Nick Markakis, entering his third season with the Orioles, would like to keep his career trajectory on its current path. In 2007, his second season, he topped most of his rookie numbers and finished with a .300 batting average, 23 homers and 112 RBIs in 161 games. The Glen Cove, N.Y., native took time for some questions from MLBPLAYERS.com:
MLBPLAYERS.com: How did your second season differ from your rookie year?
Markakis: It was a little different, but there were a lot of similarities between the two. I was still out there making adjustments. The pitchers had different scouting reports and pitched differently. I tried to make the right adjustments.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Have you needed to make more adjustments in the Major Leagues?
Markakis: It's something you have to do all year, each year you play. Even veterans and guys who have been around for a few years are constantly making adjustments. It's just something that's part of baseball, day in and day out.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Did you see more off-speed pitches last season compared to 2006?
Markakis: I would say so -- definitely. I didn't see nearly as many heaters as I did in 2006. I also saw fewer pitches over the plate.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Did pitchers pound you inside?
Markakis: They seemed to be mixing up everything with me. One pitcher would pound me inside and the next pitcher does just the opposite.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Did your strong second half as a rookie give you more confidence in 2007?
Markakis: Absolutely. It gave me a lot of confidence in the offseason and coming into Spring Training. I still needed to work on a lot of things, but it helped build a solid foundation for me to work off of.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Have you always played right field or have you moved around a bit defensively?
Markakis: In the Minor Leagues I bounced around and got to play a lot of positions. Up here it's mainly been right field. But if I'm needed for any other position, I'm available and willing.
MLBPLAYERS.com: How does right field in Camden Yards play compared to some of the other parks in the American League?
Markakis: Each ballpark is different in its own way. That's the reason you go out during batting practice and get a feel for how it plays. It's a good time to take some balls and get a feel for your surroundings.
MLBPLAYERS.com: What are some of the things you like to do in your spare time away from the stadium?
Markakis: During the season, my off-days are pretty calm. After the games I like to go home and relax. I like to lounge around and not do too much.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Have you had a chance to go out and explore the city of Baltimore much?
Markakis: I don't get to go out and do too much at night since the majority of our games are at that time. It's a great city though. I like to go down to the harbor, eat and hang out.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Does your reputation as a "serious person" apply to you both on and off the field?
Markakis: Away from the game I'm a pretty relaxed guy. I like to take it easy and enjoy life. When I come to the ballpark, I treat it like any other job. I'm serious and dedicated to doing the best I can, day in and day out. There is still some joking around, but there's a time and a place for that.
MLBPLAYERS.com: I see one tattoo on your arm. How many tattoos do you have?
Markakis: I have two tattoos. I have one on my left arm and one on my right arm. The left arm has a design that I liked. The right arm has a cross for one of my buddies back in high school.
Jeff Moeller is a freelance writer based on Los Angeles.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.