Chase Fontaine is one of our newer farm hands. He was drafted in the second round last year (72nd overall) out of Daytona Beach Community College. He spent last season at Danville where he hit a shade under .300 and showed good plate discipline and decent power. He opened this year with the Rome Braves, and has been having his fielding problems in the early cold weather games. Chase is an "old-soul" type baseball player who looks very mature and carries himself the same way. I caught up with him about a month ago during spring training.
Martin Gandy: How was the adjustment to pro-ball last year?
Chase Fontaine: I'd say the adjustment was at first a little - I wouldn't say rocky - but just getting things down; and especially coming straight from a college season into pro-ball, you still have a little bit of a college mentality. I'd say it went great; we won our championship with Danville of the Appalachian League - it was excellent, it was very nice smooth transition into pro-ball.
MG: Did you play any winter ball?
CF: Nope, I was down here for instructs here in Orlando for a month, so they had a bunch of the young guys that just got drafted last year and some other guys. It was good, I got my reps, got to work on a lot of different things with all the coaching staff which is great.
MG: Did you work on anything in particular this off-season?
CF: Just a lot of weight training and staying in shape, pretty much.
MG: What type of player are you, how would you describe yourself?
CF: I'd say I just go out there and do whatever I can to help the team win. I don't know how to put that into words.
MG: Are you a speed player, a power hitter?
CF: I wouldn't even put me in a classification to be honest with you. I just like to play baseball and whatever happens, whatever I do, I do. I guess I can't really label myself yet - it's too early.
MG: Do you pattern yourself or any part of your game after anyone?
CF: No, you just watch these guys up in the major leagues and try to see how they handle themselves. I wouldn't say I pattern my game after anybody in particular, just try and pick little things here and there and watch what people do. Pretty much right now I'm just a sponge, trying to take as much information from my coaching staff, maybe from watching a game on TV, or talking to some of the big league guys if they get down here.
MG: Have you gotten to talk to any of the big league guys?
CF: There's a couple here and there, they run around our clubhouse sometimes.
MG: Where do you see yourself starting at this year?
CF: To be honest with you I couldn't tell you right now, I have no idea. My goal is just to break with a full-season club and go from there - Rome or Myrtle Beach, wherever that is. Just got to keep bustin it here and get out of Orlando and make it to a full-season club.
MG: Do you consider yourself primarily a shortstop?
CF: No, I'll play wherever. Right now I'm playing shortstop, but I'll play wherever they need me to, wherever the coaches need me to play, that's where I'll play.
MG: Thanks, and have a good season.
CF: Thanks, take it easy.
Image courtesy Chip Jett