The following interview has been a whole
season in the making. I think the length of time it took to complete
it, speaks a seasons worth of innings about the source.
their #1 pick, the
Phillies drafted Brett Myers straight out of Englewood (FL) High School in
1999. Myers brings his former amateur boxing mentality and toughness
to the mound. Though his mindset and all out effort might leave one
to wonder if his future is as a closer, Myers said, “I see myself as a
starter. This is what the Phillies are grooming me to become”.
And what about that boxing background? Did Myers ever
consider pro boxing? “No way!” exclaimed Myers. Like any good
pitcher he didn’t like getting hit. “Boxing was a sport I was
involved with because my father worked in the industry,” explained Myers,
“Boxing did keep me in shape”.
Many have compared Myers to
Curt Schilling, because he displays a similar workhorse capability.
Myers tries not to make comparisons between other pitchers and
himself. “I try to stay within myself and hopefully develop a name
in that sense”. Myers went on to say, “ There are other pitchers who
influence me, such as Nolan Ryan and Curt Schilling…both are recognized
for excellent work habits and their competitiveness, not to mention both
are big, strong right handed pitchers”.
Myers claims he becomes
stronger and more polished as the season went on in 2000 by learning from
his mistakes. Myers reasoned, “Things became a little easier after I
learned to make adjustments…plus, I love to compete!”
At the beginning of the 2001
season, Myers was rated with the best fastball in the Phillies system,
consistently at 92-93 mph and as high as 96. His hard breaking
curveball was already becoming a second plus pitch in putting hitters away
and during the off-season he was working with a change-up and two-seam
fastball. Myers explained his biggest adjustment to the pro game was
a need to throw strikes and locate pitches as opposed to focusing on
blowing people away with his fastball.
Where does Myers see his
pitching career in a year? “Hopefully I will be pitching in the
Major Leagues…If not, then in 2003” says Myers. And who can doubt
his 13-4 record, over 156 innings and 130 strikeouts to 43 walks in his
2001 campaign with (AA) Reading?
Now, the question all you autograph
collectors want to ask…what is Myers thoughts on autograph request in
person and via mail? “I enjoy giving autographs for children and
fans that are excited to have my signature, but sometimes autograph
seekers get out of hand, especially the ones who seek my autograph
numerous times for the sole purpose to capitalize monetarily”, answered
As a kid, Myers set a goal to make a career in Major League
Baseball as a player. “I have dedicated most of my life to achieving
this goal and my family is very supportive and they are always there for
me”, explained Myers. Outside of baseball, Myers has an interest in
golf and cars.
BRETT MYERS, rhp, Reading (AA)
20 B-T: R-R Ht: 6’-4” Wt: 215 lbs Signed by: Miguel
EDUCATION: 1999 graduate of Englewood (FL) HS...OBTAINED:
Phillies 1st round pick (12th overall) in June, 1999 draft…1999: Senior
year was 8-2 with 0.80 ERA; in 78 innings he allowed 25 hits, walked 34
and struck out 131… Made pro debut with Gulf Coast Phillies (R)…Recorded
1st win 8/7 vs GCL Yankees…Opposing batters hit just .177 against
him…Named Phillies’ 3rd-best prospect by Baseball America…Florida
Instructional League…2000: Spent entire season with Piedmont (A)…Ranked
2nd in South Atlantic League in innings (175.1), tied-3rd in wins (13)…Led
team in starts (27) and strikeouts (140)…Phillies Minor League Pitcher of
the Week, 5/22-28…Threw 1st pro SHO 5/22 at Columbus…Pitched at least 6
innings in 22 of 27 starts…8-2, 2.94 ERA in 13 road games…Struck out
season-high 12 batters 8/7 at Charleston, SC (8.0 IP, 1 ER)…Was 0-1, 1.08
ERA in 1 playoff start (8.1 IP, 5 H, 3 BB, SO)…Rated 7th-best prospect in
SAL and 2nd-best in Phillies organization by Baseball America.
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