Andrew Sopko: Going 13 & 4

The K Zone

December 7th  2016

Andrew Sopko

Interviewed By Mike Duffy


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Andrew Sopko played for both the Tulsa Drillers and Rancho Cucumonga Quakes in the Dodgers organization. He went 13 and 4 and that talent is what brought him to this level.


Mike Duffy: I was wondering when you go from high school, minor leagues, to the majors, what was the biggest challenge when you reach each stage?

Andrew Sopko: At each stage that I have reached so far, different challenges arise and it becomes a matter of working hard. Talent only takes a player so far so in order to get to the next stage of my career I think hard work is what gets me through each challenge.


Mike Duffy: What did you do best this season?

Andrew Sopko:  Coming into the season I didn’t have very many expectations but being able to reach Double A far exceeded my expectations. I was able to pitch like I always have, learn from the many coaches I came across, and make adjustments from what I learned.


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Mike Duffy: This offseason whats the major thing your planning to work on?

Andrew Sopko: This offseason I am looking forward to resting my arm, as I threw more innings this year than I ever had. I’m also looking to gain overall strength and flexibility with my body.


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Mike Duffy: What is the hardest thing about being a pitcher?

Andrew Sopko: As a player there are always going to be road blocks and struggles in your career. I have been fortunate to not have any major road blocks but I know many players that have to endure those struggles. My advice would be to never give up and always have an open mind about your craft.


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Mike Duffy: Whats your favorite hobby besides baseball?

Andrew Sopko: My favorite hobbies other than baseball are probably playing basketball, hiking, and reading.


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Mike Duffy: Besides your hard work who do you dedicate your success to? Why?

Andrew Sopko: I can dedicate most of my success to the many coaches and especially my father. My dad was the one who taught me how to throw a baseball. Everyone who has coached or instructed has had an impact on my success in this game.


Mike Duffy: Why do you love being a Dodger?

Andrew Sopko: Being a Dodger has become a dream come true. This history that belongs to that name speaks for itself and also I see how this organization is run which is a big reason why the future is bright!


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For more Interviews Click Here

For more updates on articles follow us on Instagram @thekzonenews

Comment below on how we can improve the articles!

Thanks for reading!

 

Statistical Analysis: The Most Underrated MVP Candidate

-The K Zone-

December 5th 2016

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds

Statistical Analysis: The Most Underrated MVP Candidate, By Ian Joffe

         When voting for awards like the MVP, the writers like stories of talented young players who break out in one year, like Corey Seager, or other new stars that propel their teams to the world championships, like Kris Bryant. However, sometimes the most valuable player in baseball comes from a less glamorous ballclub, one that has fallen from previous stardom. The Cincinnati Reds made the playoffs three out of four years, concluding in a painful one-game wildcard playoff against the Pirates in 2013, where then Reds’ ace Johnny Cueto dropped the ball in the big game. After that painful loss, the team lost multiple players to free agency, traded away some others, and the rest, for the most part, experienced sharp regression in the coming year. For the 2014 season, this included the man that signed a 10 year, $225MM extension in that off season. The 2014 season ruined Joey Votto’s great reputation, but Votto would come back in the next two season and produce at extraordinary levels, and while he got some attention in 2015, his 2016 was far underrated. Votto did not receive a single first, second, third, or even fourth place MVP vote. When compared to the MVP candidates that did far better than him, Votto deserved more than a few votes; he deserved strong consideration for the whole prize.

Joey’s greatness starts at a very basic level. He hit .326, but more impressively went for a .434 on base percentage, an astronomical clip. That OBP led the national league, and was only second in baseball to AL MVP Mike Trout. The next closest hitter was DJ LaMaheui, breakout second baseman of the Rockies, who was still nearly 20 points below Votto in the category The Canadian has always had a good sense of the strike zone, and it is clearly not fading, as demonstrated by the walk rate and 17.7% strikeout rate, which is actually below his career average. His low, 20.8% O-Swing means that he rarely swings at a pitch outside of the strike zone. Votto hit for respectable power, with 29 home runs, but more importantly a .550 slugging percentage, only .004 behind the man who actually won the NL MVP, Kris Bryant. Votto’s on base and power skills combine to form an excellent of OPS (on-base plus slugging) .985, tied for the best in the National League. His OPS+ was 160, meaning that according to the metric, he was 60% better than the average major leaguer.

Digging into the more raw statistics, the 33-year-old made soft contact only 11.7% of the time over the course of the entire season, white making hard contact a whopping 38.7% of the time. Joey also hit 27.3% line drives, a great number for any hitter. Votto’s 22% HR/FB ratio shows that he is still slamming the ball, and that he has not lost his touch with age. It would be more than fair to say that Votto struggled in the first half of the 2016 season, but he showed an incredible ability to bounce back post-all star game, hitting a Ted Williams-esque .408/.490/.668. wRC+, a measure of overall hitting ability, puts Votto at 158, meaning he is a whole 58% better than the average player. Votto lead the national league in wRC+, what sabermatricians today consider the best offenseive statistic. That puts him as a better offensive player than any of the three NL MVP finalists (Bryant, Murphy, and Seager). The on-base machine also put together an unheard-of 201 wRC+ after the all star break, when his true skills were just starting to kick in.

There is a legitimate and illegitimate case to not consider Votto for the award. The one major argument that should not ever be used against Votto is his team, the Reds. The Reds were a losing team last year, tying for the NL’s worst record (68-94). Many hold this against Votto, saying he should not be the most valuable player if his team did not get close to making the playoffs. I completely, wholeheartedly disagree. Baseball is a team sport. One player cannot make a team good or bad! If I were to put Kris Bryant, the MVP winner, on the Reds, instead of Votto, the team would still be terrible. If I put Votto on the Cubs, instead of Bryant, the team would still be excellent. The point is, it’s not Votto’s fault he got put on a terrible team, so why should he be blamed for it in awards voting? Some say that it would be impossible for Votto to be the most “valuable” player while on a losing team. I once again highly question this point of view. Votto has the same “value” no matter what team he is on. Say his value were 5 wins (which it is, according to WAR). That five wins would be the same if it turned the Reds from a 63 to a 68 win team or if it changed the Cubs from a 103 to 108 win team. The value is still the same, whether it makes a team less worse or more better. If one does want to make an argument against Votto, it better be related to his defense (or baserunning, which was also a slight negative this year). Whether it is an aging pattern, or just one off year, Votto suffered a major drop in defense this year, form a gold-glove caliber first baseman to one with negative value, as according his horrific -14 DRS (defensive runs saved) at first base. And, as modern statistics show, defense really matters. However, Votto managed to put together an amazing season even with the laughable glovework. His aforementioned 5.0 WAR is very good, and includes defense, possibly even overvaluing defense. Despite his terrible defense, Votto put together a great overall season.

So, did Votto deserve the MVP award? Well, looking at the hitting stats, he deserved strong consideration. He had an outstanding slash line (AVG/OBP/SLG) and ranked #1 in his league for wRC+, the best overall measure of hitting. Sure, his defense was bad, but there are 30 votes for 1st place, 30 for 2nd, and 30 3rd. Votto deserved way more of these top three votes than the zero he was given. Defense or no defense, Votto’s contact, power, and eye should have propelled him towards a finalist spot. I know I am not the only one that feels Joey Votto is one of the greatest hitters of the generation. The other, day, I watched Brian Kenny of MLB Network find a strike-zone recognition category that Fowler beat Votto in, when he exclaimed Fowler had defeated “Joey Votto himself!!!” The BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) was given the MVP vote in the 1930’s, when newspaper was by far the top form communication. I am not saying they should lose the vote, but maybe it is time to diversify the polls just a little bit, adding in parts of, say, the statistics community. After all, the whole point of stats is to make unbiased comparisons between players. To me, in our changing game of baseball, for awards like MVP that go down in history, sabermatricians should have somewhat of a say.

Briefly, one of my favorite stories (which I have admittedly not fact checked, but still really like) from last year is about another personality that agrees with me on Votto. Naturally, that would be “Joey Votto himself.” After struggling for half the 2016 season, Votto recalls checking the world-renowned similarity scores, to see if any other all-time greats went through similar struggles to himself. Votto knows his statistics stack up to other MVP candidates, and next year, his bat will come out with a vengeance.

Sources:

fangraphs.com

baseballreference.com

si.com

Images attributed to:

https://kservera1.wordpress.com/category/mlb/

With 2 Months Left, Who Are the NL MVP Candidates?

Kevin Gowdy: Striking Gold

The K Zone

December 5th  2016

Revised on December 3rd 2017

Kevin Gowdy

Interviewed By Mike Duffy

 

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Kevin Gowdy was drafted by the Phillies in the second round this year and is now ranked as the #11 Prospect in the Phillies Organization. In 2015 he went on to help the Team U.S.A 18U team win a gold medal and some of his teammates included other top draft picks this year like Will Benson, Blake Rutherford, and the First pick of the Draft Mickey Moniak. Deciding to sign with the Phillies rather then attending UCLA, he knows what he wants; and thats to play professional baseball!  Here my interview with Phillies next sensation Kevin Gowdy.


Mike Duffy: What makes you so successful as a pitcher?

Kevin Gowdy:  The mental part of pitching is a big huge part
of it for any pitcher. Once you get to the professional level, so many pitchers have such good stuff and I think it’s the ones who are mentally tough and can compete that end up being successful in the big leagues.

Mike Duffy: Whats your favorite thing about pitching?

Kevin Gowdy:  My favorite thing about pitching is being handed the ball every seven days and just going out there and doing what I can to help my team win

Mike Duffy: Was it a tough decision to sign rather then going to UCLA?

Kevin Gowdy:  It was definetly a tough decision deciding to sign instead of going to UCLA. There were so many great things about each option, but so far I’m very happy with my decision of signing.

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Mike Duffy: What went through you head when you were drafted?

 
Kevin Gowdy:Getting drafted was one of the most exciting moments of my life. I tried to not think about it, but I was really anxious just to see what would happen in the draft.

Mike Duffy: Most exciting thing about being a Philly?

Kevin Gowdy: The most exciting thing about being a Phillie is just being able to come to the park everyday and learn from all the great coaches and teammates we have. Everyone is always there to help you and I’m thankful to be in such a great organization.

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Mike Duffy: Who is your role model?

Kevin Gowdy: My role models are my parents. They’ve always taught me to be the best person I can and to have perseverance and never give up no matter what the situation may be.

Mike Duffy: Do you have a motto you live by?

Kevin Gowdy: A motto I live by is “next best thing”, whether that be in baseball in life. Life has its up’s and downs, and baseball can be such an unpredictable game so you always have to move on and think what is the next best thing I can do, regardless of the situation.

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Mike Duffy: I was wondering  when you go from high school to the minor leagues, what was the biggest challenge when you reach each stage?

Kevin Gowdy: The biggest challenge from high school to pro ball is probably how much work it is. In high school we’d only play 2-3 games a week, and pro ball is everyday.


Mike Duffy: What is your favorite hobby besides baseball?

Kevin Gowdy:  My favorite hobby outside of baseball is probably going to the beach.


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Mike Duffy: Who was your favorite baseball player growing up?

Kevin Gowdy: My favorite baseball player growing up was Zack Greinke, but Nolan Ryan’s always been my favorite pitcher even though I never got to see him pitch.


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Mike Duffy: What was your favorite team growing up?

Kevin Gowdy: The royals were my favorite team growing up because my dads from Kansas City.


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Mike Duffy: Goals for this offseason?

Kevin Gowdy: My goal for this offseason is to rehab my elbow really well so when I start throwing again in January I won’t have any pain or setbacks.


Mike Duffy: What is your favorite stadium?

Kevin Gowdy: My favorite stadium is either Citizens Bank Park or Dodger stadium.


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Mike Duffy: What is your favorite movie?

Kevin Gowdy: My favorite movie would probably have to be Stepbrothers.


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Mike Duffy: When did you know you wanted to play professional baseball?

Kevin Gowdy: I’ve always dreamed of playing professional baseball but it never really became a reality until later in high school.


Mike Duffy: What is your favorite baseball memory?

Kevin Gowdy: My favorite baseball memory is winning a gold medal with the 18u USA baseball team in Japan.


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Mike Duffy: What was it like to win the gold medal?

Kevin Gowdy: Winning a gold medal with Team USA was unlike anything I’ve ever done. Playing with your country on your chest just takes everything to a new level, and I still get goosebumps by just thinking about when we won.

Mike Duffy: What is one takeaway after your first full season?

Kevin Gowdy: My first takeaway after my first full season is learning how to deal with adversity and keep my head up.


Mike Duffy: Who is your favorite Musician and song?

Kevin Gowdy: That’s a tough one, I don’t think I could choose a single favorite haha. But I am really into country and classic rock music.


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For more Interviews Click Here

For more updates on articles follow us on Instagram @thekzonenews

Comment below on how we can improve the articles!

Thanks for reading!

David Paulino

-The K Zone-

November 30th 2016

 

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The other day I was very fortunate to write back and for with the #4 prospect of the  Astros   and #54 out of the entire MLB prospect rankings! Unfortunately the interview was very short due to the language barrier, yes you heard that right, he only speaks Spanish. This did take me about 10 minutes to realize after the fact he read my response but never responded. Then the techie guy I am decided to send the same message using google translate and the little Spanish I know from class to try again. Here is the interview that has been translated from English to Spanish to English back to Spanish and now back to English and edited. Below this is the actual Spanish version! Hope you enjoy!

Mike Duffy: Hi David, I guess you only speak Spanish right?

 

David Paulino: Hi, Yes that is true. How are you?

Mike Duffy: I’m really good!I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions?

David Paulino: Sure, no problem!


Mike Duffy:  How was your Tommy John surgery recovery?

David Paulino: Well the process was very long but thank god it was very successful!

Mike Duffy: You had great statistics this year! What made you so successful?

David Paulino: Well what made me succeed this year, was my how well I did my job and    the way I prepared myself, and also my trust in God which was very
important!

Mike Duffy:  There is a talk that could be Traded… What do you think? Would you be
upset?

David Paulino: I have no problem problem with being traded. I prefer that I would not be traded but for me there will be no problem if it is the will of God.

Mike Duffy: Thanks!


Original interview in Spanish

Mike Duffy: Solo hablas español?

David Paulino: Si, Hola como esta, Claro no hay problema

Mike Duffy: ¿Cómo fue la recuperación de tommy john?

David Paulino: Bueno él proceso fue muy largo pero gracias a dios fue muy exitoso

Mike Duffy: Tuviste grandes estadísticas este año, ¿qué te hizo tener tanto éxito?

David Paulino: Bueno lo que me hizo tener exito este año fue mi trabajo la forma de prepararme, Y confiar en Dios, Que es lo importante

Mike Duffy: Hay una charla que podría ser intercambiado ¿qué te parece?

David Paulino: No hay problema problema con eso no me gustaría ser intercambiado conmigo no habrá problema si es la voluntad De Dios

Mike Duffy: Gracias!

Details on New MLB Collective Bargaining Agreement

-The K Zone-

November 30th 2016

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Details on New MLB Collective Bargaining Agreement by Ian Joffe

In the first players’ strike of 1976, the owners of Major League agreed to give the players’ a union with the right to form collective bargaining agreements. The first CBA was created that very year, and today, a new CBA was agreed upon. For a while, there was a threat of a new strike, and a lockout (the equivalent of a strike but with the owners). In either, no players could be traded, signed, waived, or moved in any fashion. The threat, however, was averted, thanks to union head Tony Clark and commissioner Rob Manfred. It was both of their first negotiations, and appears to have gone rather successfully, having now avoided ending MLB’s 21-year streak of labor peace. Here are the details of the agreement, as it develops:

  • The new agreement will last five years, until the 2021 offseason.
  • Rosters will not expand to 26 players, as it had been previously rumored. This would have allowed teams to keep an extra player to be used each game. Teams could have kept a third catcher, defensive infielder, speester, classic long reliver/swing man, or perhaps a reliever to use in a similar way that Andrew Miller was used in the playoffs. The September 40-man roster expansions will also continue for the next five years, unchanged. There is, however,  a chance of an extra roster expansion occuring earlier in the season, which may be only one person, expanding to 26 total players on the roster.
  • It was long rumored that the international draft would be part of the new CBA. However, after much persistence from the players’ side, particularly those Latin born players, MLB gave up on the international draft. A draft would have likely severely decreased salary for foreign born players, although bonus slot money was yet to be decided.
  • Instead, MLB will institute a hard cap on foreign signings. Previously, spending too much on international free agents resulted in an additional tax to MLB. Now, teams will simply not be allowed to exceed a certain limit in international spending. This limit is said to be around $5MM, but change based on the team’s competative balance status. Furthermore, the slots to sign international players can be traded. Cubans over the age of 25 with six years of experience will be exempt from these limitations.
  • The leauge minimum salary will go up to $555K over the next few years. This is only a minor change, of about $40K. The minor league minimum wage will also increase.
  • The minimum DL length has changed from 15 days to 10 days. A player can be placed on the DL to be deactived for the alloted time, but must be activated or reinstated after that time. To current knowldge, there is still a 60-day DL to go along with the 10-day.
  • The luxury tax threshold will increase in the coming five years. In 2017, it will go up to $195MM, in 2018 $197MM, in 2019 $206MM, in 2020 $208MM, and in 2021 $221MM, the season before this CBA expired. Furthermore, penalties for exceeding the luxury tax will increase greatly, to 60%, 70%, and in extreme cases even 90%. For those unfamiliar with the luxury tax, also known as competitive balance tax system, this means that teams whose payrolls exceed the threshold must give additional money to MLB. Both the threshold and amount of tax have increased.
  • The qualifying offer system will undergo major changes. A player may only be given a qualifying offer once in their careers. If the reject, the team still receives no compensation if the player signed for under $50MM. If they do sign for $50MM, compensation will depend on a team’s revenue sharing status. No team will be required to forfeit a first found pick.  Teams that contribute to revenue sharing (those with the top fifteen incomes) will give up their second and fifth round picks, while other teams which receive money from revenue sharing will give up their fifth pick to the team that the free agent came from. If a team signs multiple free agents with qualifying offers in one year to greater than $50MM contracts, the team will give up more draft picks in order after the ones they have already forfeited (e.g. a bottom 15-income team will give up their 3rd, then 4th, then 5th, etc. round pick). This revenue-sharing based system differs from the one based on luxury tax, as previously reported.
  • Teams that exceed the luxury tax threshold by over $40MM will have their highest draft selection dropped by 10 picks.
  • The revenue sharing system will be changed slightly, eliminating its performance factor clause. As Jeff Passan puts it, the performance factor acts as a multiplier for teams to pay in revenue sharing. The elimination of this will likely result in lowered payments from large market teams, like the Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox, etc. Additionally, the Oakland Athletics will no longer recieve money from the revenue sharing system, due to disputes over market size and the stadium which they share with Oakland’s football team, the Raiders. Additionally, the union has had issues with Oakland ownership, saying that the team does not spend the money on players, like they are supposed to. It will take four years to phase them out.
  • New MLB players may be banned from using smokeless tobacco in the ballpark, for all teams. This will not apply to those who have already played in MLB.
  • The league will take additional off days in coming seasons. To accommodate for the expansion, the schedule will begin a few days earlier. So, the season will begin in the middle of the week, not the weekend as it is traditionally.
  • In the July Amateur Draft, there will be less of a drop off in guarenteed slot bonuses between picks. In other words, there will be less of a difference betweent he bonus of a first pick and, say, 15th pick.
  • There will be increased drug testing, especially for HGH, and players will not be given service time while they are serving suspensions.
  • The All-Star Game will no longer serve to determine home field advantage. Instead, home field will go to the team with the better record. In my opinion, this is a major improvement to a system that was previously unfair to the teams and fans of city, the players of the team having barely any control over their postseason homefield advantage.
  • Players must be given two seats each on busses during Spring Training.
  • Teams must hire a chef for their players.

More to come as this story develops

Sources:

Paul Hagen and Richard Justice on mlb.com

Jeff Todd on mlbtraderumors.com

Jason Stark on espn.com

Stephen Hawkings and Ronald Blum on apnews.com

Jeff Passan on Twitter

Ken Rosenthal on Twitter

Joel Sherman on Twitter

Image Attributed To: http://specials-images.forbesimg.com/imageserve/9952384789a34bae8d80cf3a677b5eaa/960×0.jpg?fit=scale

 

Zach Eflin: Earning a role in the Phillies rotation

-The K Zone-

November 24th 2016

 

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When Phillies starter Vince Velasquez went on the DL an opportunity for  Zach Eflin appeared. After a very rocky first outing Zach seemed to calm down and if you watched him you he looked as if he has been in the majors for a long time. His talent (and a great sinker) lead him to have his first win be a complete game only letting one run score. His passion for baseball and hard work has paid off and with a injury ending his season early people can’t wait to see what he has in store for next season.

 

Zach Eflin: Awesome man, Shoot me some questions brotha!

Mike Duffy: I was wondering… When you go from high school, minor leagues, to the majors, what was the biggest challenge when you reach each stage?

Zach Eflin: Alright so I would say the biggest challenge is accepting and understanding that wherever you are that you deserve to be there.

Mike Duffy: What did you do best this season?

Zach Eflin: I believe I really was able to focus on controlling and dominating a game. I was able to learn so much about sequences and how to keep hitters off balance.

Mike Duffy: When you were drafted was it a difficult decision to make to turn down college?

Zach Eflin: When I was drafted it was a difficult decision to make between college and pro for many reasons. It was my dream to play in the Major Leagues and when I got the opportunity to kick start it I could not pass up.

Mike Duffy: I remember watching  your complete and I was like “wow” what a guy. How did you feel after that? How did you celebrate?

Zach Eflin: When I threw the complete game to get my first win I was obviously overwhelmed with joy. Just a very special way to get my first win. I was able to talk to my family after and really just made sure they knew I wouldn’t be there without them. I did not do any celebrating unfortunately. I was drenched in a Gatorade bath and considered that my celebration.

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Mike Duffy: Do you have a motto you live by?

Zach Eflin: “Walk by faith, not by sight” 2nd Corinthians 5:7 has to be the motto of my life. It’s telling you to trust your instincts to trust your heart And believe that with god the father you do not need vision to have an eternal life.

Mike Duffy: Most important… How’s your leg feeling?

Zach Eflin: Lastly the legs are doing great!! Progressing very well every single day. It is still very early in the rehab process but I feel better than I ever have in my life and cannot wait until spring!

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Mike Duffy: Have a great Thanksgiving and thank you so much for doing this! I can’t wait to watch you succeed even more! Best of luck!

Zach Eflin: Happy thanksgiving to you and your family!

Mike Duffy: Thank you so much I really appreciate it!

Zach Eflin: I remember seeing you in the corner by the bullpen in LA! Take care buddy, anytime.

Mike Duffy: Haha thats awesome!

Check out my Interview with Grant Dayton or Ian’s article on what goes into Wins Above Replacement.

 

 

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Written By: Mike Duffyunnamed-2

Ryan Scott: Dodgers to Angels to Mariners

The K Zone

November 22nd 2016

Updated on December 3rd 2017

Ryan Scott

Interviewed By Mike Duffy


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Mike Duffy: I was wondering when you go from high school, minor leagues, to the majors, what was the biggest challenge when you reach each stage?
Ryan Scott: Well when you’re on the field you quickly realize that you’re always playing the same game. The game might get a little quicker and competition might be better but it’s always the same game I’ve played my whole life. I think the biggest challenge is trying to stay within yourself and not try to do more than you’re capable of doing just because of the level you’re at.

Mike Duffy: What did you do best in the 2016 season?

Ryan Scott: What I did best that season in my eyes was my ability to help control the pitching staff I was fortunate enough to work with. As well as controlling the running game as a catcher. I threw out over 50% of base stealers this year and I was very proud of myself for that.

Mike Duffy: What was your favorite memory the 2016 season?

Ryan Scott: My favorite memory from the 2016 season is no doubt winning the pioneer league championship! Such a great accomplishment for my teammates and I and I was psyched we were able to pull out the win!

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Mike Duffy: Whats your favorite team you have played for? Why?
Ryan Scott: Being in the Angels organization it was a blessing and my team I was on this past offseason, the Orem Owlz, was definitely one of my favorites! As well as my high school team my senior year because we won a state championship in AZ in 2013 and I was able to play with all my best friends from school.

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Mike Duffy: Whats your favorite stadium?
Ryan Scott: Favorite stadium I’ve ever been to would probably be Angels Stadium! Grew up a Halos fan and so getting to take a trip to Anaheim to go to a game was awesome! I’ve played in Chase Field in high school so that was a lot of fun too!

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Mike Duffy: What was the hardest thing about changing to catching?
Ryan Scott:  Hardest thing about catching in general, that many young catchers learn, is you have to have the will and drive and you really have to love the position and everything that comes with it. You have to be able to take the hit. You get hit by foul balls about every game so you have to be willing to shake off any pain and not let that affect your game and the way you’re going to control your pitching staff.

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Mike Duffy: What was it like to  win the championship?
Ryan Scott: The championship was amazing! The group of guys we had on our team had so fun this year and it was only right that we came out with the trophy! Getting to have a champagne celebration in the locker room is a feeling that is hard to describe! Definitely best moment I’ve had on a baseball field!

Mike Duffy: Who was your favorite player growing up?

Ryan Scott: My two favorite players were Big Bad Vlad Guerrero and Pudge Rodriguez! Pudge was an inspiration for me as a defensive catcher I pushed myself to be like him!


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Mike Duffy: Whats your favorite hobby besides baseball?

Ryan Scott: My favorite hobby besides baseball is definitely Golfing. All winter in Arizona I have the luxury of golfing with my dad and it’s something I definitely don’t take for granted.


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Mike Duffy: Whats your favorite Movie?

Ryan Scott: My favorite movie is probably “Miracle”. The movie about the 1980 US Olympic hockey team.


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Mike Duffy: Whats your favorite T.V. show?

Ryan Scott: My favorite show is How I Met Your Mother. I’ve seen every episode at least six or seven times and watch it almost every night.


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Mike Duffy: Do you have a motto?

Ryan Scott: I wouldn’t say I necessarily have a motto, but there is a quote by Jackie Robinson (“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives”) that I like to emulate in my daily life.


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Mike Duffy: Whats your favorite part about the Mariners organization?

Ryan Scott: My favorite part about the Mariners organization is definitely the people I’ve met. From coaches to coordinators to front office staff to my teammates, I’ve been very lucky to meet some amazing people. My teammates especially because I get to hang out with them everyday and have made friendships that I’ll remember forever.


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Nolan Jones: Getting the Rockets Hit Down the Line

The K Zone

November 21st 2016

Nolan Jones

Interviewed By Mike Duffy


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Mike Duffy: I was wondering when you go from high school, minor leagues, to the majors, what was the biggest challenge when you reach each stage?

Nolan Jones: Personally the biggest challenge for me was being able to have my body prepared to perform everyday. In high school I had plenty of days to rest, where I’m professional baseball I have to bring my best every single day.


Mike Duffy: What did you do best this season?

Nolan Jones: I think the thing I did best this season was learn. I took in all the information my coaches gave me and tried to get better every day.


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Mike Duffy: This offseason whats the major thing your planning to work on?

Nolan Jones: This off season I plan to work in the gym to bigger and faster. I want to prepare my body for a full season.


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Mike Duffy: What was your favorite memory this season?

Nolan Jones: My favorite memory from my high school season was a walk off homer I had in the bottom of the tenth inning against our rival school. I’m professional baseball my favorite memory, was when my buddy Will Benson and I were both slumping and he smashed a long home run to break it.


Mike Duffy: What is your advice to young players?

Nolan Jones: My advise to young players is play multiple sports, and have fun. Weather your a professional or not, baseball will always be a game.


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Mike Duffy:  Hardest thing about being a 3rd baseman?

Nolan Jones: The hardest thing about being a third baseman is reacting to rockets hit down the line.


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Mike Duffy: Besides your hard work who do you dedicate your success to?

Nolan Jones: I dedicate all my success to my parents. Obviously it takes a lot of hard work to get to where I am today, and will continue to take a lot of hard work to keep progressing. But from day 1, none of this would have been possible without my parents.


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Grant Dyer: Next stop Philadelphia

The K Zone

November 7th 2016

Updated on December 9th 2017

Grant Dyer

Interviewed By Mike Duffy


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Mike Duffy: With a good era and whip do you think your a prime example of someone who’s talent is not seen in in wins and losses?

Grant Dyer: Yeah I mean it’s tough for any reliever to be judged on their wins/loss record since they mostly pitch later in the game.


Mike Duffy: What was it like being the first guy from ucla to get drafted?

Grant Dyer: Coming from a school like UCLA we always expect to have a decent amount of guys drafted since they’ve built a strong legacy of baseball at that school. So to be fortunate enough to be the first one drafted from the team was an awesome experience.


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Mike Duffy: Besides your hard work who else do you dedicate your success too?

Grant Dyer: I dedicate any  success I have to my parents and a family friends that have been supportive. I wouldn’t be here without them.


Mike Duffy: What is it like knowing that the team your on is a rebuilding team but the farm is competitive?

Grant Dyer: The Phillies are without a doubt one of the best minor league systems in baseball, if not the best.


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Mike Duffy: How hard is it to earn the saver spot?

Grant Dyer: Any important role required hard work. But to be the closer you have to be mentally tough and competitive every day.


Mike Duffy: What do you have to work on the most this off season?

Grant Dyer: I just need to get stronger and mature as a pitcher.


Mike Duffy: One word to describe the lakewood  blue claws? Williamsport cross cutters?

Grant Dyer: Blueclaws: competitive and Crosscutters: fun


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Mike Duffy: What is your favorite stadium to play at?

Grant Dyer: I love playing at home in Lakewood. The field/fans are the best!


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Mike Duffy: What was your favorite team growing up?

Grant Dyer: I grew up an angels fan, but now I’m all out Phillies fan.


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Mike Duffy: Who is your favorite batter to face?

Grant Dyer: I love facing any hitter that I personally know or have played with before. It adds a little extra edge.


Mike Duffy: I was wondering  when you go from high school to college to the minor leagues, what was the biggest challenge when you reach each stage?

Grant Dyer: Each level comes with more responsibility, so learning how to handle that can be a challenge at times. In college it was dealing with school during the day and baseball in the early mornings/afternoons/weekends, and keeping your grades up too. In pro ball it’s dealing with more freedom and learning how to take care of yourself to stay healthy and mentally focused for a 142 game season.


Mike Duffy: What is your favorite hobby besides baseball?

Grant Dyer: Hobbies would be mostly surfing and fishing.


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Mike Duffy: Who was your favorite baseball player growing up?

Grant Dyer: My favorite player is Mariano Rivera. As a relief pitcher there’s nobody better to look up to.


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Mike Duffy: Goals for this offseason?

Grant Dyer: Goal for this offseason is to just get as strong as possible, so when my arm is healthy again I’ll be able to hit the ground running and get my career back on track.


Mike Duffy: What is your favorite Movie?

Grant Dyer: My favorite movie is Forrest Gump.


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Mike Duffy: Do you have a motto or a thing to do to get you out of a rough time?

Grant Dyer: I have a few sayings that I like to keep fresh in my head all the time, especially during any hard times.


Mike Duffy: When did you know you wanted to play professional baseball?

Grant Dyer: I knew I wanted to play pro ball as soon as I went to a game for the first time, I was 4 years old and just started playing T-ball. Been my dream/goal ever since.


Mike Duffy: What is your favorite baseball memory?

Grant Dyer: My favorite baseball memory is a tie between a few…winning the Pac12 championship in college, getting drafted by the Phillies in 2016, and clinching playoffs in my first pro ball season.


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Mike Duffy: What is your favorite Song?

Grant Dyer: My favorite song has to be Heart of Gold by Neil young.


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