Winter Garden Squeeze shortstop Todd Clay currently has a .380 batting average, seven stolen bases, 13 runs, seven RBIs, 19 hits, four doubles and three homers.
Is this your first year playing for the Squeeze?
Yes. One of my best friends from college (Andreas Lewis) played for the Squeeze last summer, and one of our assistant coaches (Drew Frederic) played for the Squeeze, as well, so he sent a bunch of us over.
What are you hoping to get out of this experience?
Just playing, really. I didn’t have a great spring with my college team, so I’m hoping to get back in the groove of things again — get more at bats and stuff.
Tell us about your years as a baseball player.
I was young, probably 8 or 9 years old. I started playing travel ball. ... My uncle was Joe Beckwith, he played for the (Los Angeles) Dodgers and the (Kansas City) Royals.
I played O-line for the football team at my school, but I wasn’t any good. So I quit football and then (I played) basketball, but I wasn’t good at it, either. Baseball was just the most natural sport to me.
What do you love most about baseball as a sport?
I kind of like the guys, just being in a team aspect of it and meeting 20 new dudes every year. That’s one of my favorite parts (of baseball).
What do you believe baseball has taught you not only on the field but also off it?
I think dealing with failure a lot of the times. Baseball is kind of a failure game, you can’t be great at it every day. … When I was younger, I used to get really mad, now I don’t do that anymore.
Do you have a favorite drill at practice?
I’m a big T guy, I hit off the T almost every day. I like the cross-over drill, I do that one a lot — you just cross your feet, and you go forward and hit the ball.
What do you think makes you a unique player on the baseball field?
I think being yourself is really big. ... I think a lot of people get caught up in trying to do that stuff. Just doing the stuff that got you to that certain point is what I’ve been trying to learn recently. Staying true to yourself.
How do you believe you instill leadership in your team?
I’m a really positive guy. Trying to be friends with everybody, be real with everybody and try to be a team (player).
Do you have a favorite MLB team or player?
I was born in Seattle, Washington, so I’m a Mariners fan. Favorite player is Joc Pederson. I grew up going to a lot of Braves games.
What are you studying in college?
I’m just getting my AA. Hopefully … (after) I’ll get a business degree.
What is your favorite hobby?
I’m a big gamer, I play a lot of “NBA 2K” and “MLB The Show.”
What do you like to do on the weekends?
When I’m home (Auburn, Alabama), I try to go to the lake as much as possible, and then when I’ve been in Pensacola, we’ve been bowling a lot.
What are three things you would take with you to a deserted island?
I’d take maybe a Percy Jackson book … a sword and a baseball. That might be cool.
What’s your favorite movie?
I’m a big Marvel guy. I like the “Captain America” movies a lot. “Winter Soldier” is probably my favorite one.
What TV series are you watching right now?
I just started “Suits” the other day; it’s pretty good so far.
Who is your favorite superhero? Why?
I like Batman.
Do you have a favorite Disney character? Who and why?
I like “Cars” a lot, so I’ll say Lightning McQueen.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
I think I’d want to fly.
What are three places you’d like to visit? Why?
Somewhere in Europe … go back to California at some point and then maybe Mexico.
If you could go back in time to a specific period of history, which one would it be and why?
Probably way back when there was no technology, because living on the woods sounds pretty cool.
What color would you say represents your personality?
I think a pretty calm blue. I’m a pretty calmed guy most of the time. Sometimes I get a little amped up on the field.
If you could be an animal for a day, which one would you be?
I think a whale shark or something in the ocean.