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SoxProspects News

May 27, 2009 at 7:31 PM

Q&A with Pete Hissey

The Red Sox selected outfielder Pete Hissey in the fourth round of the 2008 MLB draft out of Unionville High School in Pennsylvania. Hissey was offered a scholarship to the University of Virginia but ultimately decided to turn pro. In 2008 he played in 15 games between the Gulf Coast League Red Sox and the Lowell Spinners. This season he broke camp with the Low-A Greenville Drive. Jonathan Singer of SoxProspects.com recently had a chance to discuss some baseball with Hissey.

JS: Coming into this season, what were some things that the Red Sox wanted you to focus on this year?
PH: The Red Sox just wanted me to go out and play a full season. There were really no specific parts of my game that they wanted me to focus on. It's my first year, so the best way to get adjusted to professional baseball is by playing a full season.

JS: So far you have not gotten off to the start you likely wanted in Greenville. Can you describe some of the reasons for that and what adjustments you will need to make in order to have success at this level and beyond?
PH: I have had some ups and downs so far this season and that is just the nature of the sport. If you would have given me this question two weeks ago, I would have said I was doing great. I have improved a lot over the course of the first two months and I am still acclimating to the lifestyle and to the fact that we play every single day, so I stay away from looking at statistics and concentrating on improving daily.

JS:Describe both the scouting and recruitment process that you went through. Did many pro teams give you attention? How many NCAA schools did you give consideration too?
PH: Virginia was my dream school, so once they gave me an offer I accepted and did not worry about the other schools. It is a great university and I wanted to attend, but I was given the opportunity to sign with the Red Sox and I did not want to turn that down. This time last year the recruitment process was heating up and I was talking to most teams. Before the draft though, I told every team I was going to college no matter what, as I thought I was. The Red Sox were one of the few teams who kept talking with me, however, and it ended up working out to sign with them.

JS: What was draft day like for you?
PH: Draft day was a great experience, but it definitely dragged on for an entire day. The first round took four hours, but after that it started to pick up pace. I was with a couple of close friends when I got the call. It was a special moment because everything I had worked so hard for seemed to have paid off.

JS: Was there a part of you that always wanted to go to the University of Virginia? Did the Red Sox have to hit a certain number in order for you to give up your commitment to Virginia?
PH: I absolutely wanted to attend Virginia. I looked at my decision as choosing between the best of both worlds. I saw Virginia as the best school I could attend and the Red Sox as the best organization. My decision was a win-win and I am ecstatic at how it worked out. The Red Sox made my decision a lot easier when they brought my family and me to Fenway for a workout. The front office was really down to earth and they even let my brother, dad, and mom hit on the field. It was a great day and it made me feel really comfortable about the organization.

JS: We ask this of all our prospects - give us a self scouting report on Pete Hissey.
PH: I play the game hard and will keep the defense on its toes. I defend well and try to help the team win. I'll let you guys finish up on the scouting report. I know SoxProspects.com loves to do that.

JS: So far this season, what teammate in Greenville has impressed you the most and why?
PH: Casey Kelly has been extremely impressive. He is an outstanding pitcher and does everything with such ease. It is a lot of fun to watch him pitch. On the offensive side, Tim Federowicz has really stood out. He's a great guy and adds a lot of leadership and maturity to the team.

JS: Recently you had John Smoltz with the Drive on a rehabilitation assignment. Can you tell us what that like to be in the presence of what many think will be a future Hall of Fame inductee?
PH: It was an honor to get to play with John Smoltz. He's a great guy and was very approachable in the locker room. He talked with us and shared some of his A-ball stories from 1986. He also bought us an incredible post-game spread which was very generous of him.

JS: Who has been the most influential person so far in your Red Sox career?
PH: I would say that my most influential people in my life are my family. Having their support is such a blessing and knowing that if I fail or succeed I will always have them cheering me on is a great feeling. God blessed me with a great family and great friends so I am just so thankful for it all.