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Q&A with Dan Osterbrook: Twins Pitching Prospect

30 Dec

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net -

Good morning everyone! Thank you very much for again stopping by SethSpeaks.net. I hope you all have had a great 2008, and that 2009 brings you much more positive times.

 

In case you missed it yesterday, there is plenty of new SethSpeaks information. I did a Live Chat yesterday afternoon for about 100 minutes. I was able to answer a lot of questions, and if you want to read the entire chat, click here. Then last night, we had another SethSpeaks.net Weekly Minnesota Twins podcast. By clicking here, you can listen to the whole show. Guests included Twins pitching prospects Kyle Waldrop, Jeff Manship and Twins blogger Parker Hageman of Over the Baggy.

 

And with that at your finger tips, I am excited to announce today’s Q&A with another Twins pitching prospect, lefty Dan Osterbrook. The Twins drafted him out of the University of Cincinnati in the 7th round. He went to Elizabethton and pitched so well that he was named the Appalachian League Pitcher of the Year. He is a control artist who simply knows how to pitch. He is another successful college pitcher in the Twins system, and it will be fun to watch how he develops as he moves up through the organization. I thought it would be fun to find out more about him, and what his philosophies are on pitching. I think he did a great job responding, and hope you will enjoy it!

 

To check out the career stats of Dan Osterbrook, click here. I think you will enjoy Dan’s responses. (Click here to see previous Q&As)

 

Let the Questions Begin!

SethSpeaks: Growing up in Cincinnati, do I even need to ask who your favorite team was. Who were some of your favorite players to follow?

 

Dan Osterbrook: The Cincinnati Reds have always been my favorite team ever since I began following major league baseball back in 1994. My family had a greenhouse business and some of my fondest memories as a kid were picking tomatoes with my grandpa and listening to the Reds on the radio when they made it to the playoffs in 1995. I would have to say that Bret Boone was my favorite player at that time.

 

SethSpeaks: Tell us a little about your high school career. Did you play other positions besides pitching?

 

Dan Osterbrook: I played my high school ball at Colerain High School. We were more of a football school so baseball was overlooked. I really doubt that too many of my classmates know I was drafted. We were 7-17 my senior year and I actually had a losing record as a pitcher (4-5). When I wasn’t pitching I played centerfield and some first base.

 

SethSpeaks: Did you participate in other activities in high school?

 

Dan Osterbrook: I never seriously played any other sports. I enjoy playing basketball but was never that good at it so I just played rec basketball with my friends and I would scrimmage the high school girls basketball team to help them out.

 

SethSpeaks: You stayed home and went to the University of Cincinnati. Were you heavily recruited, or was that an easy choice for you?

 

Dan Osterbrook: Going to the University of Cincinnati was an easy decision for me because I’ve always been a huge fan of the Bearcats. My dream as a kid was to play basketball at UC for Bob Huggins but unfortunately I wasn’t that good and I stopped growing. I was only recruited by colleges around the Ohio area but even if bigger schools had recruited me I still would’ve stayed home and gone to UC. A few years back I got the school’s logo tattooed on my back, so I’m a Bearcat for life.

 

S ethSpeaks:  You went 18-3 your final two seasons as a Bearcat. Those must have been some pretty solid teams playing behind you. Tell us about those seasons.

 

Dan Osterbrook: These past few years playing for the University of Cincinnati have been the greatest baseball days of my life so far. I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by great coaches and teammates. This past year we set a school record for most wins in a season and made it to the conference championship game. Even though we were one win away from making it to the national tournament we had a very successful year and I have many great memories.

 

SethSpeaks: You had good control your first two seasons in college, but during your junior season, you had 10 walks and 74 strikeouts in 99 innings pitched. Did something click mechanically or mentally that made finding that kind of control achievable?

 

Dan Osterbrook: I never really changed anything through my college career. My coaches Brian Cleary and Chris Reilly always preached that teams, no matter how good they are, are not going to hit their way into a lot of runs. Teams score their runs when pitchers give up too many walks. They would tell me that if I threw strikes and the defense did their part then I would have success. As a team we were second in the nation in fewest walks allowed and won 39 games so they were right.

 

SethSpeaks: What was your college major, and do you intend to continue your education?

 

Dan Osterbrook: Since I grew up around tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce at my family’s greenhouse business I decided I wanted to follow in my grandpa’s footsteps so I majored in horticulture in hopes to one day continue the business. Unfortunately due to rising costs in heating and decreasing demand of produce we went out of business. So right now I’m not sure if I should continue with horticulture or look for a different career path.

 

SethSpeaks: The Twins drafted you in the 7th round in June. Had you been talking to the Twins and their scouts, or were other teams talking to you a lot?

 

Dan Osterbrook: Throughout my junior year I was talking to a lot of teams but Jeremy Booth, the Twins’ scout that covered the Cincinnati area, seemed to show the most interest. As draft day neared I sat down and had lunch with Jeremy and that’s when it became evident to me that there was a strong possibility that the Twins might draft me.

 

SethSpeaks: What was the draft like for you, knowing you would be drafted sometime? Where were you expecting to be selected?

 

Dan Osterbrook: Like I said before, we had a lot of success this past year at Cincinnati so my focus wasn’t on the draft. The only thing I was concerned about was winning a Big East Championship but I did hear from a few scouts that I might get drafted in rounds 6-10 so when I went in the 7th round it didn’t come as a surprise.

 

SethSpeaksYou reported to Elizabethton and pitched incredibly. You were named the Appalachian League Pitcher of the Year. Can you describe the on-field adjustment between Division I baseball and the Appalachian League?

 

Dan Osterbrook: After my second or third start In Elizabethton I learned that rookie ball was a lot different than college. It seemed as though the young hitters of rookie ball were trying to live up to their reputations as being power hitters or line drive hitters so I was able to take advantage of their impatience at the plate by expanding the zone and getting them to chase at bad pitches. In college, the teams played more small ball which was the complete opposite style as pro ball.

 

SethSpeaks: What were the adjustments off the field to becoming a professional baseball player and that lifestyle (bus rides, pay checks, etc.)?

 

Dan Osterbrook: Moving to Elizabethton was the first time I ever moved out of Cincinnati so I was a bit nervous but more eager to get away and see what life outside of Cincinnati was like. I lived in a house with Shooter Hunt, and three Australians, James Beresford, Jarrod Eacott, and Brad Tippett. This was also the first time I’ve ever played with Hispanics but it was fun trying to learn some Spanish while playing with them. Getting my first pay check was an unusual feeling because I was being paid to do something that I’ve always loved but it’s something I can get use to.

 

SethSpeaks: 8 walked, 104 strikeouts in 75 innings. Again, those numbers are amazing at any level. Obviously “control” and not allowing free passes is a big part of your pitching style. Tell us a little more about your pitching philosophy. What are you thinking when you’re preparing for a game and then on the mound?

 

Dan Osterbrook: Well I haven’t been an overpowering pitcher since high school so in college I learned how to pitch rather than just throw the ball. So my philosophy is simple: Throw the ball over the plate while not letting them hit it too hard and then let my defense make the play. It has worked so I don’t plan on changing anytime soon. My goal every time I take the mound is to put my team in a position where they can win the game without doing too much.

 

SethSpeaks: What pitches do you throw? Which pitches are you working on, and which pitch do you consider your “out-pitch?”

 

Dan Osterbrook: I throw a fastball, change-up, slider, and curve. This past summer I started trying a new grip for my curve so I can locate it better and my out pitch is the change. I like to pitch backwards a lot. Start off with a couple change-ups then finish them with a fastball.

 

SethSpeaks: What were your goals coming into the Appy League, and how did you feel about your pro debut?

 

Dan Osterbrook: Coming into the Appy League I had no idea what the competition would be like so if I told you I was expecting to be pitcher of the year then I’d be lying. I didn’t set my goals high, I just wanted to compete and fit in. I’m very proud of my accomplishments this past year but I’m aware that one good year isn’t going to guarantee me a shot at the majors so I have to continue to work hard and stay healthy and hope for many more years like this one.

 

SethSpeaks: The E-Twins had another remarkable season, and you were instrumental in the team winning the Appy League championship. Talk a little about the talent on the team and what it was like to be a part of it?

 

Dan Osterbrook:

This E-Town team was probably the most talented team that I’ve ever played on. We did not have a single weak link on the team. Almost every guy on the team had some college experience so whenever a player got hurt we had another skilled player right behind him. This was the first ever championship I’ve ever won so this was a memorable team.

 

SethSpeaks: What have you done during the offseason? After a long year of baseball, were you able to get away from the game for awhile, and when do you start preparing for the 2009 season?

 

Dan Osterbrook: After the long year I definitely had to get away so I went back to work at Spring Grove Cemetery where I’ve been working for the past five years. It’s the second largest cemetery in the nation (733 acres) so there’s plenty of grass to cut or trees to plant or people to bury to keep my mind off baseball. I’ve already started running to get my body in shape and I’m going to start throwing again in January.

 

SethSpeaks: The Twins have had a lot of success drafting college pitchers (Scott Baker, Kevin Slowey, Glen Perkins, Matt Garza, etc.). They are known as an organization that does a great job of developing pitchers. Is that exciting for you, or a challenge, something that you look forward to?

 

Dan Osterbrook: Knowing that the Twins have a reputation of finding talented pitchers and making them great is definitely exciting and I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of pitcher I turn out to be.

 

SethSpeaks: Have you set any goals for yourself for 2009? Are there certain statistics that you look at?

 

Dan Osterbrook: I haven’t set any goals yet but I would like to stay healthy and put up the same numbers as I did this past year while trying to lower my ERA. A statistic that I think is overlooked a lot is WHIP because it takes into consideration not just how many hits you give up in an inning but also walks so I look at that one a lot and try to keep it as low as possible.

 

SethSpeaks: Favorite Baseball Book?

 

Dan Osterbrook: Never read one.

 

SethSpeaks: Favorite Baseball Movie?

 

Dan Osterbrook: The Natural.

 

SethSpeaks: Is there anything else you think that Twins fans might find interesting about you?

 

Dan Osterbrook: If baseball doesn’t work out I might consider a career being a mortician.

 

 

A thank you goes to Dan Osterbrook for taking the time to answer these questions. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to put them in the comments below, or e-mail me and I will try to get a response. Have a great New Years!

Twins Podcast Live Tonight at 8!

16 Dec

There will be an all new Twins podcast tonight at 8:00 central time. You can listen live at www.BlogTalkRadio.com/SethSpeaks. A couple of guests have already confirmed, and I’m still working on a couple others. So be sure to tune in to hear plenty of Twins talk!

Schedule:

8:00 – Seth Intro

8:05 – Phil Miller – St. Paul Pioneer Press

8:30 – Nick Nelson – Nick & Nick’s Twins Blog

Twins Podcast Live Tonight at 9!

14 Dec

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net -

Seth and the Twins Geek will put a cap on the week of the Winter Meetings with a review of what happened, what didn’t happen, and what still could, and should, happen. Check it out live tonight at 9 at www.BlogTalkRadio.com/SethSpeaks. We will take your questions. Check it out if you can. If you can’t, the podcast will be available shortly following the completion of the show. Also, the regular Weekly Minnesota Twins Podcast will return on Tuesday night at 8:00!

Winter Meetings Podcast Live at 11 Tonight!

10 Dec

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net -

The Winter Meetings podcast will be on a little bit later tonight. Check out www.BlogTalkRadio.com/SethSpeaks at 11:00 central time to hear Seth Stohs and John Bonnes (The Twins Geek) talk about Winter Meetings rumors and relating them to the Twins. We welcome your questions in the chat room. There is plenty to talk about.

Quick Update

25 Nov

also avaialable at www.SethSpeaks.net -

It’s going to be short today. But if you would like to listen to over 75 minutes of baseball talk, be sure to listen to the SethSpeaks.net Weekly Twins Podcast from last night. By the way, if you’re looking for help with your office pool’s football picks, check back early this afternoon when I will post our NFL “Expert” Panel’s picks.


BOOK UPDATE – The Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook – 2009 is complete. Those of you who pre-ordered books, and have paid, will get theirs as soon as I get the books from Lulu.com. If you haven’t yet paid, please do so. For those of you who are interested in purchasing your own copy of the book, on Thursday night, I will post here exactly how you can order your own copy. Of course, if you listened to the entire SethSpeaks.net Weekly Twins podcast last night, you heard me give away the secret for how to place your order already now.  

 

PODCAST LAST NIGHT – Last night’s SethSpeaks.net Weekly Minnesota Twins podcast was very successful. We again had a record number of people tuning in live, so that was exciting. It had nothing to do with me. I know that. It was because of the guest list.  

Tim Dierkes, creator of the all-important MLB Trade Rumors, came on first and spent about 25 minutes talking about his site, and many of the rumors surrounding the Twins this offseason.

Aaron Gleeman and The Twins Geek, John Bonnes, came on for the second half of the show, and stuck around for an extra 10-15 minutes after the live show completed to add more. The Twins Geek started in early 2002. Aaron started his blog later in 2002, and I followed along in early 2003. Since then, there have been a lot of Twins blogs, many very good, that have crept up, but when it comes to tenure, there was a lot of blogging experience in that conversation. By the way, Aaron will be conducting his live chat at AaronGleeman.com on Wednesday at noon.

If you missed the live show, you can still listen by clicking here.

 

OTHER

·         Baseball America is announced its Top Ten Twins Prospects on Tuesday. If you haven’t read through it and John Manuel’s thoughts on the Twins, please do so. Here are some discussions of the list from Twinkie Town and from John Sickels’ site.

·         Also, you can read more of my thoughts on the Twins over at the Twins Territory Offseason Roundtable. As there was in Week one, there are three questions that a couple of us responded to.

·         Here is a discussion on Alexi Casilla from Sickels’ site.

 

That’s it for now. I may have some more notes with the football picks later. Thanks!

          

     Any thoughts, please e-mail me, or leave Comments here.

Tuesday Tidbits – Weekly Twins Podcast Live Tonight at 8:00!!

25 Nov

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net -

I’m tired. I went to Madagascar at the theater tonight, then watched the end of that Monday Night football game. I’m tired.


BOOK UPDATE – By the way, the book is done! In fact, on Sunday night, I placed the big, bulk order for all of the pre-ordered books and a few more. Thank you to all of those who have paid already. If you haven’t paid yet, please do so. I hope to receive the books within a week to ten days, and as soon as I do, I will send them out. Be sure to check back here on Thursday night. I will provide a link for you to be able to order your own copies of Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook – 2009. Who wants to deal with that crazy day-after-Thanksgiving shopping fiasco? Buying Christmas presents online is the way to go. And the book is the perfect gift for any Twins fan! So again, check back for more details later in the week.

 

PODCAST TONIGHT – I am normally bad about posting the SethSpeaks.net Weekly Minnesota Twins podcast schedule early enough, but not this week. Here is the schedule for tonight’s live show, which starts at 8:00 central time.

8:00–8:05 – Seth Introduction

8:05-8:30 – Tim Dierkes, creator of the all-important MLB Trade Rumors, the best site online for any free agent and trade rumors around the league.

8:30-8:58 – Aaron Gleeman and The Twins Geek, John Bonnes, will join me for the last half hour. That’s a lot of blogging years in one podcast!

I think it sounds like a very good show, if I do say so myself. If you’re able to listen live, please join the Chat Room and ask questions. I will ask our guests.

 

OTHER

·         Baseball America is set to announce its Top Ten Twins Prospects on Tuesday. I have seen the list, and it looks pretty solid, like you would expect from Baseball America. In fact, I really can’t argue with it much. John Manuel did a nice job. It’s not like it is 100% the same as mine, but there aren’t any crazy picks either. Well, there is a highly ranked reliever, and I didn’t have him close to where he was ranked. If not for some limited time with the Twins, I don’t believe this reliever would have been anywhere near the Top 10, but I also understand his inclusion. Nice job, Mr. Manuel.

·         Random Question – Last year, Torii Hunter signed with the Angels on the Eve of Thanksgiving, the Twins/Rays trade happened right after Thanksgiving, Carlos Silva signed in Seattle, and the entire offseason was filled with Johan Santana trade rumors. This year, it is completely different. The Twins just don’t have as many things to deal with, at least not as many high profile issues to address. Third Base, sure, if the right deal presents itself. Shortstop, definitely an area where improvement would be good. The bullpen, not a big deal. Everything else appears pretty set. The Twins have just not been terribly involved even in rumors. There were all kinds of ridiculous Delmon Young rumors early in the offseason that likely had little backing. There were talks of Garrett Atkins, and there is the whole Casey Blake thing. This offseason is so different, and for the most part, that is a good thing. The only negative is that it will make the offseason so much longer. I still think that something major is going to happen, whether it is a surprise free agent signing (I agree that the Twins should not sign any of the type A free agents) or more likely, a semi-big trade. The rumors just have not really been there, at least nothing truly worthy of following. What do you anticipate the rest of the way out?

 

I’m going to keep this short, but again, please stop back from time to time. I anything happens Twins-related, you can read my analysis here. Have a great day!

          

     Any thoughts, please e-mail me, or leave Comments here.

Quick Notes

19 Nov

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net -

RADIO APPEARANCE TODAY (Really!) – I was bumped yesterday, but today I will be on The Fan am740 in Fargo, on Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. I will be on during the noon hour with Dan Hammer of The Dan Hammer Show. It should be fun talking about the Twins and any other topics that he would like to talk about. So, if you are within a one-hundred or so mile radius of Fargo, try to tune in. If not, and you’re interested in listening, the station does have an online option to Listen Live. Check it out if you have a chance and let me know what you think.

 

PODCAST LAST NIGHT – There was another SethSpeaks.net Weekly Minnesota Twins podcast last night. It was on live from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. central time. I thought it was a good show, although thrown together very quickly. Also, with Aaron Gleeman on KFAN at the exact same time, I imagine more people will listen to the podcast throughout the week than listened live. That’s alright! Here were the guests:

·         Tom Swift – Swift is the author of a book on Minnesota’s first baseball Hall of Famer, Chief Bender. The book is titled Chief Bender’s Burden. Now, Bender was a Hall of Fame pitcher in the very early 1900s. He was also a Native American. Although he was allowed to play in the Major Leagues, he was not treated well. But his personality, patience and perseverance made him truly an American hero, and yet, his name is not as well known as other heroes. That is too bad, and this book is a wonderful account of what Chief Bender endured and the great story that his life was. Please check out Tom Swift’s website for information on how to purchase your copy of Chief Bender’s Burden.

·         John Meyer Joe Benson was going to be on for about 15 minutes to discuss his offseason, but he notified me that the time just wouldn’t work. We will get him on again though. On quick notice, John Meyer really stepped up and helped me out by coming on the show. Meyer is the writer of a Twins blog called Minnesota Twins Most Valuable Blogger. He is about to celebrate his first year of blogging this weekend. Good for him! We talked about several Twins topics from the MVP award, to 3B options, to the bullpen and much, much more.

·         Nick Papasan – The final guest of the evening is a Twins prospect that I really think will be worth watching over the next couple of years, Nick Papasan. The 20 year old infielder was the Twins 24th round pick in 2006. He signed late and spent 2007 with the GCL Twins before a shoulder injury prematurely ended that season. He had a terrific spring training in 2008 and hit .389 with four extra base hits in just ten games with Elizabethton before injuring his hand on July 4th. He missed the remainder of the season. He gave us an update on his hand and his offseason as well as his thoughts on the Twins organization, working with Paul Molitor and his goals.   

 

BOOK UPDATE – Nothing really new to update. I just wanted to take a quick opportunity to thank the bloggers who have taken time to post nice comments on me and the Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook – 2009 on their sites. Here are several links to the blogs that mentioned my site. I ask that you take a minute or two and check them out. If they are not already in your list of Favorites, please consider adding them:

·         The Twins Geek

·         Aaron Gleeman

·         Nick & Nick’s Twins Blog

·         Josh’s Thoughts  

·         Stick & Ball Guy

·         Twins Fix

·         Taylor’s Twins Talk

NESHEK SURGERY UPDATEPat Neshek’s wife Stephanee updated his great fans in the message board of Neshek’s blog. She reported that the surgery was successful, as is said after every surgery, but she said that they were told it went better than that. You’ll have to check out the full note from Stephanee on the message board for more specifics, but she pointed out the Pat is tired but resting. Again, we wish Pat and his whole family the best through this time!

 

WEEKLY OFFSEASON ROUNDTABLE – I have agreed to participate in a weekly roundtable with some other Twins bloggers over at Twins Territory. This week, our panel answered three Twins related questions. Be sure to check them out.

 

ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE UPDATEThe Phoenix Desert Dogs lost 14-8 on Tuesday to Peoria. 

·         Steve Tolleson went 2-3 with a walk and is hitting .386.

·         Anthony Slama came in to pitch the 7th inning. He gave up four runs on three hits and two walks in the inning. He struck out one.

·         Tim Lahey came in for the 8th inning. He gave up one run on one hit.

·         Rob Delaney pitched the 9th inning. He was perfect and had one strikeout.  

Any thoughts, please e-mail me, or leave Comments here.

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