From the 2012 MLB All-Star Futures Game: Talking with Dylan Bundy and Gerrit Cole
My adventure at the 2012 MLB All-Star Futures Game brought mixed results. I came away with a nasty sunburn, didn't have a great visual angle on the game, and to be honest the people watching at home on television or the internet could likely see much of the game better than I could.
Nevertheless, the atmosphere of the game was wonderful, the near-sellout Kansas City crowd very engaged, and I had an opportunity to speak with many interesting people, including Baltimore Orioles prospect Dylan Bundy and Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Gerrit Cole. Later today I'll have some notes from my conversation with Toronto Blue Jays prospect Anthony Gose, plus other observational nuggets.
I asked Bundy what the biggest difference is between pitching in Low-A and pitching in High-A. "The High-A hitters are just a lot better," he told me. "They don't chase pitches outside the zone as often, and they handle fastballs better. I have to be more careful with location." He told me that he is relying on mainly on his fastball and changeup as his out pitches, but that he is very pleased with the progress of his curveball this year.
My questions for Cole:
What is the biggest difference between pitching to college hitters and pitching to professional hitters?
Cole: "Well, the fact that they are professionals. Everybody is talented, and the bat is different as well. Everybody is just good. In college they have the metal bat and that can make some guys look better than they really are."
What about the difference between High-A and Double-A?
Cole: "You know, I've only pitched two full games in Double-A and the other got cut short, but as long as I stay within myself I think I'll be fine. It seems pretty much the same right now."
Are you alright from the injury? (Cole was hit by a line drive on June 26th)
Cole: "Yeah. My neck is still pretty sore but I'm fine. I'm fine."
What's the biggest thing you're working on this year?
Cole: "Getting used to the grind, going every five days. With the pitches, fastball location mainly, and just learning to take everything day-by-day and not worrying about what happens next."
Comments from Anthony Gose and some other observations will be posted later today.