Spring Training Q&A: Matt Fox

6 Mar

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net

It has been a long, and at times frustrating ride through the Twins minor league system for Matt Fox. Drafted in the supplemental first round in 2004 by the Twins out of the University of Central Florida (where he was caught by Drew Butera). Tommy John surgery cost him the entire 2006 season. He has slowly and patiently worked his way up the Twins farm system since his return in 2007. He has typically started in the bullpen and by the half-way point of the season, he was in the team’s starting rotation and one of their better pitchers. 2009 was the first season in which he spent the whole year as a starter. He should start the 2010 season in AAA and depending upon need, he could make his big league debut in 2010.

Here is today’s Q&A with Twins pitcher, Matt Fox. Clearly he took time to leave terrific responses. (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?

Matt Fox: Overall I was happy with my 09 season. Being my 1st season being in the rotation from Day 1, I made every single start, threw 150+ innings and felt like I gave my team a chance to win more often than not. That and being named an ALL STAR allowed me to complete 2 of my goals, just short of getting to my other goal of getting a promotion.

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

Matt Fox: I follow the workout program they give us pretty close, maybe tweaking it a little with some things I’ve learned through my 5 years and 5 offseasons. Besides getting ready for the season, which is my number 1 priority, I work at a local Country Club in the Pro shop. I love golf, enjoy playing it, and enjoy working there in the offseasons.

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

Matt Fox: I took 2-3 weeks off after our last game in SEPT and started to go to gym and work out. Throwing wise, I start throwing January 1st, slowly start throwing more and more as times goes on. Starting in late January, I try and throw 2 light bullpens each week and get my running and workouts in.

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?

Matt Fox: My goal is to start in the AAA rotation, and of course at some point get a taste of the big leagues. It’s up to me to put up the numbers in order for that to happen. A couple things I’d like to improve on is my changeup, it’s a pitch I’ve always struggled to get a consistent feel for, and I know it’s a pitch I’ll need in the top 2 levels. Also I had too many walks last years, so I’d like to cut those down.

SethSpeaks:  What does spring training mean for you, and what are you looking forward to this year?

Matt Fox: I enjoy spring training, enjoy seeing all the guys again, and try to use it as much as possible to get me ready for my season. I’ve learned to not read into my stats and results in the games i pitch, and to just try and improve a little each outing in order to get me ready for the regular season.

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

Matt Fox: I’ve had a couple, I really liked Barry Larkin growing up, liked the reds and he was the man back in the day. More recently I’ve kind of enjoyed following Chris Carpenter. He’s had some similar injuries that I have had and I’ve always enjoyed following his career.

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

Matt Fox: The Reds were my favorite team growing up until the Marlins came around, and then they became my team.

SethSpeaks: What do you remember about the draft and events leading up to your signings?

Matt Fox: In 2 drafts (HS and college), I just remember how unpredictable it was. In HS I was supposed to go high and fell to the 6th round. So in college I went into the process with an open mind, not stressing too much about it. When I got drafted my MN I was surprised (didn’t talk to them much), but had heard good things about them and was excited.

SethSpeaks: Best thing of career in baseball?

Matt Fox: A combination of things, being a ALL American in college, getting drafted to play a game I love, and being named a AA All Star Last year. All those things are things I’m pretty proud of.

SethSpeaks:  Toughest thing about career in baseball?

Matt Fox: Without a doubt my shoulder surgery in 2005. It was tough on me mentally and physically. I wanted to prove myself after getting drafted high, but my shoulder was hurt and I couldn’t. Then the process of coming back, and not having my pre surgery stuff at first was hard mentally. But I’m at a good place now, and feel good about my arm and career and have realized that certain things happen for reasons, and that was something that I couldn’t control.

SethSpeaks: Funniest story in your minor league career?

Matt Fox: There have been too many things that I’ve seen and that have happened throughout my career to name.

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

Matt Fox: I’m sure it’s a common answer, but it would mean everything to me. I’m playing a game that I love for a living and it’s been a lifelong dream to become a Major League baseball player, so it will definitely be special. 

Thank you so much to Matt Fox for clearly taking some time to respond to all the questions.. If you would like, you can e-mail me, or feel free to leave your comments here.

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