The Interrogation Room: Nick Shaw

Nick Shaw takes a lead from first base during a 2011 game against the Clinton LumberKings. (Ann Mollica/Wisconsin Timber Rattlers)

By Chris Mehring / Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | January 18, 2012 6:19 AM ET

Nick Shaw was a key component in the Timber Rattlers lineup during the 2011 season. In the field, he played solid - and at times spectacular - defense. At the plate, he got on base...a lot. Shaw was second in the Midwest League in walks with 82. He also scored a lot of runs and wound up in the top ten in the league in that category.

Shaw has put his name in the Timber Rattlers record book for both runs (T-8th) and walks (3rd) in a single season.

Today, he steps into The Interrogation Room and talks about last season, his preparation for 2012, and his instructional segment from Timber Rattlers Field Pass.

The Interrogation Room: What was your highlight of the 2010 season as a Timber Rattler?

Nick Shaw: I'd have to say the highlight of the season for me, although it was as early in the season as it could get, was hitting my first professional home run on opening day. That was one of the best days on the baseball diamond that I've ever had.

TIR: Could you critique your season in the Midwest League as in what you thought you did right and what you need to work on for the future?

NS: I would say I definitely need to work on playing a little better in cold weather, I obviously struggling in dealing with that in the beginning of the season. I would've also liked to stay a little more flexible and agile during the long season, missing those two games against Clinton a little after the break was something that I hated. Missing games, other than routine days off, is something I can't allow to happen. I thought I did a few things right this season but two things stand out, making the transition back to shortstop went well I thought and getting on base was still a success, even though I didn't have nearly my best offensive season.

TIR: If you could add anything to your segment on Timber Rattlers Field Pass about pitch recognition and the strike zone, what would it be?

NS: Thinking back it seems like I included most everything that I think was important but maybe I should've expanded a little bit more about the type of pitches to expect in certain counts.

TIR: Well, here's your chance. What kind of pitches should hitters expect in certain counts?

NS: Early in the count (0-0,1-0) and when I'm ahead in the count (2-0,3-0,3-1), I look for a fastball but will only swing if there are runners in scoring position or if it's grooved down the middle of the plate, even if it is grooved I prefer to take it and see a few more pitches. Behind in the count (0-2,1-2) I usually look for an off speed pitch that is down in the zone or an elevated fastball that they're trying to get me to chase. In 2-1,2-2, and 3-2 counts I will look for a pitch around the zone, as these are counts that the pitcher feels that he needs to throw for a strike. No matter what the count, I always time for a fastball and adjust to the off speed, I'm just more aware of the possibilities of pitch type in the counts I mentioned.

TIR: What have you been doing since the end of the season to get ready for the 2012 season?

NS: I started working with a speed trainer in November to improve my speed and quickness and I've been working with my old hitting coach to help iron out a few things that aren't quite right. These two things, along with hitting the gym, should make for a very rewarding 2012 season.

TIR: What have you been doing away from the baseball diamond since the end of the season?

NS: I've just been enjoying my time with friends and family while I still have that chance because once that season starts that won't be an option.

TIR: Is it difficult to think about baseball during the holiday season?

NS: It's not difficult to think about baseball no matter what time of year it is, the moment you forget is the moment that a family member, or friend you haven't seen in a while, quickly reminds you with a curious question.

TIR: You are on twitter - as @NShaw3. Who are your favorite Timber Rattlers teammates to follow?

NS: My favorite teammates to follow are Jason Rogers and Reggie Keen, they always seem to tweet something that I get a kick out of.

TIR: What is ahead for the 2012 season for you?

NS: I wish I knew what the 2012 season had in store for me but I have no idea. I will do anything in my power to make it the most successful season of my life and hopefully win another ring.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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