This week I spoke with Blue Jays prospect Arthur (Art) Charles. Art Charles is a 21-year-old first baseman who was drafted in the 20th round of the 2010 first year player draft. Last year with the Bluefield Blue Jays, Charles hit .240/.351/.468 (wOBA .362) 11 HR and 61 RBI in 68 games. Charles showed great power last season (.228 ISO) and the ability to draw walks (13 BB%). Here is the Q & A from the interview.
What are your goals for the 2012 season?
“My goals for this 2012 season are to obviously improve as an all around player, but more towards showing more consistency at the plate and showing better plate discipline. I feel that is very important to my improvement as a player as well as improving my defensive skills. I am going to cut down on my strike outs and improve my ability to put the ball into play on more frequent basis while still driving in runs and hitting for power. Other goals that I have this year are to separate myself from others and show that I am an impact guy capable of becoming an Elite baseball player. Mentally, I just want to make it a goal to not worry about what I can’t control and having that killer instinct EVERY time I’m on the field.”
Last season you posted solid on base and slugging percentages in the ApL, what would you say is your greatest strength on the baseball field?
“I feel my greatest strength on the baseball field is my ability to drive the ball in the gaps and hit for power. With the help of my hitting coaches I have been able to make adjustments with my approach and swing to allow me to drive the ball to the left and right fields with power, thus opening up my game. That’s a big reason I was able to make the accomplishments that I have made, not only in season, but also throughout instructional league and over offseason.”
What has the key been to your success this far in your career? Are there any coaches or family members in particular that have had a major impact on you as a ball player?
“The key to my success came from mostly my family, but I owe it to our organization as well. The Blue Jays have helped me improve my game from both an offensive and defensive point. We’ve made changes to my swing and the way I attack the ball to my footwork, agility, and picks around the bag. Throughout spring training and instructional league we have really came a long way and they’ve spent lots of time helping me develop my game. I say my family because they give me constant support as well as giving me strength when I’m down or when I’m up pushing me to go even harder to perform at a higher level. Just being able to converse with your family when you are so far away keeps you grounded and I love them very much. I can’t say that one of my family members in particular helps me more because they all give me strength and make me want to make it even more.”
Lastly, have you ever been up to Toronto? If so, what did you think? and if not, what have you heard about the city?
“I actually have been to Toronto and I loved it. Toronto is a very beautiful city and can’t wait to go back and play under the lights. The Blue Jays are responsible for me having the amazing opportunity to travel there. I went to Toronto for a pre-draft workout before they drafted me in the 2010 draft. Luckily the Blue Jays had some games against the Rays that week and I was able to acquire tickets and attend the game knowing that I would to be on the field the next morning for my workout. Being in the ballpark was one thing, but playing in it was a whole other experience. I had a lot of fun hitting balls into the seats, running around, and taking batting practice in front of Cito Gaston. It was a great experience that I will never forget and motivates me to make it to the show to play and hit balls into the seats on a regular basis.”
You can follow Art on Twitter @SirArthurC
Images courtesy of JaysProspects