BrooklynCyclones.com: In the fall you went back to Purdue to receive your Big Ten Championship ring. What was that experience like, not only to get the ring, but to go back as a professional player instead of as a member of the Boilermakers.
Kevin Plawecki: It was a lot of fun to see my old teammates after a long summer. A lot of the guys from last year’s team either went on to play pro ball or graduated so it was nice to spend some time with them again. It was a little different going back, knowing that I could be there for my senior season. I am very fortunate though to have the opportunity to play professional baseball and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. It has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember and it is nice to be living my dream right now.
BC.com: How did you spend your off season? Did you get to travel anywhere? What was the most exciting thing you did?
KP: This off-season I spent most of my time at Purdue working out and training. I took some classes in the fall so I could keep chipping away at my degree. I went on a two-week vacation to San Diego over the Christmas holidays to visit my girlfriend and her family. During the visit we went to Catalina Island off the coast of Long Beach, CA. It was a nice little get away for a couple of days.
BC.com: When are you heading down to Florida for spring training? What at you most looking forward to? How did you prepare for your first sprig training as a pro?
KP: I am heading already down in Florida now. I got here a little early to get a jump on things. I am looking forward to seeing all of the guys I played ball with in Brooklyn, along with meeting guys I haven’t played with yet. To prepare for Spring Training I made sure I was in really good shape. The Mets lifting program prepared me well. My body feels good, and I am ready to get back out on the field.
BC.com: You play the most grueling position in the game of baseball and your season in 2012 was longer than usual for you - considering your Purdue schedule and then the Cyclones. How draining was that for you and how do you think this season, with an even longer schedule, will be by comparison.
KP: It was defiantly a grind coming from my college season to a professional short season. It was a great experience in Brooklyn though. Our team was made up of a great group of guys who loved to win. We were a young team, and it was great to have the success we did. In preparation for a longer season this summer, it is important that I stay in good shape and keep my body healthy. This summer should be another great time, and I’m really looking forward to it.
BC.com: What is your best memory of Brooklyn? What would you tell a player on this years team that he needs to during his time in Brooklyn?
KP: I don’t know if I can necessarily choose one memory from this past summer. My time in New York was one that I will never forget. It is defiantly a different culture than Indiana I will say that. I did enjoy the big city life though! If there is one thing an incoming player must do, it’s to take the subway into Manhattan. There is so much to do in the city, and plenty of places to explore.
BC.com: Between Hansel Robles, Luis Mateo, Gabriel Ynoa and others on last years squad, there were plenty of great arms that you will probably be moving up the latter with this year. Who was the most impressive of the bunch?
KP: They are all three great pitchers and so was the rest of our pitching staff. The pitching staff kept us in a ton of games last year and as a catcher they were a great group to work with. If I had to choose the most impressive I would say Robles. I think his numbers can speak for themselves, but him and I always seemed to be on the same page. He spotted up his pitches well, and was a lot of fun to catch.
BC.com: The Mets organization has had some of the greatest catchers of all time involved with the orange and blue over the years - Gary Carter, Mike Piazza, Yogi Berra. Do you embrace the challenge of following in their foot steps?
KP: Absolutely. They were great players, and played the game hard with a lot of passion. I am very fortunate to be in the position I am in. Catching is something that I love to do, and hopefully someday I will have the opportunity to follow in their footsteps.