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Exclusive Interview: Astros 1B Coach Tarrik Brock

Brock is in his first season with the Astros. Credit: Yahoo! Sports

Brock is part of an Astros coaching staff dedicated to helping young ball players reach their full potential.

Tarrik Brock joined the Houston Astros coaching staff prior to the 2014 season as the team’s first base coach and base running instructor. He spent seven seasons as the minor league outfield and base running coordinator in the Miami Marlins organization before taking the job in Houston. Brock made his Major League debut with the Chicago Cubs on Mar. 29th, 2000 and had a 13-year professional playing career.Image title

After spending so much time coaching at the minor league level, how was the transition to the big leagues this season?

The transition was smooth. The one thing that you develop at the minor league level is patience and understanding that young guys are going to make mistakes and have growing pains. But being at this level is definitely about winning, not so much developing, so you do everything that you can on a daily basis to prepare those guys and put them in a position so when they’re out in the game everything becomes second nature and they can perform to their maximum potential.”

What is the most important thing that you learned as a player that you preach as a coach?

Just consistency and hard work. You know, bringing your hard hat every day, and just getting your work in. Preparation is the biggest thing as a player and in the transition of being a coach as well.”

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Jose Altuve is having a career year, especially on the bases. How have you helped him become such an elite base stealer?

Stay out of the way [chuckles]. No, but we all do our work on the pitchers and the catchers, and I just do everything that I can to assist him or at least let him know that, ‘okay, this is a great time to run or this may not be a great time to run.’ And also, before the game just giving him keys of things that I’ve studied on the pitcher, so we just collaborate that way and then he just goes out and he likes to steal.”

How does it feel to be reunited with Jake Marisnick, a player you helped groom in the Marlins’ farm system?

It’s always great to see young players’ careers unfold and sometimes you work with a guy and you never know that you might get a chance to work with him again. So what we do now is just take every opportunity we can and you just cherish the moments, you know, and kind of pick up where you left off but understand that he’s grown since the last time that you’ve seen him. So you just see where he’s at, meet him at that point of need, and then you just move forward from there.”

What was the vibe around the team, if any, after the team failed to sign #1 overall draft pick Brady Aiken?

Well that’s so far away, so even if we did sign the guy, he wouldn’t be able to help us here right away. But it’s always disappointing not being able to sign the first pick overall, but we do have the compensation pick and here at the big league level we’re just doing everything that we can to beat [whoever we’re playing] tonight.”

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Describe what it’s like to coach such a promising young talent in George Springer.

He’s a true five tool player. I mean he has tremendous energy, he works hard, he doesn’t know how to take it easy, and everything that he does is to his maximum potential. Most importantly, he’s a great young man. He loves to have fun and you can see that when he plays the game. So, you know, it’s just an honor to be able to assist him on his journey as he goes along in his career.”

Describe your relationship with manager Bo Porter, who you’ve worked with before, and the rest of the coaching staff.

I have a great relationship with Bo Porter. We played together, we’ve coached together. And for the rest of the coaching staff, you know, Dave Trembley and I have a great relationship. And when you’re on this grind of helping young men get better, everyone is doing everything they can in their area, and you’re also encouraging the other coaches because we all need each other to have success with the players. So we just stay very close and we talk, and we’re always scratching our heads trying to figure out, ‘what can we do to help the guys be better today.’”

*I would like to extend a special thank you to Tarrik for taking time out of his day to answer my questions for this interview. I really appreciate it.*

Edited by Emily Berman.

Which player currently leads the AL in stolen bases?
Created 8/11/14
  1. Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. Jose Altuve
  3. Elvis Andrus
  4. Jose Reyes

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