2013: Q & A with Lugnuts Players Taylor Cole and Seth Conner!

*Hope to do this again for the 2014 season!!*

Q & A With Lansing Lugnuts Taylor Cole and Seth Conner

Michael Roberts
Lansing Lugnuts Booster Club

I had the chance to ask Starting Pitcher Taylor Cole and Catcher Seth Conner questions that included about their time in Lansing, what they liked the most about the Lansing Lugnuts Booster Club and more. I gave them questionnaires to fill out so they could return them to me. I would like to thank them for taking the time out of their busy schedules to fill them out and for returning them to me. Before we get into the questions and their responses, lets start out with some background information.

First up is Starting Pitcher, #19, Taylor Cole.

Taylor was born August 20th, 1989 and attended Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas Nevada. He graduated high school in 2007 and was drafted by the Los Angels Dodgers in the 26th round. He went on to pitch for the College of Southern Nevada in 2008, and went 10-3 with an ERA of 1.37 in 16 games, and was again drafted but this time by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 31st round of the 2008 player draft. Taylor then went to serve on a two-year mission trip in Toronto from 2009-10. He returned to pitch for the Brigham Young Cougars in 2011 and went 1-3 with a 5.88 ERA in 11 starts. He was then drafted from the Cougars with the 889th overall pick, (29th round), in 2011 and signed with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Taylor made his MiLB debut on June 17th, 2011, with the Vancouver Canadians. He recorded his first professional win on the same day. He made his first professional start on June 21st, 2011. Some of his career highs include the most innings pitched which was 7.2 on 8/30/12, Hits allowed with nine in two different games, and strikeouts with seven in four different games. In his second season with the Vancouver Canadians in 2012, Taylor posted a 6-0 record with a 0.81 ERA. He allowed only six runs in 66.1 innings, with four of those earned runs in one game on August 10th, 2012. Taylor was named the Baseball America #20 prospect in the Northwest League and was named the 2012 Topps Northwest League Player of the Year.

Next up is Catcher, #34, Seth Conner.

Seth was born January 29th, 1992 in Rogersville Missouri and attended Logan-Rogersville High school. He was drafted as a corner infielder from high school by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 20th round of the 2010 first year player draft, in which Conner signed in the closing minutes of the signing deadline. Conner was signed to play at Missouri State but instead opted for the pro contract. After being drafted, he was converted to a catcher. He made his Milb debut in 2011 with the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays and hit .276 in 50 games with 174 at-bats. A fun fact about Seth is, his favorite cartoon character is Scooby Doo. Last year with the Bluefield Blue Jays, Seth batted
.296 in 49 games with 142 at-bats. Before getting promoted last year to Bluefield, he was playing again in the Gulf Coast League and batted .250 in five games with 16 at-bats. In the two levels last year combined, he had a .291 batting average in 158 at-bats in 54 games. Last year with Bluefield, he won the quality at-bats award. In three total seasons, Seth is batting .260 in 420 at-bats with a total of 133 games played.

I asked both Taylor and Seth the same questions and here are their responses.

Question 1: What is your “typical” day like?

Taylor: My typical day includes waking up and having a good breakfast, after which we usually watch TV or get some things done we need to. We grab food before we get to the field and depending on what day it is we get our workouts in and get ready for the game.

Seth: The typical day for me during the baseball season is to wake up around 9:30-10 o'clock and make some breakfast, sit down and read my bible. I then watch some TV and relax for a couple hours. Before going to the field, I like to make lunch or get some lunch on the way to the ballpark and arrive there around 12:30-1 o'clock. I then stretch and go through my routine, do whatever team stuff we have to do that day, play the game, go home, eat and relax and go to bed then do it all over again. That means my day consists of eating, sleeping/relaxing and baseball. Not to exciting.

Question 2: What is your favorite thing the most about being in the Minor Leagues? Why?

Taylor: My favorite part about being a minor leaguer is being able to play the game of baseball full time and all the experiences that come along with it. It includes learning things about the game of baseball, meeting new people and friends, visiting different cities and many more. All the work is a grind but it can help mold you into the player and person you want to become.

Seth: My favorite part is building relationships and memories with my teammates and traveling to different parts of the country and getting to do what I love, which is playing baseball.

Question 3: If you had to pick your least favorite thing about being in the Minor Leagues, what would it be? Why?

Taylor: My least favorite thing about the minors is not having a lot of off days and therefore missing out on things that may be going on back home. Being away from family is not always easy, but again it's a sacrifice that is needed in order to pursue my dreams.

Seth: Definitely being away from my family. I'm a huge family guy and not getting to see them much is tough.

Question 4: What do you like to do on your off days?

Taylor: On my off days I like to just relax. I usually do my laundry and sometimes go see movies. Sometimes doing absolutely nothing is best when you are so busy otherwise.

Seth: Mainly on the off days I just like to relax and let my body rest as much as possible. I like going to see movies and fish though.

Question 5: What park in the Midwest League has been your favorite and least favorite to play in so far? Why?

Taylor: My favorite park to play in this year is without a doubt Fort Wayne. The field is in the best shape I've played on and the way it is enclosed by buildings and apartments is very cool. I also like that the hotel is practically on the other side of center field and is a Marriott. My least favorite is any field where the wind is really blowing out and the fences are short, haha.

Seth: My favorite park to play in is Fort Wayne. It's such a nice playing surface that makes you feel like you are playing in a mini big league stadium. My least favorite park is Bowling Green because it's a 7-8 hour bus ride away.

Question 6: How has the Lansing Lugnuts Booster Club helped you and your teammates out this season? Why?

Taylor: The booster club has been great this year in Lansing. They have provided us with get away bags to take on the bus for long road trips and also have dinners for us occasionally after games. They also take pictures at times and give us copies which is nice.

Seth: The booster club has been a help all the way from just being some friendly faces since we are all away from our families, to providing a home cooked meal, to snack bags for long bus trips, and just encouragements. We really appreciate everything.

Question 7: Which of the following is your favorite thing we do and why? Dinners, get-away bags, welcome to Lansing bags or away game dinners?

Taylor: My favorite thing the booster club does for us are the dinners after the games because, they are always very good and it's nice to be able to interact and get to know all of them.

Seth: I personally enjoy it all simply for the reasons stated in question number 6.

Question 8: Finally, How have you liked living in Lansing so far? What is your most memorable moment on Jackson Field so far this season and why?

Taylor: Lansing is a city that has grown on me. The longer I am here the more I like it. The people are very nice and they love baseball. The most memorable moment at Jackson Field this year for me is pitching a good game against South bend. I hope to have many more good outings for the fans to see in Lansing before the season is over.

Seth: I've enjoyed Lansing but haven't really gotten to enjoy it because we play baseball all the time. My favorite thing we've done or that I've witnessed on Jackson Field was Patterson's home run onto the street.

Taylor and Seth have some of the same responses to the questions, while also having some different responses. The reason I asked two players the same questions was to see how different or the same their responses would be. A pitcher has a different “typical” day than a catcher may have. I would like to thank them once again for taking time out of their busy schedules to answer these questions for me. I don't think you will come across to many nicer people than Seth and Taylor.

Hope to see you all at the games during the rest of the season and remember, GO NUTS!!

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