Today’s interview comes from John Barr of the Cleveland Indians. JB is an Outfielder in the organization and quite the character in the gym. Enjoy!
1) To start, let’s let everyone know a little bit about you. What schools/teams did you play for during your amateur career and where are you playing now?
I played for Germantown Academy in high school and University of Virginia in College. In college I played in the NECBL( New England Collegiate Baseball League) for the Keene Swampbats and in the Cape Cod Baseball league for the Brewster Whitecaps. I am currently playing professionally in the Cleveland Indians Organization.
2) 2 part question here. What was the recruiting process like for you? Also, what was the draft process like?
The Recruiting process for college was a very exciting time for me. I was receiving interest from a considerable amount of schools including Virginia. I had a pretty good idea going into the process that I wanted to go to a school that was a national contender in baseball but also a strong academic institution. Virginia fit both those criteria and I wound up going to a camp there during my sophomore summer. Coach Mac came up to see me in the Spring of my Junior season at GA and I was offered shortly after. I committed June of my junior season. It was exciting to have made my decision and to be getting the opportunity to go to UVA.
The draft process was definitely a frustrating time. I had a pretty good junior year and was receiving some interest for the draft. However, I had made it a priority to finish school at Virginia and didn’t want to sign unless I was offered a considerable amount of money. I received some calls prior to the draft but the opportunity was not going to be enough to sign. My senior year I got picked late by the Indians. It was exciting to get picked up and I am grateful for the opportunity.
3) In terms of your workouts, what do you do now that you wish you would’ve done then?
Kevin Wilson has been my hitting coach since I was in high school. He has helped me with my career a great amount. This past offseason he put me in touch with Chris Kurtz at CK Performance. We started incorporating more flexibility into my workouts which was extremely important for me. I was able to gain strength, speed, quickness while improving my range and flexibility. I have never been in better shape in my entire life. The workouts were catered to my needs and took into account both my strengths and limitations. I felt as if I was a more complete athlete after putting in an outstanding six months at CK Performance.
4) How big is nutrition in terms of gaining strength, staying healthy, and generally feeling good? What have you changed from your college days to your professional days in terms of nutrition?
I never really fully invested myself in nutrition until this past offseason. Nutrition is every bit as important as the workout itself. I started eliminating bad foods from my diet and really focused on eating foods that would help me to perform to my best ability on the field. CK Performance really helped me expand my horizons with food and understand which foods I should include and eliminate in my diet. As a result I dropped about 3% in body fat and still gained a considerable amount of strength.
5) Favorite player of all time and why?
Favorite player is without a doubt Chase Utley.
He plays the game the way it should be played. When he is on the field he plays with everything he’s got. He leaves it all out there on the field and I feel that is the only way you should go about your business. It doesn’t matter if he hits a ball back to the pitcher or a ball in the gap he is going to run down to first like his life depends on it. I have tried to take this same approach to how I play the game.