Mattair was the Phillies’ second round draft pick in 2007 out of Southridge High School in Washington state. He later helped the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws win the South Atlantic League championship in 2009. After a rough spring training in 2010, Mattair, who was an all-state basketball player during his high school days, retired from baseball to chase his dream of playing Division I college hoops.
After trying his hand with Boise State University, Mattair has returned to Clearwater to continue his baseball journey.
Read ahead to check out what Moose had to say on various subjects, live and direct from Clearwater.
On his first official day of minor league camp since he left the Phillies organization last year to dabble in college basketball.
The first full official day (of minor league camp) was full of meetings. Base running, infield, hydration, we had a bunch of meetings. We didn’t go on the field. We have our physicals on Saturday, and then we’ll get out on the field and get after it.
It was great to see all the guys. It’s something that I really missed. I’m really enjoying it.
On the percentage of minor leaguers who arrived early, compared to the player who arrived just this week, when prospects were required to report…
More of the Latin guys…they just showed up (this week). It’s more of the foreign guys that couldn’t get into the states till now. And everyone else showed up at least 3 to 4 days early.
But, now that we can get into the complex earlier than spring training, it’s becoming more common for fellows to come down early and at least get climatized before we start getting into these first ten days, which is our conditioning phase. That can really take a lot out of you, so getting here early and getting climatized and getting used to any time change, more and more guys are taking advantage of that.
I’m very grateful that this is allowed now and we can get in here and do all that stuff.
On getting to Cleawater early and if he thinks the head start is an advantage…
I think it’s a definite advantage. Especially, for a guy like me…I’m from a climate in Washington, where it’s still freezing there and I couldn’t even get out on the field. And so, there’s definitely that rusty period, where you’re just getting into the flow of things and getting your swing right and you’re getting your legs, as an infielder, taking ground balls every day in the warmth. I think it’s definitely an advantage to come down early and I thinks it’s something that I will continue to do every year. An everyday grind is something you have to prepare your body for.
I feel like I am ready today, versus being really ready in a week, like some of the other guys will have to deal with.
On spring workouts and his own physical condition, having added a good amount of muscle…
I came down here to Florida in pretty good shape. I was really happy with where my body was at. I’m just trying to maintain, right now. I’ve kind of calmed down on workouts, although, I was doing different stuff.
The Japanese workout that (trainer) Shawn Fcasni and staff put together was great and I enjoyed it. But I feel like we’re going to do more of that in spring training, as a group. It’s something different and I’m always for trying something different. It’s really tough, but it’s really good.
I’m weighing in at 238-239 right now. When I last played in Lakewood (in 2009) I weighed around 220. Last spring training, I weighed in about 235, then I went to Boise and with all the running and hoops training, I got down to about 210. I lost 20 pounds really quickly, when I went out to Boise. Then I started lifting again and put on better weight. So that’s where my body is. I’m really happy and I’m feeling really good.
On weekly poker tournaments with old Lakewood teammates Travis d’Arnaud and Anthony Gose, both now in the Toronto system, that are frequently won by Phillies prospect Jiwan James.
I wish I couldn’t give (Jiwan) credit, but I have to. Yeah…he’s been winning! Him and (Anthony) Gose. They’ve been the champs so far. He’s the ultimate winner right now- gosh dang it! We play again this weekend and I’m gonna get the best of him on Sunday.