2013 MLB Draft: An interview with Bradley Goldberg
About a week after the draft I was able to do an interview with former Buckeye and now Chicago White Sox pitcher Bradley Goldberg. Here is our entire conversation transcribed; it's a chance to get some insights on the draft and the Ohio State baseball program.
Jeff Ellis: "First off I wanted to congratulate you on being drafted by the White Sox. Did you know they were in on you this year and did you know before the draft that was where you might end up?"
Bradley Goldberg: "Not really, I filled out a questionnaire for them early in the year for them, but I never really had any action after that. So I was pleasantly surprised when they took me."
Jeff: "This year at Ohio State you were the Friday starter correct?"
Bradley: "Yeah I moved. I ended up on Friday's for probably the last half of the year."
Jeff: "For people who are not familiar with college baseball can you explain a little bit about the special nature of the Friday starter?"
Bradley: "I mean its definitely what you work for as a pitcher, if you're a starter there's like a certain aurora about Friday's. It's the first game of the weekend . Especially in the Big Ten, it's kind of a grind where everyone beats each other up. You kind of want to be the tone setter, if you will, you want to get your team off and get the W on Friday so all it takes is one out of two to take the weekend. So it's a special spot and one I wanted to excel in and take advantage of for the Buckeyes."
Jeff: "Speaking of OSU, you guys had to overcome a bit this year as the player who was most on the draft radar to start the year Josh Dezse got hurt. Can you explain what that injury meant to your team and how you guys were able to overcome and get as far as you did this year?"
Bradley: "It was very unfortunate what happened with his back, but we pretty much knew that he was not going to play. We were a pretty veteran laden group so the seniors sort of took it upon themselves to make sure we focused on our mission and the task at hand. While obviously it would be nice to have the best player in the Big Ten we felt like our talent spoke for itself. Our leadership carried us a pretty long way there."
Jeff: "Who was the best hitter you faced this year?"
Bradley: "(Pauses) Probably Schwarber from Indiana, the catcher (writers note: Schwarber is a potential top ten pick next year based almost entirely on his bat). I know he had a really big year, [though] he didn't really do that great off of me. But you can tell he gets it. He has all the tools, is really disciplined, not only a power threat especially from the left side it's tough. But I enjoyed the challenge of facing him. And I think as a staff we did a good job of keeping him at bay."
Jeff: "When you're not pitching do you ever watch the opposing pitcher, and if so was there maybe another pitcher that really stood out in the Big Ten you liked to watch?"
Bradley: "I really wasn't concerned with their pitchers as much as I was with their hitters. I know Windle from Minnesota went pretty high. That game was funny, I watched him because it was snowing. I tend to watch the other team's hitters more so than the pitchers. Especially because I have to face them and I can give our Saturday and Sunday guys some scouting reports and some looks from what I got out of the game."
Jeff: "This was your first year as a starter full-time, correct?"
Jeff: "How did you prepare for the change? Was there any fatigue towards the end or even at this point as you continue pitching?"
Bradley: "Not really. I had a little bout with soreness at the beginning of the year which some people call dead arm, it's pretty standard and that was only for like two starts. But other than that I feel like I put a lot of time in the offseason in the training room all the time just doing my arm care and doing everything to prepare to throw so many innings and be a starter. So just a lot of preparation and discipline."
Jeff: "I noticed this year you started to gain a little steam and started hitting 95. I know a lot of time you sit in the low 90's, so was there any changes with coaching or routine which allowed you to all of the sudden get up there more around 94 or 95 this year?"
Bradley: "I think the weather was a big factor in that the weather changed in the first month of the season. I don't think we played a game over like 70, so that was one factor. The games where I was 95 and 97 I feel like I was free and easy, I got my arm in front a bit more. Coaches Stafford and Newman really helped m out with my mechanics and just being consistently repetitive with those."
Jeff: "With this being your first full year as a starter after you were in the pen two years ago, do you feel like you have more projection and growth in your arm just because you haven't had as much repetition as your typical senior would have?"
Bradley: "Yeah, I mean, I am a 23-year old guy with a 20-21 year old arm. So I definitely feel like I have a lot left in the tank and not much mileage especially being from the north and having to take those two years off. I feel really good about what I can do and how much I have left in my tank as it pertains to my arm."
Jeff: "College baseball is growing as interest in the draft grows and in Ohio, Ohio State is always king when it comes to sports. What can you say about the coaches at Ohio State?"
Bradley: "It's just a bunch of great guys, they really helped me out. First and foremost they believed in me and gave me a shot to come over from Coastal. They stuck with me through all the strange loop holes from that credit shortage. It's a really good group of guys there and they know when it's time to work and when it's time to have fun with the boys. So I think it's a good mix of character and coaching."
Jeff: "On draft day before you were picked did you receive a call did they White Sox to let you know beforehand, or were you listening to hear your name called?"
Bradley: "They called my advisor at the time and he gave me a call and said I was a White Sox and probably 10 to 15 minutes after that the scout that had me for the year in the Midwest region gave me a call."
Jeff: "You are assigned in Arizona now correct?"
Bradley: "Yup, I am in Glendale now in their facilities."
Jeff: "Have the White Sox let you know of any plan? Are you going to stay a starter for now or have they talked about a bullpen role?"
Bradley: "I haven't really talked to them about it."
Jeff: "Are you a person who just wants to pitch and you don't care what role, or do you have a definite preference?"
Bradley: "No, not at all. Whatever they feel like I can excel in faster and become a better pitcher for the organization [is fine with me]."
Jeff: "Once again, as the draft has grown, was it at all distracting as it approached? Was there a lot more people trying to contact and reach you and gain more information as the draft neared?"
Bradley: "I wouldn't call it distractin. I was lucky to have my advisor to help me out and the coaches were pretty good about people who were talking or wanted to talk to us. It was fun; not a lot of people get to go through it. I tried to enjoy it being a senior and kind of having my last go around. I wasn't distracted. We were definitely focused on trying to win the Big Ten and make a Regional. I know it didn't happen, but we were pretty damn close on both of them. Some people think we were snubbed not making a Regional. We were focused on that and it took up a lot of my attention."
Jeff: "Thank you for your time and from one Buckeye to another I will be rooting everyday you don't face the Indians. But I will definitely be tracking you in the future and I am sure everyone else who is an OSU fan is going to be looking forward to seeing you in the big leagues."
Bradley: "I appreciate it, go Bucks."
Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffmlbdraft, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
im his proud grandpa