Get To Know Mets Pitching Prospect Josh Edgin
With the news that LHP Josh Edgin has been moved to major league camp and has a chance to make the Opening Day roster, here’s an interview with Josh that we originally posted on February 2, 2012
I caught up to NY Mets minor league pitcher Josh Edgin the other day. Josh has been enjoying the off-season, and just threw his first bullpen, getting his arm ready for spring training. Everyone is aware of the fabulous year that Darin Gorski had at St. Lucie last year. Gorski credited his fastball command, and improved change-up for his success. Well the year Gorski had as a starter, is comparable to what Edgin was able to accomplish as a reliever.
Starting the 2011 season as the closer at Savannah, he threw 31 IP’s over 24 games, giving up only 3 earned runs. That’s right, 3. He went 1-0 with 16 saves and a 0.87 ERA, striking out 41, walking 10, and giving up just 14 hits, 0 HR’s. He was then brought up to St. Lucie where he picked up where he left off in the SAL. In the Florida State League, Advanced-A, Edgin tossed another 35 innings, with a 2-1 record, 11 saves, and a 2.06 ERA. He struck out 35 while walking 13, and giving up 30 hits.
With just 4 weeks remaining before he reports to the spring training complex at Port St. Lucie, it was really nice of Josh to take some time out to answer questions for the readers and staff at MMO. We discussed everything from pitching repertoire, to the mental side of pitching, and staying composed on the mound. From how he spent his off-season, to his goals for the upcoming year. Keep reading to see what Josh had to say:
Petey: First of all congratulations Josh on a successful second pro season! You threw lights out this past year at Savannah and St. Lucie, helping St. Lucie win the Southern Division of the FSL and pitching in the playoffs. It must have been quite an exciting year for you. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions for our readers at MetsMerizedOnline.com. Are you back home in South Carolina for the winter? How has your off-season been so far?
Josh: My offseason has been great but I am currently in my hometown of Three Springs, PA. Im not sure how the Mets got my hometown as Florence, S.C., but I have been trying to change that for some time now haha.
Petey: Well I don’t want to be giving out faulty information, so I’m glad we got that straightened out! When the Mets drafted you out of Francis Marion University (SC) in the 30th round of the 2010 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?
Josh: Well I received a text from a friend saying congrats. I had just gotten home from work at the time and it kind of caught me off guard. I was taken in the 50th round by the Braves my junior year so I wasn’t really expecting to get drafted, let alone on the second day. I did not know the Mets were interested other than the questionaire I had filled out from them.
Petey: 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?
Josh: I cannot name just one person who I have learned the most from because there are multiple people that have helped me get to where I am but I have to thank my mom and dad for pushing me and never giving up no matter how tough it got. They have been behind me 100% this whole time, so I would give all the praise to them.
Petey: According to Adam Rubin, your fastball is in the 92-95 mph range, is that about right? I assume that’s a four-seamer you throw? What sort of movement do you get on your fastball? And your slider is supposed to be 82-85 with break down and away from left-handed hitters. You are also working on a change-up and a curveball, how are they coming along? Are you getting comfortable throwing them? What are their speeds and movement like? Would you be able to throw your curve, or change in a big spot? How close are those pitches command-wise, to your two primary pitches? Have you considered learning a two-seamer, or a cutter?
Josh: Yeah, my fastball is around there with a little bit of run away from a righty. It is a four-seam and I have thrown a two-seam, but I don’t have the control with the 2 like I do with the 4. The change-up is coming along. As for the curve, we’ll just say its “eh.” I am getting comfortable throwing the change-up but I just don’t think I have a curveball arm-slot. The change-up speed is probably around 80-83 mph, not certain but it was around there last year. I am getting comfortable with it and do believe I could throw it in a big spot. I would say I have a little more work to do to get my change-up in the command zone with my 4-seam and slider.
Petey: What is the one most important thing you learned, or accomplished last year while pitching at Savannah and St. Lucie? Are there any particular coaches who have really helped you since you joined the organization?
Josh: I learned that you can’t just get on the mound and throw the ball. I have to stay focused and composed, especially since I was being used as the closer. The three pitching coaches I have had in pro ball Phil Regan, Glenn Abbott, and Jonathan Hurst, have all helped me in some way or another. Being around people who have been around the game as much as those guys is just a cool experience in itself.
Petey: You opened last season at Savannah and pitched really well there in the first half, which earned you a promotion to St. Lucie at mid-season. Your combined numbers for the year were: 3-1 with a 1.50 ERA and 27 Saves. In 66 IP’s you gave up only 44 hits, 2 HR’s, walked 23 and struck out 76. Do you have any goals for next season? I would think you will open next year at AA, what will be your general approach to attacking hitters this year? What do you think about the jump to AA? Will you have to do anything differently to be successful there?
Josh: My goals for next season are to pitch to the best of my ability. I know what I have in me, and I expect that out of me every pitch. The general approach will be to go after the hitters. If you try to think or over-analyze, that is when you get hurt as a pitcher. It all starts with strike one. I am excited to make the jump to AA (if all goes well) but I’m not sure if I will have to do anything differently until I get there, whenever that may be. I don’t want to get my hopes up about going up there. Just take it one day at a time.
Petey: Absolutely. Tom Seaver has always said that about strike one being the most important pitch a pitcher throws. When did your off-season workout schedule begin, and when did you start throwing? Can you describe your regimen? What is your reporting date for spring training?
Josh: I would say I got back in the weight room around the middle of November, I started tossing around the middle of December, and just threw my first real bullpen last night. I was just long tossing and working on mechanics up until then. My report date to spring training is March 3rd.
Petey: What do you like to do for fun over the off-season, when you are not working out?
Josh: I am an avid hunter. I love hunting no matter what it is. I would say that from the end of September till the end of November, if I wasn’t at home, I was most likely in the woods. If I wasn’t hunting I was walking around or something. I just enjoy being in the outdoors.
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?
Josh: My favorite team growing up was the Baltimore Orioles and favorite player was Cal Ripken Jr. He was the man. Just as hard nosed as you can get on the field, but he played the game right. I can’t really compare myself to anyone right now because I can’t really find anyone like me.
Petey: Fair Enough. Can you pick one teammate, position player or pitcher, that really impressed you with his play last year at Savannah or St. Lucie, and tell us what it was that made you take notice?
Josh: Well I may have to go with the obvious here and say Gorski. He was just lights out for the half season that I was there and his demeanor did not change a bit from the beginning till the end.
Petey: I was able to interview Darin earlier this winter, and I asked him how he stayed so consistent all year, he basically said to “take it one pitch at a time,” he had a truly remarkable season in 2011. To finish up Josh, just a little personal info, not pertaining to baseball. What is your favorite movie? Favorite musician or band? Favorite food?
Josh: Movie would have to be Bull Durham. I only listen to country music, mostly, and my favorite food would have to be a good steak and mashed potatoes.
Petey: Thanks again Josh for taking time out for this interview. The readers and staff at MMO really appreciate it! Enjoy the rest of your time off this winter, and we’ll see you on the “bump” at spring training!
Josh: Thank you for asking me to do this and I hope there is enough to get a good story.
Petey: There definitely is, thanks again Josh!
I’m really glad I was able to do this interview with Josh, his answers were great, and very informative. He is definitely a player who could move quickly through the upper levels of the system. It wouldn’t be out-of-the question, if he has another terrific year like he did last season, for him to get to the bigs by the end of this year. If not, he should definitely factor into the conversation, by this time next year. It would very much depend on the development of that new change-up, which he was good enough to describe for us in detail. He already has excellent command of two plus pitches, when the change catches up, he will be dominant from out of the pen. A hard throwing lefty, with command on both sides of the plate, in the Met bullpen at Citifield? Might be nice, might be very nice. Stay tuned.
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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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