-handed, except hit. My dad said I had a God-given swing as a lefty.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I hate flying, so a lot of places I’d want to go, I wouldn’t because I’d have to fly. I’d probably go to the Bahamas or something, just because I can take a boat there.
As told to Steve Millar