- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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MT: I met him last year when we played [the Yankees]. I got to second base [and] got to talk to him a little bit. Told him I was from New Jersey. Congratulated him on his 3,000th hit. It was pretty surreal.
DP: Why did you follow Jeter?
MT: I played shortstop until my senior year in high school. Coaches and scouts [said] with my speed, [they should] throw me in the outfield and see how it works. It worked out, and I never looked back.
DP: You already have 31 stolen bases. Does manager Mike Scioscia always give you a green light?
MT: Yes, he lets me go. It all depends on the pitcher. If he's quick to the plate, it's tough. You can't go on a 1--2 or a 1--1 [count].
DP: How much advice does Albert Pujols give you?
MT: [He helps me] make adjustments throughout the game. Torii [Hunter] is there as well. I haven't seen most of these pitchers. They've faced them their whole careers. They've been a big help: getting the little things, knowing what pitchers throw and [their] tendencies.
DP: How did 22 teams pass on you in the first round of the '09 draft?
MT: I guess [it was because] I was an East Coast kid. In Florida and California they play year-round. In New Jersey, I played basketball and football. [Teams] didn't get to see me that much.
DP: Got a nickname?