In perhaps the most underrated moves of the winter, the Milwaukee Brewers were able to upgrade their organizational depth by trading for outfield prospect Kyle Wren. Currently rated as the 17th best prospect in the system, Wren has a solid bat, strong defensive skills and great speed that should help him quickly move up the ranks. As the son of former Braves General Manager, Frank Wren, Kyle has a good head on his shoulders and a great approach as he looks to take his game to the next level.
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Through his first two minor league seasons, the former Georgia Tech star has a career .304 batting average while carrying a robust .368 OBP. He has also showed off his speed by swiping 81 bases over his minor league career, including 46 in 2014.
I recently had a chance to catch-up with Kyle and talk about his experiences in the minor leagues and the upcoming season. Here is what he had to say:
Pete: At what point in your high school or college career did you realize that you had a chance to get drafted?
Kyle: I think I always believed I had the talent to play professional baseball, but that was solidified most after my freshman year of college. I had led the ACC in hits and was named a Freshman All-American as well as First Team All-ACC, so that really made me confident that I could play at the next level.
Pete: Could you describe your feelings on the day you were drafted? What was it like to be a part of the Braves organization?
Kyle: It was that dream come true to get drafted. Being from a baseball family I knew it was only the next step towards reaching the ultimate goal of playing in the big leagues. I was very happy to be drafted by the Braves because I knew they were a team that really used their farm system at the big league level. My experiences with the Braves were great and I really learned a lot in that first season and a half of pro baseball.
Pete: Growing up who were some players that you wanted to emulate or model your game after?
Kyle: As a young kid I really loved Ken Griffey Jr. Because he had everything. He had power, speed, and an amazing glove in the outfield, as I got older I began to realize that power was never going to be a part of my game so I started to really like watching guys like Michael Bourn. I actually got to speak to Michael when he played for the Braves and besides just being a genuinely nice person, he taught me a lot about. Being a speed guy and what all that entails, from keeping your legs healthy, to making sure to eat enough so that you don’t lose weight over the course of a long season.
Pete: That is awesome! Great to see guys like that. What has been the toughest part of adjusting from the college game to the pros?
Kyle: I think the toughest part was adjusting to a spring training where you only have a month to prepare for a 6 month season. In college you basically have all fall and then a month in January to prepare for the season so have a lot of time to get your swing right but in professional baseball you only have that one month to get ready so you have to really work on your swing during that time period.
Pete: I know you haven’t been a part of the organization for long, but how has it been being part of the Brewers organization?
Kyle: It’s been great so far, everyone has been really welcoming. It’s nice to know that the Brewers also really put value in their farm system and developing their players. I was here for early camp so I got to work more individually with some of the coordinators and have really enjoyed working with Jeremy Reed who has really helped tighten my swing mechanics so that I’m even quicker to the ball. In all its been a great experience so far and I expect that will continue.
Pete: What are your goals for this upcoming season?
Kyle: Really I just want to control what I can control. And what I mean by that is, I can control everything in an at-bat up to the point of contact and then I have no more control. If I hit a line drive but it gets caught, I have done everything I can do. That allows me to focus on my next at-bat instead of dwelling on the previous one. Of course I want to maintain my strength and have a great year at the plate and I believe I will do that by worrying about the things I can control.
Pete: Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer some questions. It’s great to have you as a part of the organization. Best of luck this season!