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May 6, 2010 at 6:00 AM

Q&A with Brandon Jacobs

With its system somewhat lacking in power bats in the outfield, the Red Sox hope to have found one in Brandon Jacobs. Drafted in the tenth round of the 2009 Draft, Jacobs had to decide if he wanted to play football at Auburn University or sign with the Red Sox. Jacobs chose to sign with Boston a few days before the August 15 deadline for $750,000, and made a short debut in the Gulf Coast League, getting just 24 at-bats. While he has a lot of power potential, his offensive game is still not yet refined. For now, he is working on that refinement in extended spring training, after which he will likely be assigned to the Lowell Spinners in June. Brandon recently took time out of his busy extended spring training schedule to answer some questions.

Jonathan Singer: What were some of the factors that led to you choosing the Red Sox over Auburn? Did you have NFL aspirations on the gridiron? How difficult was it telling Gene Chizik that you were choosing baseball over football?
Brandon Jacobs: I wanted to start my professional career right away, as opposed to waiting three years for a potential NFL career. I felt that the earlier I started my professional career with baseball; the better I will be in the long run. College football was more appealing to me than professional football. My goal ever since playing pee wee football was to be a running back in the Southeastern Conference with the University of Georgia, University of Florida or Auburn University. It wasn't as difficult letting Gene Chizik know my decision as it would have been if Tommy Tuberville and his staff, which recruited me heavily, was still at Auburn.

JS: What was draft day like for you? Did you have a lot of contact with the Red Sox prior to the draft? Did you get attention from a lot of other teams?
BJ: Draft day was very overwhelming, stressful, and a day I will never forget. I had spoken with the Red Sox scout throughout my senior year. Two weeks prior to draft day, I had gone to Boston for a pre-draft workout with another Red Sox prospect, Miles Head. The pre-draft workout went well, and it was a great experience. During my senior year, I talked with twenty-seven other major league teams, but by draft day it had narrowed down to three. I'm just happy to be a part of the Boston Red Sox organization.

JS: What kind of adjustments did you have to make switching from high school baseball to the Gulf Coast League last year?
BJ: The adjustment was not as difficult as it would have been otherwise because of the pro-style program that I came from. My high school coach, Chan Brown, ran a similar program to the Red Sox, with long hours of fielding and a lot of batting practice. We had open access to our batting cages.

JS: What did you take away from participating in the Fall Instructional League this past fall?
BJ: The best thing about Fall Instructional League was that you were able to work with so many individual coaches. You were given plenty of personal time that allowed you to work on certain aspects of the game. It was a very good experience that will only help me in the long run.

JS: Can you tell us about your off-season? Did the organization have you on any specific strength and conditioning program?
BJ: My off-season was basically the same as I would have done in high school. Yes, I was given a strength and conditioning workout program by the organization to follow. With my football mindset, I also did a lot of extra work running, on agility, and extra lifting. It's all about keeping in shape and being ready. My father and I have always worked out together. I also had a personal trainer back home. We worked out five days a week while hitting twice a day to prepare me before I arrived in Fort Myers for spring training.

JS: How have your batting approach and swing mechanics changed since you joined the organization, if at all?
BJ: My batting approach and swing mechanics really haven't changed much at all. Right now it is just a little smoother approach toward hitting the baseball.

JS: How about your glove? Are there any areas that you are concentrating on improving this season on defense?
BJ: I've only played outfield for two years now, so it is still pretty new to me. I'm taking things day-by-day while working on getting a few small mechanics adjusted to improve my glove work.

JS: You seem to be a good baserunner with great instincts. Could this be a result of your experience with football? What other ways might your football experience carry over to the baseball diamond?
BJ: I think playing football has given me a big advantage on baseball. As a football player, it is basically a year-round workout. It begins the summer of your freshman year in high school and does not end until your senior year. We constantly worked on strength, speed, and agility. It has obviously helped me a lot with baseball, especially on the basepaths.

JS: Can you take us through a day in extended spring training? Does the front office have you working on any specific developmental goals down there?
BJ: Most of our goals are pretty much set by us. I like to give myself reasonable goals but also goals that are challenging to me. We have our daily routine each day, starting off with an early workout where we work on fundamentals, take our batting practice, along with finishing up our day with a game.

JS: We recently had an interview with David Renfroe in which he said that you impressed him the most within the organization because of your power and overall ability. What one teammate has impressed you the most in the short period of time that you have been with the Red Sox?
BJ: We're all here for a reason. I could say everyone has impressed me in some kind of way or another. If I had to pick one person it would have to be Jason Thompson. Jason is quick and smooth with his glove along with a solid approach at the plate. He can make anything happen at any given point of a game offensively or defensively.