TAMPA (FOX 13) - It's been a winter whirlwind for Kevin Kiermaier. The Rays' hottest new superstar is quickly becoming the face that's in demand.
Since winning a Gold Glove in October, it's been non-stop for Keirmaier. He's living up to his nickname, because "The Outlaw" is a wanted man. Requests are coming from everywhere.
Kiermaier spent three hours at Bern's Steakhouse for a photo shoot for Bay Magazine's February issue Tuesday.
"The photo shoot is way out of my comfort zone," laughed Kiermaier. "They asked me to do it and I had fun with it. I told them I don't plan on doing any modeling or anything like that. I want to play baseball for as long as I can."
Kiermaier took the month of December off, but broke his bats out of storage and said he is ready build on his golden year.
"You know, it has been somewhat crazy," Kiermaier said. "Now it's January 12 and I'm really starting to pick up the workouts and really getting baseball ready. It feels so good. It's crazy how fast this season has gone, but it's been such a productive one so far... I'm just trying to get my body ready and I'm loving life."
Back to work means back to school for Kiermaier, too.
He passed on a scholarship at Purdue, choosing the Rays instead. But he's getting a taste of the college life at UT. The Spartans welcomed him back for his winter workouts.
"These guys are so spoiled," Kiermaier said, smiling. "Joe Urso runs this better than any college coach. This is like a pro practice. He gets the guys ready. They're out here talking trash to each other every day and it's just a fun place to be around."
Kiermaier said, "It's really cool working with these guys they have a great group and I enjoy helping them out anyway I can. They don't sit hear and think that I'm anyone special. They give me a bunch of crap day in and day out and I give it right back to them. I really enjoy coming here."
This is the second winter Kiermaier is spending with the Spartans. It's easy to see what Kevin picked UT. After all, it's a seven-time College World Series champ.
"Brandon Gomes use to come here and told me how great it was," said Kiermaier. "I've done personal trainers and stuff like that, speed training and weight training, but as I've gotten older I know what I need to do to get ready for the season. I enjoy being on my own schedule. I had so much success last season after doing all this all last offseason so I said why switch it up right now."
While this is Kiermaier's way of getting a jump on spring training, he's also giving back.
"I was in their shoes five or six years ago," said Kiermaier. "I try to help these guys out as much as I can. I come out here and watch how these guys work and it reminds me of back in my days. I always tell these guys if you work hard you can do anything you want. What you put into it out here is what you will get out of it."
Kiermaier has taken the role of another coach.
"I try to be somewhat of a role model to these guys," said Kiermaier. "Just hope they watch me. How I do things. I think it's how I've got to this point in my career. It's such a fun game to be a part of. So don't take it for granted as long as you have a jersey on your back."