October 22, 2013

Prospect Chasen Bradford Talks To Effing Mets

Chasen Bradford is a right handed relief pitching prospect in the Mets organization. After a stellar season in which he pitched to a 0.71 ERA after being called up to AA Binghamton, Bradford was selected by the franchise to participate in the Arizona Fall League. We caught up on Twitter, where he agreed to give us an interview freely and without pressure.

And here's the interview. Thanks to Chasen for taking the time to answer my inane questions.

KF: With the Arizona Fall League just starting, you've continued to pitch well after posting a sub 1.00 ERA in 20 games of AA ball in Binghamton. Now, you're off to a good start in the winter league. What is the biggest difference you've noticed since your promotion, and how do you adjust?

CB:  The hitters have a better ability to recognize and lay off of pitches. It forces you as a pitcher to throw more strikes and let them out the ball in play more. A lot of people look at strike out numbers but that is not the pitcher I am, I let my defense work for me and it has helped so far.

KF: You're a sinker/slider pitcher who seems to throw to contact, and posted a high rate of stranded runners, with 82% left on base. Do you think your style of pitching helps you get your teams out of jams in relief?

CB: I think being a sinker/slider guy makes it easier to get out of jams. My sinker gets a lot of ground balls and that is usually what is needed in big situations with runners on base.

KF: You were signed as a senior out of UCF. You didn't get a big signing bonus, but you got the opportunity to prove yourself. You're definitely taking advantage of it, but how hard is the struggle of playing minor league ball?

CB: Even if you sign for a lot of money the minor league life is difficult. Its tough to keep relationships and long times away from home and family makes it a little lonely but when you have a good group of guys around you who are chasing the same dream it makes it a little easier. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

KF: Obviously, you'd be thrilled to go, but do you have any concerns about pitching in Las Vegas given its proven track record of being a hitter's league and tough on pitchers?

CB: Growing up in Vegas it would be awesome to play in front of family and friends. Although its considered a tough league for pitchers that's what every pitcher should want to prove that they can compete and get the job done even with the cards stacked against them. As a professional athlete and pitcher you should want to face the best outside the big leagues in a uncomfortable situation such as a hitters league.

KF: You project as a relief pitcher. Everything goes right, you have an incredible start to your season, you wind up in the Mets bullpen this June. Blowout game, you're brought in for some mop up work because you're the new guy, and you get an at bat. You're swinging for the fences, right? You're not going to get to hit a lot, and chicks dig the long ball. Gotta try it.

CB: Haha I would probably be swinging if I could see it. I had one at bat this year and the guy was throwing 95 so I never saw it but I didn't go down looking so that's good.

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