April 9, 2013
From Chelsea White
University of Minnesota Athletic Communications Student Assistant
Starting third-baseman Ryan Abrahamson has played in 31 games for the maroon and gold this season. In his senior season, Abrahamson has seen the most consistent action this year and has a home run, 16 runs scored and 14 RBI. After striking out 39 times last season, Abrahamson leads the team in walks this year at 18. Here's a question and answer session with the third-baseman.
Q: What was the recruitment process for you and the decision to come play baseball for the University of Minnesota?
A: I started getting recruited my senior year in high school. I had talked to my high school coaches about what I should do and where I should go because I was getting recruited from a couple other schools. There was a former player from Minnesota and also his Dad who had played here. I had talked to both of them about what I should do because they had both gone through the program. Gary, the dad, really thought I would be making a mistake if I did not come here, and since I had been leaning to come here anyway that really solidified me coming to play as a Gopher. It was a really fun process being recruited. At times it could be stressful getting phone calls from multiple schools a week but it was an exciting time and I really enjoyed the whole process.
Q: You have seen a lot of starts at third base, what does it mean for you to hold that position and how can you secure it?
A: Before the season, 14 (Coach John Anderson) talked to me and told me that it would be my position to lose. I think that talk gave me a lot of confidence coming into the season with being able to go out there, play the game and not worry about whether or not I am going to be in the lineup. The past few years that is how I have played and how it has been for me, thinking or worrying if I am going to be in the lineup. So being told that it is going to be my spot has allowed me to go out there and play more relaxed and I have become more confident out there. I just overall have a lot more fun when I kind of know what to expect and when know I will be out there on the field.
Q: You are known as one of the power hitters on the team, already having one of the five home runs, have you always held that role as a player or is it something you developed as your game matured?
A: In high school my power just really started to show my senior year. My sophomore and junior year I hit a lot more doubles and then when I started to grow, some started to go over the fence. So then my junior and senior year I became more of a power hitter, doubles hitter. Once I came here to Minnesota I just started growing and getting stronger so I was considered as one of the power threats on the team. Growing up I was never a power hitter, I think I hit like one home run. Once I got to high school, my swing got better; I got stronger so that transferred to getting more power behind the ball. Along with college too, when I started to work out I continued to get stronger.
Q: Coming up on Big Ten play, as a senior, what are your personal and team goals for the conference season?
A: Personally I just want to do whatever I can do to help the team win. Being a senior, I have seen multiple examples of success and failure in the Big Ten. My freshman year we won the Big Ten and the Big Ten tournament. Then last year we did the complete opposite and did not even make the tournament. Our senior group has some high expectations on performing well in conference play because of what we came in on being Big Ten champions. Personally, I just want to do whatever I can to help the team win. For example, say I lose my starting spot, I will help them over at third base. Whatever the case is I just want to be able to get that Big Ten title again.
Q: Knowing that this is your last season, has it really hit you that you are a senior?
A: I try not to think about it too much because I don't want it to end. We have such a great group of guys here and it is hard thinking about leaving some of them. As a senior I feel like I have something to prove. In high school I was one of the better players and the past three years at Minnesota I have not really proven much of anything. I have something to show for myself more so than anyone else. My coaches and family know what I can do and I also know what I am capable of doing, but I just have not shown that yet. I want to prove to myself that I am able to play at a high level like I have been given a chance too.
Q: You also played hockey in high school, what was in your decision process to play baseball collegiately and not hockey?
A: My grandpa would always ask me growing up what my favorite sport was and I would just tell him whatever season it was- baseball in the summer and hockey in the winter. I knew I had a lot more potential in baseball, I felt I had a lot more overall ability in baseball than I did in hockey. Hockey was just another sport that I just grew up playing and I wanted to play it as long as I could. I got to play with a lot of my buddies. I grew up with a group where we all went to high school together. We all played hockey and baseball. However I never thought I was going to play hockey any further past high school so my junior and senior year it was more just going out there and having fun and enjoying my time with my friends. I knew I wanted to play baseball though at the next level whether that was a Division I, II, or III school.