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Q&A with Tigers prospect Brandon Douglas

An 11th round pick in the 2008 draft, Brandon Douglas has emerged as another promising Detroit Tigers draft pick. Many see him as a future 2nd baseman for the Tigers, next in line behind Will Rhymes and Scott Sizemore. In 35 games for the Erie Seawolves last season, Douglas had an impressive .359 average with 15 RBIs. The Iowa native will hopefully soon see the big city lights of Detroit.

BYB: The Cincinnati Reds originally drafted you in 2007, why didn’t you sign with them?
Brandon Douglas: I knew that I wasn't really ready for pro ball yet. I felt like I still needed to improve my game and also improve with the mental side of the game. I was taken in the 32nd round and I knew if I went back to school, improved on both of those things, and had a good year then I could go a lot higher next draft.

BYB: So in 2008 the Tigers drafted you in the 11th round, where were you and what were you doing when you found out?
Brandon Douglas: I had a pretty good idea that I was going to be drafted so I invited a few of my closest friends and some family members over to the house and we watched the draft on the internet.

BYB: You were born in Knoxville, Iowa, not many major league teams in the area. What was a MLB team that you loved growing up and who was your favorite player?

Brandon Douglas: When I was growing up the only teams on TV were the Cubs and Braves. Pretty much all of my friends were Cubs fans so I decided I would be a Braves fan. My favorite player growing up was David Justice. David Eckstein was another player I watched growing up. He wasn't the biggest player, he didn't have the greatest arm, and he didn't hit for power but he played hard every day. I told myself, if he can do it, i can do it!

BYB: You’ve had to deal with some injuries but you still had a very strong year in Lakeland then in Erie, where do you see yourself in 2011?
Brandon Douglas: To be honest it doesn't matter where I play at in 2011. Just as long as I'm on a team and in the lineup I'm happy!

BYB: You’re primarily a middle infielder, and you’ve played a little 3rd base. What is your favorite primary position?
Brandon Douglas: If you asked me this question a few years ago I'd probably say short but after playing second for the past two years I'm going to have to say second base.

BYB: Has there been a fellow player in the minors that has helped you out with your development and career?
Brandon Douglas: I've become close with a few guys over the past couple of years. When any of us struggle or have questions we are right there to help each other out. You never stop learning or stop getting better at baseball. You have to ask questions and watch other players and talk to other guys. If you don't do that you'll never get better.

BYB: What have you been up to this off-season? Anything you’ve been working on to improve for this season?

Brandon Douglas: My main focus this offseason was the weight room. I think being hurt last year really made me realize the importance of weight training and conditioning. I can honestly say this was my best off-season yet and I feel great! I'm excited about this year and can't wait to get things started!

BYB: Do you have any pre-game rituals or superstitions?
Brandon Douglas: I don't but I know some other guys do. Adam Wilk has about 43 rituals he goes through and he does them even when he doesn't pitch!

BYB: Who is a major league pitcher you’d love to get your first major league hit off of?
Brandon Douglas: Cliff Lee

Thanks to Brandon Douglas for taking the time out of his busy day to answer some questions.