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The Twins signed Brad Tippett out of Australia two months before his 18th birthday. He came to the States and immediately dominated the rookie league levels. He began in the bullpen, but he has been starting the past two years and done very well. He was Beloit’s best and most consistent starter in 2009. He has incredible control, and although he does not throw real hard, he knows how to pitch. Of all of the Twins minor leaguers that I have chatted with in the last year or two, Tippett’s baseball IQ is as high as anyone, and he just knows how to pitch. Now, he has the height to be able to get stronger and potentially add more velocity which only would improve his prospect status. Tippett is a good guy, and today, he answers several of his questions as he is preparing for a trip to the States for camp. (To see all previous SethSpeaks.net Q&As, click here) (and feel free to leave questions or comments here)
…Let the Questions Begin!
SethSpeaks: Now that you’ve had a few months to look back and reflect, what are your thoughts on your 2009 season?
Brad Tippett: Looking back on last year’s season, I was happy with what I had done. I realized that I don’t throw the ball as hard as I’d like, but I figured out what I needed to do to get the job done.
SethSpeaks: What do you do when you’re not playing baseball or working out in preparation for the upcoming season?
Brad Tippett: Luckily its summer over the offseason and we’re able go to the beach. As you know, Australians really only live along the coast! And we don’t have to worry about getting snowed in.
SethSpeaks: When did you start getting ready for the 2010 season, and what was your routine?
Brad Tippett: Just before Christmas I started throwing again, before that though I was working out in the gym trying to gain some weight. Then around mid January I started throwing a few innings for my local baseball club to get prepared for Spring Training.
SethSpeaks: What are your goals for the 2010 season? Where would you like to play, and are there any statistics that you are looking to improve?
Brad Tippett: Goals – I’d like to stay strong (mentally and physically) throughout the whole season. Last year, my last few starts were shaky, work on keeping my walks down again and improve my secondary pitches.
SethSpeaks: What does spring training mean for you, and what are you looking forward to this year?
Brad Tippett: Repetitive PFP and learning all the signs again, I usually forget them over the offseason! But good to see all your team mates again and talk about the offseason. And finally, Spring Training gets everyone ready for the season.
SethSpeaks: What team did you grow up watching and cheering for?
Brad Tippett: The Braves, because my older sister had a vacation in America and brought home Braves gear because she went to one of their games!
SethSpeaks: What were your thoughts as you were considering signing with the Twins?
Brad Tippett: I knew a lot of other Australians that played for the Twins and knew they would help me throughout my rookie years. And I was grateful to be given a chance to reach my goal.
SethSpeaks: Best thing of career in baseball?
Brad Tippett: Being able to do something you love every day. Living to work rather than working to live!
SethSpeaks: Toughest thing of career in baseball?
Brad Tippett: Being so far away from home, I find it hard to keep in contact with all the people I want to. It’s not easy.
SethSpeaks: Funniest story in your minor league career?
Brad Tippett: Wouldn’t be a good idea if I told you and you posted it on your website! The immaturity in the clubhouse is the funniest.
SethSpeaks: What would it mean to make your big league debut?
Brad Tippett: Years of hard work have started to pay off, and releasing that you still have a long way to go!
With that, “Thank you” to Brad Tippett for his time and responses to all the questions. If you would like, you can e-mail me, or feel free to leave your comments here.