Monday, October 20, 2008

Anthony Slama Interview

Late last week I had the chance to interview Twins pitching prospect, Anthony Slama. He is one of the Twins top relief prospects. He was drafted by the Twins in the 2006 Amateur Draft out of San Diego College. He is currently pitching in the Arizona Fall League.

Kevin Lewis: Anthony, thank you for taking time to answer a few questions today.

Anthony Slama: No problem, sorry it took me so long to get back to you. Been staying very busy out here in Arizona.

KL: Before we get into the more detailed questions, not many people in the Minnesota and around the baseball world know you. Can you give us a little bit of a background and how you got involved in baseball?

AS: I grew up in Garden Grove, California; attended Mater Dei High School where I played basketball and baseball. I didn't get serious about pitching until my sophomore year and I was offered a scholarship to UC Riverside in my junior year. My first year at UC Riverside was a redshirt year and after it was made clear I would not pitch much my freshman year, I enrolled in Santa Ana College near my house. After two years there I got a scholarship to University of San Diego. I was drafted in the 39th round after my junior year there and decided to come back to school. My senior year I graduated then signed with the Twins before the 07 draft.

KL: When you were growing up as a young kid and then progressed through high school and college, was there someone in your life who was there for you and was pushing you to do the best that you could?

AS: My parents were always supportive in whatever decision I made early in my career. My coaches always pushed me to do my best, and my girlfriend Lauren always believed in me.

KL: What was it like when you found out that you were drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 39th round of the 2006 Amateur draft? Did you have any hints at who might take you in the draft?

AS: I did not know who would take me in the draft, and had only spoken with a few teams prior to the draft. I was happy to be selected by the Twins but knew I had to delay my career and go back to finish school.

KL: You have gotten off to a very hot start in your minor league career. In 78 games, you have a record of 5-2, 39 saves. To go with that, an amazing 1.23 ERA. Was there anything specific that you can contribute to all the success you have had early on in your career? Where do you expect to start next season? Do you think you will still be at Ft. Myers or will they send you up to New Britain?

AS: I go out and pitch aggressively throwing strikes and challenging hitters. It is never certain before spring training where you will end up, but I should probably start the year in New Britain.

KL: When you are on the mound and you need to get that critical out to end the inning, what is your "out" pitch? I know you have a fastball that touches the low 90s, a slider and then a changeup.

AS: I use my changeup more to lefties, I use my fastball to get ahead in the count or I can use it as my out pitch as well. The slider has worked well as a strikeout pitch.

KL: I noticed you are participating in the Arizona Fall League this year. Are you working on a specific pitch? If so, which one? Or are you just there to kind of fine tune everything in your arsenal?

AS: In a way, this is a tuneup for the type of hitters I will be facing. These are some of the best hitters the minor leagues has to offer, and it is always good to face the best. It will give me good feedback on what I need to work on and what pitches get certain types of hitters out.

KL: Thank you again for taking time to answer a few questions and good luck the rest of the Arizona Fall League and in the future.

AS: Thanks man, anytime.

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