Feb. 27, 2012
By Derrick Fazendin-
Baseball is almost in full swing as the college season is now finally under way and the first batch of major league spring training games are just around the corner. Many former Arizona Wildcats have taken advantage of the new facilities at Hi Corbett Field in an effort to get ready for their respective baseball seasons, and former UA catcher Jett Bandy is no exception.
This week ArizonaWildcats.com got a chance to catch up with the former catcher to see how he's preparing for the upcoming season. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim drafted Bandy in the 31st round of last year’s MLB Draft.
ArizonaWildcats.com: How does it feel to be back around the program again, but knowing you won’t be playing baseball for the Arizona Wildcats this season?
Jett Bandy: I’m jealous. This place (Hi Corbett Field) is awesome. I mean Jerry Kindall Field/ Frank Sancet Stadium was great and has a lot of rich history behind it, but this place is just unreal and looks like it’s going to be a great place to play for these guys.
ArizonaWildcats.com: Do you think it’s any extra motivation for these guys to come to work everyday knowing they have this great venue to play in now?
Jett Bandy: Definitely, they come out here after being used to playing at Jerry Kindall Field/ Frank Sancet Stadium and it’s just night and day. I mean this is big time out here. I think it’s definitely going to help these guys out. This is the kind of place that makes you want to do well.
ArizonaWildcats.com: So talk about what you’ve been up to these days. It has to be a little different than where you were a year ago isn’t it?
Jett Bandy: Yeah it’s definitely a little different. Pro ball is a little more laid back, especially without coach (Andy) Lopez breathing down your neck. But yeah, I mean at the end of the day though baseball is baseball and I’ve just been trying to work hard and get ready for spring training.
ArizonaWildcats.com: In your opinion what can this team accomplish this year?
Jett Bandy: Coach Lopez always does a great job with his teams no matter how young or old they are, so I think they’re always going to be a contender. I think this team has a chance to do some great things for sure this year.
ArizonaWildcats.com: Do you have a favorite collegiate baseball moment that sticks out to you?
Jett Bandy: Last year when we came out of the loser’s bracket and we had to play a doubleheader in College Station has to be the moment. We won the first game to force that championship game against Texas A&M and then we beat the Aggies later that night pretty good. That has to be my favorite moment because everyone was clicking and everyone wanted it. I mean let’s be honest, we weren’t supposed to win that game. That was their first game of the night, everyone was fresh, and it was 105 degrees out there with all that humidity. They were the No. 1 seed in that regional and we beat them in front of their home crowd, so that was really cool for me.
ArizonaWildcats.com: Like you said, you guys played on the road last year in a tough environment. How big of an advantage would it be for this year’s team to get the chance to host postseason games this season?
Jett Bandy: That would be great for them. I mean if you’re the host team your odds are in your favor for sure. It’s your home yard, you wake up in your own bed, you’re more rested, and you have the facilities to yourself. So if we could host this year that would just be awesome because the fans would be on our side and it’s our home field. Arizona historically as a program has always been extremely good at home too.
ArizonaWildcats.com: Arizona hasn’t seen anyone else behind the plate other than Jett Bandy for at least two years now. You even played third base as a freshman back in 2009. Freshman Riley Moore is taking your spot this year behind the dish. Any advice you want to give him?
Jett Bandy: Just catch as many bullpen sessions as you can. I mean when I first got here I was clank city, just dropping everything as a freshman. It was tough, but I got better. But my advice to him would just be to slow the game down, catch as many bullpens as you can, and just get to know your pitching staff.