After deciding not to sign out of Highlands Ranch high school with the Detroit Tigers, who selected him in the 7th round, Shumpert is preparing for the 2016 San Jacinto CC season. I had a chance to talk to Nick and what I found is a young man who is dedicated to his craft and his passion comes through in every answer.
What have you been up to since the draft?
Working out. I’m on a mission. My ultimate goal is to play professional baseball. After the draft didn’t go as expected, I didn’t want to wait another 3 years for the opportunity to pursue my dream. I chose to enroll at San Jac and it was the best decision I could of ever made. It gave me a chance to take some college classes, live on my own and spend a lot of time working on my game.
Are you doing anything specific in your preparation that are keys to your success?
Not really specific, I have always had a pretty strong routine and work ethic. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t take some groundballs, take swings in the cage or lifting in the weight room.
You were listed at 6’0″ and 180 pound for the draft, do you expect to be at a similar weight or adding extra muscle?
Ive added 5 lbs. I have focused on gaining the right type of weight while being able to improve my speed.
Out of high school a lot of scouts were impressed with your hitting ability, can you describe your approach to hitting?
My approach to hitting, get a good pitch and put good wood on it, not too anxious to hit, hit the ball well, waiting back on it.
Your dad help with your hitting or mainly coaches?
My Dad understands me better than anyone. He has helped me get to where I am today. He will always be someone i call call and talk with about my hitting but since getting to college, the coaches and scouts have helped me with little things that i have been able to take and apply to my daily routine.
You recently were at the Area Code games where you played some second base. Was that your first time?
I love playing short. I believe i can play short at the next level but I’m a athletic enough that if i need to play second or third, I’m able to do so.
Any second thoughts not signing with the Tigers?
No second thoughts. I was disappointed with how the draft played out last year and I think there was some confusion on my signability. Like I said earlier, coming to San Jac was one of the best decisions I could of made. I am going to be more prepared for the draft and professional baseball after my time at San Jac. I have had a chance to grow mentally and physically. I want to win a Juco championship first and foremost.
Where do you draw your inspiration?
My dad is my main inspiration. I grew up watching him.
Are there any current major leaguers you pattern your game after?
I don’t really model my game, but players I watch, Andrelton Simmons. See little things that he is doing, try and work on them and get better. Hitting wise, my cousin Mookie, (Mookie Betts) he is very polished so I like to watch him and put it in my game.
Andrelton Simmons gets a lot of praise for his instincts, do you believe you have similar instincts?
Yes, I believe that I do. He is very athletic and makes the play look easy. I believe I have the athletic ability to do those things. Of course I need a lot of work to get as good as him, but I believe that if I work hard and keep focused I can someday get as good as him.
What was the best piece of advice you were ever given?
From my dad, never get too high on yourself or get too low. Work hard, things will come, baseball is a game of failure.
Do you have your sights on getting selected in the first round (of 2016 MLB Draft)?
Getting picked in the seventh round was a blessing. It didn’t work out. I learned a lot through the process last year. I believe in my ability. I believe I will be a Major Leaguer and I think every kid that plays would have there sights on being selected in the 1st round. We will see how it goes this year but thats the teams job to figure out where to pick players. My job is to play hard, be a good teammate and impact the game offensively and defensive.