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2008 Draft Preview

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Colbyjack -

Let me join the chorus in praising the quality of this year's edition of the draft preview - excellent work!

I do have a hard time getting my head around the Brewers picking Castro. While I think Hewitt is a bit of an overdraft at 16, it would be the most Zdueriencik-esqe choice.

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Great recap, Colby.



Realistically, any chance of Friedrich being available at 16? I'm a big fan of taking the best college lefty available (even though the Brewers never actually do it). Otherwise, I'd prefer Castro to Hewitt....but the team is probably more likely to go in the other direction. I'll be surprised if Fields is actually the first pick, just because the Brewers haven't taken a closer that high before.

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Friedrich falling to #16 isn't that big of a stretch, although I personally don't think he'll make it that far.


I remember you pining for Mike Gosling way back when, as your passion for lefties may surpass my own http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/smile.gif. I've already shared my interest in Cole St. Clair, one of my favorite prospects entering the 2007 draft season.

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Presented purely for your amusement/enjoyment, an (unpublished) interview I did a little over a year ago with Cole St. Clair:


How frustrating has it been to be sidelined with injury while your team is competing?


It's been enormously frustrating to spend all my time this season on the bench, but I'm looking forward to my return back to the mound within the next couple of weeks. It's never been easy for me to watch other people pitch, but I think that my absence from the team hasn't done all that much damage because it's given pitchers like Bobby Bramhall and Ryne Tacker an opportunity to get a lot of innings and really prove how good they are.


You played on Team USA this summer with some of the most talented players in college. Did you learn anything useful from any of them?


Playing for Team USA was quite an experience, but I can't recall anything I really learned from other players. I definitely grew as a player, but a lot of what I changed was more self-imposed than an idea taken from someone else. I did learn a lot from the international players, especially the hitters on the Japanese team. It was amazing to watch them play, and I really enjoyed the challenge of pitching to a hitting style I had never seen before.


Who impressed you the most?


Julio Borbon of Tennessee probably impressed me the most out of the players on the American team this summer. Julio played almost every game and combines solid defense in center field with a potent bat and the ability to drag bunt at will. He looks like a little slap hitter when he comes up to the plate but he has a lot of power, which he showed with close to five homeruns on the summer.


You went to high school with Philip Hughes. Do you keep in touch with him? If so, has he given you any good advice?


Unfortunately Phil and I never got that close during high school, and we have drifted apart since. I hear that he is doing quite well this year and has a shot of making the rotation and I wish him all the best.


Any good stories about him from high school?


On about every team I have played on since I started using my current windup, I have had someone imitate me, and I think Phil to this day had the most accurate recreation of my mannerisms.


Do you model your game after a particular pitcher? What major league pitcher would you compare yourself to?


I don't really try to model myself after particular pitchers, but I enjoy watching the games on TV now and really paying attention to how they are setting up individual hitters throughout the course of the game. I got a chance to watch a Dodgers/Giants game this summer when I was stuck in the

hotel in Cuba and I remember being fascinated at the difference in how [Greg] Maddux and [Jason] Schmidt were pitching. I think if I had to compare myself to a Major League pitcher, it would be a taller version of Billy Wagner but with less velocity.


You've given up only five home runs in over 120 innings at Rice. How do you keep the ball in the park so well?


A lot of my games have been pitched at Reckling Park, which is dubbed "The Graveyard" by our hitters because of the very deep alleys. Other than that, I can't really explain it.


Can you explain the origin of your unusually high leg-kick?


I was working with John Ramey, a scout for the Braves, during my junior year of high school, and he told me the higher I could get my leg, the better, so I adjusted my windup, and somehow it became what it is today.


You've experienced pretty much every possible role for a pitcher. Which do you prefer, and what do you see yourself doing as a professional?


I have always enjoyed the challenge of starting because I feel like after the first time through the lineup you really start to pitch, as opposed to the reliever mentality where I am most likely only going to face someone once, so I am usually able to stick to what I want to throw and know that he probably doesn't know what to expect. While I believe that starting is where actual pitching happens, there is an art to relief pitching and an adrenaline boost at the end of the game that is very appealing. It is very difficult to say which I would rather do.


How would you approach pitching to a slap hitter as opposed to a power hitter? Do you have different out pitches for different styles of hitters?


With all hitters, I try to find the weakness in their swing and exploit it, but slap hitters generally don't want to pull the ball so I am more likely to challenge them to do so. With power hitters, I try to change my patterns just enough so that they can never be 100 percent sure of the next pitch, or at least of the location of it.


Are you a good hitter? Do you miss hitting?


No, I am not a good hitter, and if I ever end up playing for a National League team, I foresee a lot of bunting in my future, but I do enjoy pretending that I can hit in my games of fungo golf in the outfield during downtime on the field. I do miss hitting at times but I don't miss striking out.


What professional teams do you cheer for?


I am and will always be an Angels fan. I grew up about ten minutes from the stadium, so I have been to a lot of games over the years.


What's one thing you'd like baseball fans to know about you that they probably don't?


Despite what I look like on the mound, I am actually pretty relaxed in my everyday life. A lot of my friends are very amused at the differences between my attitude on and off the field.

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