Spring Taining Q&A: Pitcher Alex Burnett

28 Feb

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net

On Monday at 3:00 central time, I will be a guest on Fox9.com’s Sports on Demand with Jim Rich, Seth Kaplan and Phil Mackey. Check it out live if you’re able to.

One of the things that I heard from those of you who sent me your thoughts on my sites and projects was that although I am getting good interviews on the radio and podcasts, there haven’t been many Q&As here at the site, and you’re right. With that, I want to do a series of Spring Training Q&As with a couple Alex Burnett of players.

The first will be. As you know, Burnett has always been a good starting pitching prospect in my mind. I believe he has ranked as high as 9th in a ranking I had done. However, he was moved from starter to reliever last year, and although that typically is not a good thing from a prospect standpoint, it has been an incredibly beneficial move for both Burnett and the Twins as he had a remarkable 2009 season. He started in Ft. Myers and then did even better in New Britain. He had a nice stint in the Arizona Fall League and was added to the Twins 40 man roster and is currently in Twins big league camp.

So now, I bring you a spring training Q&A with Twins pitcher, Alex Burnett! (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? What did it feel like to get back on the mound after missing a couple of seasons?

Alex Burnett: 2009 is definitely a year to remember for me. With having no idea I was gonna be transformed into a reliever until a few days before camp broke, and then going back to Fort Myers, I really wasn’t sure how it was going to all work out. But now that I look back at it, I’m more than happy the Twins made the decision they did, because I really like being in the bullpen and being in those kind of situations. Coming in with runners on base and just the adrenaline you get when you run out to the mound knowing you’re the last resort at winning the ball game. It was an awesome all around season for me, being able to put up the numbers I did, and do so well with what was thrown at me. I had a really great time last year!!

SethSpeaks: What do you do when you’re not playing baseball or working out in preparation for the upcoming season?

Alex Burnett: Usually just hanging out with friends and family and, of course, most of my time goes towards my girlfriend; her name is Bridgette by the way. But ya, that’s pretty much it, just relaxing and enjoying my time being at home with the people who matter most!!

SethSpeaks: When did you start getting ready for the 2010 season, and what was your routine?

Alex Burnett: I started tossing and playing catch a little before Christmas, probably about 2 or 3 times a week and I threw a bullpen a few days before Christmas just to make sure everything was ready to go, and then I took a break over the holidays and as soon as that was over, I was out playing catch everyday with Anthony Slama, since he lives about 5 minutes away from me. So basically my routine was to play catch everyday, which consisted of a lot of long toss to strengthen my arm, and we would throw bullpens once or twice a week!

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?

Alex Burnett: My goals for the 2010 season are to, of course, stay healthy and to start right where I left off last year, and try to repeat everything I did last year that made me so successful. I’m really shooting to start off in Triple-A, and hopefully this spring I can show the Twins that I’m ready for that jump. And statistics-wise, I would like to get my K-BB ratio a little better and try to induce more ground balls than fly balls, other than that I thought I did pretty well in the other categories.

SethSpeaks:  What does spring training mean for you, (Specifically after being added to the 40 man roster), and what are you looking forward to this year?

Alex Burnett: This spring training to me means I get a chance to show the people up top that I have the potential to someday pitch for them and to hopefully show them enough to possibly get a shot in the Bigs this year. I basically just wanna prove to them I’m ready!! I’m just looking forward to this year getting underway and trying to make it to the playoffs again this year at whichever level I’m at and just helping whatever team I am on win.

SethSpeaks: Who was your favorite player to watch when you were growing up?

Alex Burnett: I always loved watching Ken Griffey Jr. any team he was on was the team I liked.

SethSpeaks: What team did you grow up watching and cheering for?

Alex Burnett: Well, back then they were the California Angels and they are who I watched growing up. My grandpa would always take me to their games.

SethSpeaks: What were your thoughts around the draft and after being drafted by the Twins?

Alex Burnett: My thought prior to the draft was, wow, I can’t believe I have a shot at getting drafted. I wasn’t really sure what was gonna happen but I was just hoping they would take me high enough so that I wouldn’t have to go to school. Which sounds terrible but I was never really a school-first kinda guy, it was always baseball first! And after being selected by the Twins I still wasn’t really sure what pro baseball was all about, all I knew was that I was pretty good in high school, and so I was pretty nervous to go out to Florida for my first time because I didn’t know what the competition was gonna be like.

SethSpeaks: Best thing of career in baseball?

Alex Burnett: Being out there with all the guys and coaches because they are basically our family when we’re out here and being able to be out on a baseball field every day because it’s what I love to do!

SethSpeaks:  Toughest thing about career in baseball?

Alex Burnett: Definitely being away from my loved ones, mom, girlfriend, siblings and also trying to manage the little amount of money they give you in the minors.

SethSpeaks: Funniest story in your minor league career?

Alex Burnett: Funniest thing would probably be… okay, one day we spent like hours outside of our hotel trying to catch lizards and basically turning it into a competition of who could catch the most… because we have a lot of down time, especially during spring training, I just think it’s funny how bored we get out here, that we have to go outside and mess with little critters, like we were in middle school again.

SethSpeaks: What would it mean to make your big league debut?

Alex Burnett: Making it will mean the world to me. I would definitely get my family and Bridgette out there for my debut and it’s definitely going to be a moment I would remember for the rest of my life, being able to finally fulfill what I have been working so hard at for years.

There you have it. Expect a few more throughout this week, so keep checking back. I will also be posting a blog at the TwinsCentric StarTribune.com page for Monday and Tuesday this week, so be sure to check for that. If you would like, you can e-mail me, or feel free to leave your comments here.

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2 Responses to “Spring Taining Q&A: Pitcher Alex Burnett”

  1. mike wants wins February 28, 2010 at 5:28 pm #

    Thanks for doing the interview. I hadn’t thought about all the down time! Good luck this year, and in the future.

  2. Dave February 28, 2010 at 11:20 pm #

    Good interview. Let’s hope he doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. He appears to be the real deal.

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