Results tagged ‘ gulf coast league ’
For some pitchers the offseason flies by, for others, like Pirates prospect Logan Pevny, it can’t get here fast enough.
After pitching three games for the Bucs Gulf Coast League, Pevny’s season ended early due to an injury. Now healthy, he is anxious and ready to head down to Bradenton, FL. For spring training.
“I feel great now,” Logan Pevny said during a phone interview on Saturday. “I wish I could have left months ago. I’m leaving on Friday. I’m really excited to go. I can’t wait.”
Pevny was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 49th round of the 2010 draft out of West Milford high school. A day, that he and his family won’t ever forget.
“[I was] Ecstatic. Shocked, really. I had only been pitching, at the time I was drafted, for about a year. Everything happened so quick. It just all blew up right in our faces –in a good way. It was really amazing to tell you the truth. “
What’s also shocking is the reason he became a pitcher. After playing shortstop for years, Pevny found his future on the mound, by an accident.
“My coach had the radar gun out for practice and we were kind of just messing around. All the pitchers were throwing their stuff. I just kind of hopped on the mound and threw a ball. It read 88 I believe. We were like, ‘that’s pretty good for someone who doesn’t pitch. Maybe I should switch positions.’ I never really was a fielder. I was meant to be there as a wall and have a good arm that’s all.”
The decision wasn’t hard for him and his father to make.
The right-hander average’s a fastball is in the high 80′s –and has even reached 92 according to several reports from last season.
This offseason, Pevny has been working hard training at several different facilities to get ready for the 2011 season.
“I’ve been working out at Cannonball gym in Pompton Lakes. It’s some really high intense cardio. My trainers name is Austin Wall. He was a former wrestler at Indian Hills High School. He’s a great guy. He really pushes my body to the limit and he gets the most out of me. I’ve been working out there since November.”
Pevny has also been working out at PBI (Professional Baseball Instruction) as well as training instructor.
“[Teaching] Mostly younger kids. Probably the oldest, 13. Just giving a lot of pitching lessons, running camps and clinics. PBI have been great to me there. I’m always down there everyday using their facilities. Throwing with another professional, Steve Fox. He’s in the Red Sox farm system.”
At just 19, he is already a good example to young kids and fans. When I asked him who his favorite player was, it was no surprise that he said ‘the captain’.
“Derek Jeter. Just the way he carries himself on and off the field. He’s a great guy. He looks to play for the people, put on a good show. He has the right attitude. He goes out there everyday and works hard.”
Pevny didn’t tell me his favorite artist, but from the sound of his ring back tune (Bruno Mars’ “Grenade”) I’d say, he’s a big fan. “A little bit,” he joked.
With less than a week until the Bucs minor league players report to Pirate city for camp. Pevny already has his goals made for the season.
“One of my big goals I’ve set for myself was to start off at State College in Pennsylvania, Short season A this year. I’m really pushing myself hard so hopefully everything works out.”
Here are several pictures of Pevny throwing at PBI.
*(Special thanks to Logan Pevny for the interview and Jim Monagham at PBI)
Matt Diaz is excited for the opportunity to be a part of something special and believes his roots make him a Pittsburgh kind of guy.
“I can’t wait to earn them as fans,” Diaz said. “They’ve been looking for something to cheer for in the summers. They’ve had plenty to cheer for in the winters. I’m ready to be a part of changing things around.”
Four teams were after Diaz, including the Bucs, but he said Clint Hurdle had a huge role in signing with the Pirates.
“The more I talked with Rangers players, they started singing [Pirates manager and former Rangers hitting coach] Clint Hurdle’s praises,” Diaz said. “Everyone was talking great about Clint.”
“Originally I viewed Pittsburgh as a place to go get at-bats and prove that I’m healthy,” Diaz said. “The more I talked to them, the more I realized that I could get at-bats and be a part of something really great. It was just a comfort thing, just a peace thing.”
The Pirates offered Diaz a one-year contract, but he asked for another year because he knew something good was going to happen in the Steel city.
“I said, ‘I would love to come in and help the young guys out as much as I can. But in 2012, I don’t want to be doing this all over again while you are having the time of your life,’” Diaz said. “We can have some fun in 2011 and really surprise some people with the plan they have in place. But I think 2012 can be special.”
Diaz, who at 32 is the oldest player on the roster, will take on a leadership role. He has played and learned from so many great players, he is happy to help the young bucs.
“I’ve been given so much in this game, and I was groomed by some pretty neat veterans in Kansas City and Tampa,” Diaz said. “If I can have some impact there to where I’m remembered after I’m gone, that will be a wonderful thing.
“The key for this young group is to take ownership of this team. It is going to be imperative for the older guys to really help and aid the young guys taking ownership of this team. They have to show that they’re willing to outwork other teams and leave it all on the field.”
Other News and Notes:
- Jose Tabata is hitting .353 (6-for-17) with a 1.165 OPS after his first six games of winter ball in Venezuela.
- Pirates prospect Jarek Cunningham, who was selected in the 18th round of the 2008 draft, will start the new year by blogging. Cunningham will give viewers an inside look at what life is like as a minor league player.
He made his debut for the Gulf Coast League batting .318 with 5 HR’s, and 22 RBI’s in 43 games. Last season, with West Virginia Power, he hit .258 with 12 HR’s and 49 RBI’s in 121 games.
For more information and where to catch his blog, click here.
- MLB’s minimum salary for 2011 will now be $414,000 per year.