Ryan Winter is the Royals’ speedy leadoff hitter and center fielder. The 6-3, 235-pounder, who reportedly clocked 4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash, also plays hockey and football.
Q: What’s your biggest strength on the diamond?
A: My speed. It helps in the outfield, running down balls. Beating out grounders or stealing bases.
Q: What helps you most when stealing bases?
A: My speed and also the tendencies of the pitchers. If they look over, how many times do they look over? If they pick off once, they’re probably not going to pick off again [consecutively]. And then late in the count if it could be a curveball situation, [I look for] stuff like that.
Q: What are your individual goals?
A: I want to have at least 30 steals.
Q: Is that attainable?
A: I think so. I have six already in four games.
Q: Does the late spring make this year different than most?
A: We have to rely on our pitchers a lot. We have a lot of games back-to-back so they’re going to have to go longer and with shorter rest.
Q: Plans after high school?
A: I’m going to St. Thomas. I’m studying economics and I’ll be playing football and baseball.
Q: Was it tough to convince college coaches to let you play both?
A: Both of them actually liked it. Football just said I would have to miss spring practices but they’d know that I’d still be in shape since I’d be doing baseball. And they actually encouraged it.
Q: Positions in college?
A: Center field or any outfield and then football I’ll be a [defensive] end.