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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Danny Mars: Getting to Know the Boston Red Sox's Outfield Prospect

Playing in the Boston Red Sox organization makes it hard for a young player to stand out. After all, their player development system is considered to have few peers. With all the top prospects, first-round draft choices and international signings, there is stiff competition when it comes to achieving recognition. Fortunately, mirroring life itself, hard work is the great equalizer, and because of that outfielder Danny Mars has as good a chance as anybody to earn his way to the major leagues.

The 20-year-old switch-hitter (throws right-handed) decided to attend Chipola College (Junior College) following his graduation from Sarasota High school. He was a star for the Indians, hitting .380 with four home runs, 35 RBIs and 22 stolen bases in 48 games in 2014. A line-drove hitter and excellent defender, his production resulted in being a sixth-round draft choice of the Red Sox in 2014.

Mars signed quickly and was shipped off to begin his professional career with the short-season Lowell Spinners. He picked up right where he left off in college, batting .311 with two homers, 17 RBIs and 12 steals in 44 games. He was so impressive that he earned a call-up to Single-A Salem towards the end of the year, where he tapered off at .167 with four steals in 10 games. All in all, it was a tremendous debut for the young outfielder.

Right now, the scouting report on Mars indicates his speed and athleticism are his two biggest attributes. Given how he has started his career, it will be interesting to see how he develops in the coming years. To top it off, he has already stood out with his work ethic, making his eventual ceiling all the more intriguing.

Recently, Mars answered some questions about his career. Read on for more information on this prospect, and make sure to follow him on Twitter if you want to keep up with him during the 2015 season and beyond.

Danny Mars Interview:

Who was your favorite player when you were growing up, and why?: My favorite player growing up without a doubt was Chipper Jones.  I used to love watching him and it amazed me how great of a baseball player he was.  He always looked like the calmest guy on the field, and I modeled my game after him as a kid.  

How did you come to be a switch-hitter?: I actually became a switch hitter because of Chipper Jones.  When I was a kid, I always used to go outside and mimic him in the back yard growing up.  I never took it seriously until high school, but that is really where I learned to do it.

Chipola College has produced a lot of professional ball players. How did you end up there?: I ended up at Chipola after committing from playing baseball at Florida Gulf Coast, and I went to Chipola because I knew about the prestige and the coaching at the school.  I can't thank Chipola enough for the opportunity they gave me.

How did you first find out that the Red Sox were interested in you?: The first time I really knew they were considering me was after a workout I had at Fenway Park about four days before the draft.  I fell in love with the city, and Boston is where I wanted to be.

What are you looking forward to most in a few months when you head to your first spring training?: I'm looking forward to improving my game at the professional level.  I feel like I learn more and more every day I am on the diamond.

What is one part of your game that you hope to improve on the most?: I would really like to improve even more on the mental side of the game.  I feel I am very strong on the mental side, but there is always room for improvement and a big part of success in baseball is from having a good head on your shoulders.

What was the hardest thing you had to adjust to during your first professional season?: The hardest thing was playing every day, and getting used to playing on days with a fatigued body.

Your first professional manager, Joe Oliver, is a seasoned MLB veteran. What was it like playing for him?: Playing for Joe was an unbelievable experience.  He was my manager my first two months in pro ball and he was an awesome guy to play for.  Obviously he has a lot of experience from playing in the big leagues, and he just enjoyed being out at the field every day.  Playing for a guy like that makes being at the field an even better experience.  

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