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After joining the Rangers organization this past offseason, Dustin Majewski is finally returning to his home state. But the Brenham native has already entrenched himself in the state of Texas’ baseball lore. As a member of the 2002 University of Texas baseball team, Majewski helped lead the Longhorns to a fifth national championship by batting .401 with 20 doubles and 10 home runs.
Majewski was drafted in the third round by the Oakland Athletics following a similarly productive 2003 campaign. The outfielder spent two full seasons in the A’s organization before being shipped to the Blue Jays for right-handed pitcher Chad Gaudin.
The lefty then played two seasons in the Blue Jays organization, splitting his time between High-A Dunedin and Double-A New Hampshire. Majewski played the entire season – 130 games – with New Hampshire in 2007, batting .245 with 30 doubles, 14 home runs, and 75 walks.
Because he was a collegiate player with four years of professional experience and was not protected on the 40-man roster, Majewski was eligible to be selected in the minor league portion of this offseason’s Rule 5 Draft. The Rangers took advantage of that opportunity and selected him in the draft, which occurred during baseball’s winter meetings.
The 26-year-old is just beginning his first spring training as a member of the Rangers organization. He patrolled centerfield for the Triple-A club during Thursday's minor league spring training game. Majewski tripled and walked in the contest. Lone Star Dugout was able to catch up with the outfielder after the game.
Jason Cole: What’s it like to be playing in your home state of Texas again?
Dustin Majewski: It’s going to be awesome. It’s very exciting just for the simple fact that everywhere I’ve played – I started off with Oakland and went to Vancouver my first season, then I went to Illinois to Kane County, then Stockton, then back to New Hampshire. I’ve been everywhere except for the state of Texas. It is going to be nice because a lot of people that haven’t gotten to see me play since college will get to see me play. I’ll be a lot closer to friends, family, and my wife. I just got married in February, so that’s going to make it a lot easier. You can just go up for a weekend instead of waiting for a five-game stretch to make it worth your while.
Cole: A lot of people in Texas got to see you play in college, but for those that don’t know your game, can you tell me a little about your approach at the plate?
Majewski: When I’m at the plate, I’m just really trying to be selective with the pitches I’m swinging at. My goal this year is just to be more consistent – not to go 10-for-15 and then 0-for-18. I want to be a guy that is 1-for-3, 1-for-4, or 2-for-3. Just a guy that gets hits every day and is always on base. I want to look for a good pitch to hit and not miss as many pitches. Last season I struggled a little bit because I was fouling a lot of pitches back that I should have been killing. When you miss that first pitch down the middle – you foul it straight back – you don’t get a whole lot of those. That’s my goal this year. When I swing the bat, I want to make solid contact every time.
Cole: Has your approach changed at all since your college days?
|Majewski has the tools to play in the Major Leagues.
Majewski: Definitely. I’m a lot more selective. In college, if it was close, I was hacking at it. I had a big leg kick with the aluminum bat. I could get away with more stuff just because guys’ stuff wasn’t as good across the board. You still had the studs – those are guys you’re facing out there today. But it was just overall. When you get to a third starter or fourth starter or a guy out of the bullpen in college, you can go out there and get your hacks in. Now those guys are coming in and they’re throwing 92-93, so you can’t be as aggressive. But then you don’t want to give them too much credit either. You want to still have your confidence.
Cole: So I assume you’ve taken out that big leg kick?
Majewski: Oh, definitely. When you start seeing 95 on your hands, that leg kick kind of goes out the window.
Cole: Is there an outfield position that you’re most comfortable at?
Majewski: Centerfield, just for the fact that I’ve been playing it for the majority of my life. In college I played right field, so it’s not a big deal. I can play all of them. I’ve played all of them and I feel comfortable at all of them. Defensively, my goal is the fact that you hit a lot of balls hard and they get caught. They take away hits from you, I want to be the guy that takes away hits from other guys.
Cole: Where did you spend most of your time in the Jays system?
Majewski: I was in centerfield.
Cole: Where do you expect to be playing as a member of the Rangers organization?
Majewski: I don’t expect anything. Anywhere I get in the lineup is where I want to play. It’s not like “hey I want to play in centerfield” and if they put me in left field I’m going to be disappointed. Not at all. If I’m in the lineup playing everyday, it doesn’t matter where I’m playing. If they want me to play first base, I’ll do that. Whatever to be in the lineup.
Cole: When did you get out here to spring training?
Majewski: I guess it’s been about a week and a half or two weeks now.
Cole: What have you been focusing on so far?
Majewski: Right now it’s a lot on getting some separation with my hands when I’m hitting. Me personally, I want to get a feel for how the organization is run – the coaches, the managers, and just all of the staff. I’m just trying to learn everybody’s name first off. I want to get into the rhythm and fit into what they’ve got going on here.
Cole: How are you liking it out here so far?
Majewski: So far it’s great. It’s not that different from the other organizations I’ve been in. It’s kind of the same program. There are some minor differences, but everybody here is great and it seems like they like to have a good time. It seems like a great atmosphere around here.
Cole: You were drafted by the A’s and then traded to the Blue Jays system. Has it helped you out at all that you’ve already had to go through the process of adjusting to a new organization?
Majewski: Definitely. I remember when I first went over to the Blue Jays, it was like a culture shock. I was just so worried about meeting guys and getting to know guys. Now I was able to come in here and I saw some faces I’ve known before. I played against the Rangers organization when I was with Oakland. We played them in the Cal League and the Northwest League. I’ve known a few guys. But it was helpful for this to be my second time to have a different team. Plus, I was out here in Arizona before with Oakland, so it was a little easier.
Cole: Have you set any goals for spring training and the regular season?
Majewski: Yeah, like I said, my goals are just to be a little more consistent. In the past, I would have a good month and a bad month, then a good month and a bad month. I want to be the guy that everyday has the same approach and you know what you’re going to get from him everyday. I feel like I have that on defense and baserunning with the hustle aspect, but the offense is a little bit streaky sometimes. I’d like to be a little bit more consistent to where it doesn’t feel like it’s as much work. I feel like I’ve worked too hard in past seasons to try and get my swing going and keep it going. At this point in my career it just needs to be something that you wake up and do. It shouldn’t be as hard of a job as it has been in past years.
Cole: Do you have any idea where you will begin the 2008 season?
Majewski: No. That’s one thing about baseball. You don’t get a feel for anything until all the major league cuts are done and their rosters are set. You kind of get a feel for it during the last week, but you won’t know until the last day. When you drive out of here, that’s when you’ll know.
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