MMO Talkin’ Baseball: Mets Pitching Prospect Scott Moviel
I got a chance to talk with Mets right-hander Scott Moviel just after Christmas and he was nice enough to bring us up-to-date as far as his progress in 2011. Before last season Scott was battling knee troubles which can be problematic for a pitcher who stands 6’11″. Now healthy once again, he provides us with some very interesting insights on the challenges he is taking on heading into next year. Check it out and see what he has to say:
Petey: We are chatting with Scott Moviel, RHP in the Mets organization. Scott pitched in the starting rotation for St. Lucie, Advanced-A, in the Florida State League for the 2011 season. Hi Scott, thanks so much for taking time out to chat with us at MetsMerizedOnline.com. Our readers and staff really appreciate it! How are things? Did you have a nice Christmas?
Scott: Hello Pete and staff at MetsMerizedOnline.com! Things are very well, just staying in shape and keeping busy. Christmas has passed but I was very well prepared, and got all my gifts way in advance.
Petey: Not me, I was late getting my shopping done this year, and was stuck in the holiday crowds and insanity until late in the day on Friday. But let’s go back to when the Mets drafted you out of St. Edward High School, in Cleveland, in the 2nd round of the 2007 MLB Player Draft, how did you first hear about it, and what was that feeling like? Did you know the Mets were interested in drafting you? What round(s) were you thinking you might be taken in the draft?
Scott: As you may know I was signed to go to NC State and was very excited about the opportunity to play at a great university. As my senior year began at St. Edward, I had started to get a lot of visits from MLB scouts at my home and realized that I had a good chance at the 1st to 5th round of the ’07 draft. Although about 85% of all the teams had made a visit, the New York Mets were not one of them. Not until my last game of my high school season did I hear from a Mets scout in person after an outing and still they did not stand out amongst the many others showing interest at that time. When draft day came I was very excited and nervous as to what the day would bring! I had many close friends, family, and my agent over to my house for a small draft party. After the 1st round had passed and a close call with almost being selected by the New York Yankees late 1st round, I received a phone call from the Cardinals and was told they wanted to take me somewhere around pick #86, when out of nowhere my aunt shouted from the computer room “Scott is going to be a New York Met!” very loudly. Now at this point I had literally hung up the phone with the Cards and was discussing things with my parents in their room alone, and when I heard that I ran out to see what all the commotion was in the computer room. When I got to the computer room it was on ESPN draft tracker and it said that the Mets had selected me and I was elated and shocked because I didn’t really know they had interest in me. About five minutes later calls from New York Mets personal and media were congratulating me and asking tons of questions.
Petey: Wow that’s crazy, the MLB draft sounds like controlled chaos! Is there one person, a coach, a friend or family member, or even another player, who you have learned the most from, or who inspired you to chase your dream of one day becoming a major league baseball player?
Scott: My brothers played a huge roll in my interest and development in baseball. I am the youngest of four boys and have learned a lot from my older brothers growing up, along with two very good parents who have funded my interest in baseball and pushed me to reach for the sky in anything I do. Having two brothers already playing minor league baseball Greg (Seattle Mariners) and Paul (Chicago White Sox/Tampa Bay) I was very blessed and inspired by both of them to chase that dream of toeing up a MLB pitching rubber!
Petey: For those of us who haven’t seen you pitch yet, could you tell us a little bit about your arsenal? What pitches you throw, at what speeds, and are you working on any new pitches moving forward? What is normally your approach to attacking hitters?
Scott: I throw a 4 seam fastball between 88-93 mph and tops out at 95 mph, a 2 seam fastball at about 88-90 mph, a circle change between 82-85 mph, a slider between 78-84 mph, and a curveball anywhere from 75-80 mph. I am a contact pitcher and like to challenge the hitters I face, in the zone with all my pitches. Keeping the ball low in the zone is something I’m trying to perfect every year, and to be able to throw all my pitches for strikes in any count.
Petey: You’ve had some physical setbacks, knee problems if I remember correctly. That can be very difficult for a pitcher as tall as you are. Was it two knee surgeries you had to endure? Have you gotten over the injuries, how is your health now?
Scott: Yes I had to undergo two knee surgeries but thankfully it was only a meniscus tear both times, which is pretty mild compared to the other injuries that could happen to the knee region. My health is great and has been since the day I was cut loose from the Mets medical staff.
Petey: Good to hear Scott. This past season was an up and down year for you at St. Lucie. You started out the season pitching well, made the Florida State League Mid-Season All-Star team, but despite leading the team in game starts with 23, the second half was a struggle for you. What do you think the problem was? Had you gotten a handle on it by the end of the season?
Scott: Yes I was pitching very well in the beginning of the 2011 season and was feeling great about what I was accomplishing. My dive in stats at the end of the year wasn’t a good showing on paper although it was a good thing for me because it humbled me and gave me a chance to perfect my game. I have learned that the hitters I face are studying me just as much as I am them. I had success early but I was having trouble adapting to changing my pitch sequence that was working for me early, but not late in the season.
Petey: The 2012 season will be a very important year for you, Scott. With those knee issues behind you, more than likely you will get a shot at making the Binghamton staff in the Eastern League. Is that your goal to get to AA this year? It’s considered by many to be a big jump from Advanced A to AA, how do you feel about that? What will you concentrate on in 2012 to succeed at the next level?
Scott: My team that I will play for next season is completely up to my performance and the Mets staff in spring training. I am setting the goal as I have every spring training, and that’s to make it a level higher than played the previous season. With that being said I know that wherever I end up all my job will be, is to do my best, compete, have fun, and finish the season with improvements that will get me into a big league Mets uniform! My focus next season is as always repeating my delivery and throwing strikes with all of my pitches. As to the jump from High-A to AA, all I know is you have to throw strikes and challenge hitters with all of your pitches and success will surface.
Petey: What do you like to do for fun over the off-season? I’d imagine you’ve already started your workout schedule. Can you describe your off-season workout regimen?
Scott: I enjoy playing PS3 in my free time although I’ve been keeping busy this off-season with a day time job, two hour workouts, and giving baseball lessons everyday. My brother Greg Moviel and I have a very dedicated workout regimen we do together, and push each other everyday to get stronger and faster, and prepared for spring training. Monday and Thursday are upper body lift days, Tuesday and Friday are lower body lifts, and Wednesday and Saturday are dedicated to speed and agility. We have just begun throwing this week!
Petey: What was your favorite baseball team growing up? Your favorite player? Is there a major league player, past or present, that you think you are similar to in style? Or someone that you can see yourself pitching like someday in the majors? The Mets just signed 6’10″ reliever Jon Rauch, but I believe he would be looking up at you, no? Haha!
Scott: My favorite team growing up was proudly the Cleveland Indians and always has a place in my heart, haha. My favorite player was Albert Bell but in high school it changed to the big guy C.C.Sabathia. I don’t believe I have a certain style similar to anyone who has pitched in the bigs but I do enjoy watching C.C. and how he attacks and forces bad contact on hitters challenging them constantly. If I do get a chance to see Rauch I believe we would be eye to eye, I’ll have to get a tall check at some point in spring training!
Petey: Pick one teammate, position player or pitcher, that really impressed you with his play this year at St. Lucie, and tell us what it was that made you take notice.
Scott: I would have to say Matt den Dekker is a guy who really impressed me on the field and in the club house as a teammate. His mode is always on 100% and he makes a ton of great catches behind every pitcher which is always a great thing! Very smart and talented ball player.
Petey: Indeed he is an exciting player to watch. Just to finish up Scott, a little personal info, not pertaining to baseball. What is your favorite movie? Favorite musician or band? Favorite food?
Scott: Favorite movie is hands down Home Alone, and that is not because it’s been playing through the holidays. It has always been a top favorite of mine for many years now. Music favorites are everything from Classic Rock, Country, to Rap and Hip Hop, Lil Wayne is my most played on the iPod. Favorite food is definitely Chicken Quesadilla.
Petey: Awesome! Thanks again Scott for taking time out for this interview. The readers and staff at MMO really appreciate it! A very happy, and healthy New Years to you and your family, and we’ll see ya at spring training!
Scott: Thanks for the questions and interest in my career so far with the Mets. Feel free anytime to interview me, Pete. Hope the holidays have been good for you and your family and have a great New Years! Go Mets!
After dealing with knee injuries that slowed his development, Scott, who is now 23, seems to be healthy and back on the right track again. That is good news to Met fans who have been pulling for him for quite some time to bring his commanding presence to the bump at Citifield. A strong showing in the Eastern League to open 2012, and that day might not be too far off.
For more of my player interviews, and some other cool stuff, click here.
About the Author: Peter Shapiro
The first time I went to Shea was not for a Mets game, it was for the Beatles concert there in August of '66. My first Met game was '67, a guy named Salty Parker was the interim-manager then. My first pennant race was 1969. As a 12 year-old that summer and fall, I managed to get to the park for 3 games. The first was the beginning of the Miracle which actually started on Tuesday July 8, 1969 with a day game against the Cubs. I was there a lot in '73. I saw games 3 & 5 of the 1973 NL Playoffs against the "Big Red Machine", from the upper deck behind home plate. It was from there that I witnessed the fight between Bud Harrelson and Pete Rose, and the mayhem that ensued. And that sweet victory in game 5! I saw a couple of WS games at Shea that year against that legendary Oakland A's club. I was there in 1985 for every single game Dr. K pitched including his two 16 strikeout performances, and the day he one-hit the Cubs on an infield single and the Mets won 1-0. I loved being a Met fan in those days. Hopefully we are once again preparing to emerge from the darkness.
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