Thursday, June 11, 2009
10 Minutes With Drew Storen
After meeting the mainstream media at Nationals Park yesterday afternoon, Our Washington Nationals 1st Round Pick--10th Overall, Drew Storen, met which nine bloggers that cover the team for 10 minutes via a conference call set up by Baseball Operations. This availability piggy-backing on another 15 minute conference call for bloggers with John Lannan, Jordan Zimmermann, Craig Stammen and Ross Detwiler--which immediately preceded Storen.
First up--10 Minutes With Drew Storen
With that--here we go:
Question: Do you feel like you are somewhat shielded from the pressure a normal Number 10 Overall pick might face thanks to the whole Stephen Strasburg situation?
“I would say the pressure is not that much different for me, for myself. But I would say that the attention is going to go to him. But, in general, he and I are going to have a lot of pressure because we have got to deliver. We are two first-round picks. I want that pressure and I like it. So, I actually hope that it doesn’t (shield him from pressure).”
Question: Do you know him (Strasburg)? Have you seen him pitch?
“I have just seen him pitch on video and on TV. I know he threw a game up in Santa Clara when we (Stanford) were away for the weekend. So, some of the guys saw him throw. And I have never met him. I joke that we are Facebook friends, but I actually don’t know him.”
Question: Facebook friends count, Tell us about your makeup? I get the idea you actually want to stay in the bullpen?
“Yeah. I think the big thing for me is that I am a guy with a short-term memory, not only with bad things, but good things. I am a guy that tries to eliminate the peaks and valleys in performances throughout the season, because that is going to happen. I don’t get too high on myself and I don’t get too down on myself—at the same time. I am a type of guy, going over the same line with that—I don’t mind being the guy that is at fault for losing. But I also want to be the guy that strikeouts the guy to end the game.”
Question: Drew, I am interested in knowing how quickly this deal came to conclusion. I know you are good friends with Jack McGeary at Stanford. You share the same Agent in Brodie Van Wagenen—also the same agent as Ryan Zimmerman.
“It something that just came into fruition late last night after it all went down. All the details were worked out with Brodie and The Nationals. Once it was all done, I got on a flight this morning and came out here and couldn’t be happier.”
Question: Can you speak to any goals you have for the rest of this year? And where you see you fit with The Nationals long-term?
“The immediate goal is to just contribute to Hagerstown. Just carrying on what I am doing—what I did at Stanford. I don’t want to go into Hagerstown and start throwing like I’ve taken two weeks off. I have, but I have been throwing. It’s different not facing pitchers. Immediately, my goal is to contribute there. And if I can contribute there and just try to do my thing—then that will take care of anything else that I want to accomplish. Obviously, I would love to help The Nationals win at The Big League Level, but that is not my decision.”
Question: Could you summarize your career—specifically at what point did you transition to the closer role. And when did you know that was really what the future held?
“Last year at Stanford, we had a lot of older veteran guys that were established as starters. And our coach really thought he liked how I came out of the pen. I was some energy out of the pen. I was a guy that wasn’t intimidated by anybody. So he told me early in the year that ‘Hey, we want you to come out of the pen.’ And I was fine with that. He said: ‘I am not going to call you a closer. We are not really going to have a closer.’ He used more of a term—Critical Relief. So I would come in, in big spots. And the first time I came in, in a big spot, was against (Cal-State) Fullerton. In our first series of the year with them, I came in and got the save there. Thrown in there, it sort of cemented myself into that closing position. Then, this summer, when I went to The Cape (Cape Cod League), I got to close again. And I got a really good feel for what it takes to do it over a long period of time. Then, I came back to Stanford this year and had some freshman step up into the starting roles and I got to close again. It’s just something that worked out.”
Question: I want to follow up with your experience on The Cape. Did you really have the idea there that that was when you were cut out to be a closer?
“I really still didn’t know. The plan then was to go back to Stanford and start this year because we didn’t know how the freshmen were going to come in. But the one thing I did learn there was the fact that I can do it. I was worried about the longevity of the season. And in playing so many games, whether my arm could handle that—and it did. And I actually haven’t stopped throwing since then. So it’s held up well. Even last week, I wouldn’t be able to tell you whether I was going to be a starter here in the next couple of weeks or not. But now, with The Nationals, I am glad to stay in the bullpen, stay where I am comfortable. And stay at a place where I think I can contribute.”
Question: What do you know about The Nationals?
“I give them my respects.”
Question: You are on the west coast—how much news filters out there before yesterday’s (draft)—those types of things?
“Yeah, I kind of followed The Nationals. My Dad used to work in Washington, so I have been to a game before—in fact at RFK. And having my buddy Jack in the organization I kind of followed them. But I was a fan of The Expos when I was younger. Occasionally, I would be the bat boy, sort of the honorary bat boy for a day, whenever they would come around Indianapolis. So, I was always a huge fan of Chad Cordero. I have always followed him. I have always liked how he was in The Big Leagues two months after—I believe he got called up in August (2003) after he got drafted that year. So that’s something I have always followed.”
Question: I know recently you were here at Nationals Park, you got to throw on the mound, meet Mike Rizzo—when the draft was coming and you were sitting in your home last night in Indiana with your parents—how confident were you The Nationals would pick you? Were there other high suitors for you?
“I knew that The Nationals were probably my first and best option. But I was not completely filled in as to what was exactly going to happen. There was still a level of doubt and I kind of liked that—it added to the experience. Until Commissioner Selig said my name, I didn’t know where I was going. It was pretty awesome. It wasn’t something I knew beforehand, but as I said before—I kind of liked that.”
Question: Does that mean you were looking for a team where you could quickly move up the ladder and this was one of them?
“It was an option, but at the same time, if a team was going to pick me and make me a starter—that would have been fine too. But that was something I wanted to do because I do feel I can contribute at The Big League Level this year.”
Question: What was it like in your parent’s house last night? How are your parents feeling about all this after watching you succeed to reach this point today?
“Obviously, they are excited, but they are more relieved than anything because the whole process has these ups and downs throughout the whole thing. And of course to turn out the way it did, I think we are all happy about it. There was a pretty awesome scene. There were about 30 or 40 people in our basement watching it (The Draft). It was pretty chaotic, but it was a lot of fun and it all turned out well.”
Question: When do you go to Hagerstown?
“I am not sure yet, that’s something we still need to work out.”
Question: Do you need to workout in anyway before you go to Hagerstown? Are you going to extended spring training in Florida?
“I think the plan is to go straight to Hagerstown.”
That concluded the availability with Drew Storen. Later Our Newest National would throw out the first pitch of last night's game versus The Cincinnati Reds. It was probably no coincidence that Ryan Zimmerman did the honors of receiving Drew's Toss--wearing Jersey Number 26. The same number he wore at Stanford.
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