Carlos Quentin has led the White Sox to first place in the American League Central early in his first season with the club. The 25-year-old outfielder, acquired from the Diamondbacks in the offseason, was tied for the league lead with 12 homers and second in both OPS (.996) and slugging (.586) entering the White Sox's Memorial Day weekend homestand against the Angels. The former first-round pick (2003) out of Stanford recently answered some questions from MLBPLAYERS.com:
05/23/2008 12:48 PM ET
Q&A with the White Sox's Carlos Quentin
Former Stanford Cardinal is breaking out in 2008
By Jeff Moeller / MLBPLAYERS.com
MLBPLAYERS.com: How would you describe yours and your club's season so far?
Quentin: I've been feeling better at the plate. As a team, we have a lineup that can be pretty successful, and we have a good all-around team. In general, I like our potential. Right now, it's still early in the season, but we're battling at the plate, and I think we can do some special things.
MLBPLAYERS.com: What has been a bigger adjustment, coming to a new team or coming to a new league?
Quentin: I can't really compare the two of those. I had only played in the NL, and I had also never switched teams. It's a general transition, but it's baseball when you step out on the field. That's something any player can relate to.
MLBPLAYERS.com: How did your time in Arizona the last couple of years help you?
Quentin: It was my first team, and there are a lot of people there I still care about. Many people there have helped me. Now things have gone in a different direction. My time with Arizona is in the past, and I don't think about it too much. My focus is on the right now and moving on with this team. There are a lot of great players to learn from here.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Did you know anybody on this team before arriving?
Quentin: I trained with Josh Fields and Jerry Owens. I met some of the younger players right away, but I didn't know many of the older players. I knew Brian Anderson a little bit as well, but everyone has been very friendly and very welcoming.
MLBPLAYERS.com: What have you learned from some of the veterans on this team?
Quentin: You learn a lot from so many people. We have many veteran hitters with guys like Jim Thome, Paul Konerko, A.J. Pierzynski and Joe Crede. You watch their routines and you watch how they go about their business. I like to watch them hit.
MLBPLAYERS.com: What have you learned from them away from the field?
Quentin: You really get a chance to appreciate the type of people that they are. They're quality people and they're good teammates.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Have you enjoyed the great pizza in Chicago?
Quentin: It is good, for about five minutes, and then it hurts your stomach afterwards.
MLBPLAYERS.com: And the city of Chicago itself?
Quentin: Chicago is awesome. It's a great baseball and sports city.
MLBPLAYERS.com: What led you to attend Stanford University?
Quentin: I got into Stanford, so if you can do that, you go -- bottom line. It was an opportunity that I couldn't pass up. I was very fortunate to get in. I was able to cover my bases too. I was able to get my degree there, and that's something that I can always say I accomplished.
MLBPLAYERS.com: The mascot at Stanford is the Cardinal, yet its costume is a tree. What's the deal with that?
Quentin: I don't pay much attention to that. There is a lot about Stanford that makes it unique besides the allure of the academics and the campus. There are some fun things that the students make fun of, and that's just one of them. You joke every year how ridiculous it is, but it's all in good fun.
MLBPLAYERS.com: And finally, what are your goals in baseball?
Quentin: Now I want to play baseball for the next 20 or so years. That's my focus now.
Jeff Moeller is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles.