Monday, November 5, 2012

An interview with prospect Brian Pearl

by: Chase Fitzgerald
Staff Writer

Chase recently had the chance to sit down for a Q & A session with Reds minor league pitching prospect Brian Pearl. Brian was tabbed by the Reds in the ninth round of the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft out of the University of Washington. In 51 appearances split between Single-A and Double-A this season, he posted a 2-4 record, 3.75 ERA and 13 saves over 60 innings pitched. He boasted a whopping 5.13 K/BB in his time in Bakersfield alone.

Here is the transcript for Chase's interview with the right-hander:

Q: Walk us through the night you were drafted. Did you have any idea what round/team you were going to get picked by?

A: I was sitting in my room anxious to hear my name called, I had a good feeling it would be early day two. I was getting so many calls that morning that I missed a few and on draft day that's a big no no but it happened to me. After turning down a couple offers the Reds popped me out of nowhere. After that happened I knew the process was finally over and I could go celebrate with my family. I had no idea what team it was going to be or where I was going to fall, I'm happy the way it all ended though.

Q: You absolutely dominated in your time in Bakersfield but struggled once you were promoted to Pensacola. What was the biggest difference between the two leagues?

A: There isn't a huge difference, I mean your playing against some good competition but it's baseball the game doesn't change. My mindset was the same I just ran in to some fatigue and mentally it almost put a block on me. I'm happy it happened when it did, it was good for me to take a bit of a beating, now I know what I need to improve on to make the move to the next level.

Q: When did you first realize that you had a future in baseball?

A: I was playing summer ball my junior year of high school and I really turned a corner as far as my ability went. I was more powerful, I could run, throw, hit for average. I realized that I had tools and I could play at the next level. As far as pitching goes, I noticed I had something special in the Northwoods league in Green Bay. I had a surge of velocity after a couple outings on the mound, so I decided from then on I should stick to the mound if I wanted a legit shot at my dream

Q:Was it always baseball from day 1 or were you a multi-sport athlete?

A: I loved football growing up but I was so small my mom wouldn't let me play tackle so I gave it up. I played basketball through middle school but gave it up in high school because being a 5 foot nothing shooting guard was tough. That's when I really dedicated myself to baseball

Q: Who is your favorite current MLB player? Favorite Red?

A: Hmm that's a tough question but currently it has to be Tim Lincecum, I will always be a big fan of what he has done not only in the big leagues but at the University of Washington as well. My favorite Red of all time would have to be Griffey Jr. He was my favorite player growing up and I loved him in Seattle, but he did play a couple years in Cincy so he counts

Q: What song do you listen to to get pumped up for games?

A: That's a tough question because it changes so often. My go to was "Raised by Wolves" by Falling In Reverse

Q: You saw Billy Hamilton in person a lot this year, do you think he is as good as all the hype?

A: Without a doubt. Billy can change the game with his speed. He is by far the most exciting player to watch in the minors right now. He's not only a great baseball player but he is a good friend and a genuine guy off the field

Q: Do you pay attention to your stats during the season?

A: I try not to look to much into them. As long as I am pitching well and helping my team that's all that matters to me

Q: What is your best moment in baseball?

A: I have had a lot of good memories but I would say helping the Blaze make the playoffs and making the All Star team this year. That was a special moment for me because I have been such an underdog my whole career.

Q: Do you train with teammates during the off-season?

A: No, I don't really have any teammates in Seattle. I do train with former Reds minor leaguer Alex Bucholtz since he relocated to my part of town

Q: How hard was the recovery from Tommy John surgery?

A: It was a grind, but it really opened my eyes to how much love and respect I have for the game. In the end I think it made me a better player and it made me hungry to get back out there

Q: What did you enjoy more playing, infield or pitcher?

A: Haha, no comment (infield but I'm a better pitcher)

Q: Who made the decision that you would convert to pitcher?

A: It was all me, I walked into our first meeting my junior year of college and told my coaches I was closing and that's it

A big thanks goes out to Brian for taking the time to conduct this interview. Best of luck to you in your pursuit to make it to the big show!

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