As the Colorado Springs Sky Sox season winds down, I recently had the chance to sit down with Ben Paulsen. The first baseman is hitting .287 with 18 homers and 71 RBIs (through games of August 23), including a three-homer, seven-RBI game against Albuquerque on August 23. Paulsen received his first-ever Major League call-up earlier this season. In 12 games with the Colorado Rockies, Paulsen recorded a .382 average and smacked a homer.
Henry: Congratulations on receiving your first call-up this season. Did it come as a surprise to you?
Paulsen: It was an absolute surprise. I didn’t know that Justin Morneau was injured. (Colorado Springs manager Glenallen Hill) walked in and told me and I was completely surprised. That was a very surreal moment for me. It was a dream come true. It’s what all baseball players work for and I was very thankful it had worked out for me.
Henry: What was the time like for you between getting the news and actually getting to join the Rockies?
Paulsen: I had about 24 hours, so the first thing I did was call everyone and let them know I had gotten the call-up. After my family and friends heard, everyone was scrambling trying to get there to see me play. They were so happy to hear about it and they wanted to be there when it happened.
Henry: You logged your first Major League homer during your stint with the Rockies. Was that a “wow moment” for you?
Paulsen: It was. I mean, I’m used to hitting homers but to actually hit one in the Majors was great. I got a good swing and connected on it.
Henry: You’ve been a guy that has been mentioned as someone who the Rockies could call up in September for the rest of the season. Is that something you think about?
Paulsen: I don’t have any control over that, so it’s something I try not to think about. Whatever happens, I just have to go out and be consistent.
Henry: How have you changed as a player since you joined the Rockies organization?
Paulsen: I’ve worked a lot on my hitting and consistency at the plate. I’ve been around Dave Hajek (hitting coach for Colorado Springs) a lot and I think we’re on the same page. I’ve learned a lot here in Colorado Springs from Glenallen Hill. He’s been a tremendous manager for me.
Henry: No matter what happens the rest of the season, what’s your strategy for the offseason?
Paulsen: It’s all about becoming more consistent. I always want to work on tightening up my craft. I never want to take a step back. I have to really look at what I can do to become a better player and focus on that.