SFDugout: What can you say about the talent level in this league, especially in comparison to Single-A San Jose?
Mark Minicozzi: There’s a lot of talent. There’s so many guys—very different types of Japanese and American players. And there’s so many big prospects out here, and it’s real exciting to watch a lot of guys and face a lot of guys who are at the Double- and Triple-A level.
SFD: What’s it like to play against the representatives from the Japanese leagues?
Mark Minicozzi: We try and communicate as well as we can, you know. They’re all really good guys. It’s different baseball.
Brian Anderson: They’re a little more small ball, move runners around, hit and run. They’re a bit more of slap hitters. You know they’re not gonna go out and drop bombs on you.
SFD: Do you change your approach against them?
Brian Anderson: You know, I would probably say yeah. If we’re down by two and there’s two guys on, I’m not really thinking in my mind: if I throw a pitch right down the middle he’s gonna hit it out. So it’s a little bit different approach, but not much.
SFD: Are any scouting reports available on the Japanese pitchers or hitters—how do you go about figuring out their tendencies?
Mark Minicozzi: No, man. Before the inning starts, you gotta read it yourself. Gotta teach yourself. Just like at any level.
SFD: How has it been playing out here with the other Giants prospects—with so many guys from the Giants farm system?
Mark Minicozzi: It’s a good time. We basically spend all our time together, so we’re close knit. We pretty much stick together.
Brian Anderson: We’re all living together down by the beach, so it’s fun.
SFD: How is it playing for Lenn Sakata, your manager during the year in San Jose?
Mark Minicozzi: It’s awesome. He’s an awesome coach and I love playing for him. Keeps you relaxed. Basically, coming from playing with him all year, you know the routine, you’re not spending the time getting adjusted to a new coach. He’s fun to play for.
Brian Anderson: He goes about it the right way. He really puts no pressure on you, just puts you out there and lets you do what you can do, and he sticks with you when you’re doing well and vice versa. He makes baseball fun. And I think that’s a huge part of being able to succeed.
Tim Denevi is a die-hard Giants fan. Please e-mail him with your opinion on any issue at email@example.com
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