Alexandre Periard was drafted by Milwaukee in the 16th round of the 2004 at just 16 years of age. The 6’1’’ Canadian righty, now just 21, has shot through the Brewers’ farm system and, in the process, up numerous Brewer blog prospect listings (No. 17 Bernie’s Crew, No. 23 Between the Green Pillars).
Periard went a combined 11-10 with a 4.06 ERA, 96 S0 just 46 walks over 150.2 innings between Brevard County and Huntsville last season. He was kind enough to answer some of my questions. Thanks to Alex and his agent for making this happen.
Why did you ultimately decide that you wanted to sign with the Brewers?
I kind of felt comfortable with the Brewers. I was actually looking into a couple of college. I was trying to see what was going on with the Brewers and everything and I guess I was happy with what they gave me so I guess I decided to go ahead and begin my professional career with the Brewers.
Four years in, do you think it was the right move?
Oh yeah, definitely, definitely. I just feel like I got my experience in professional baseball and not, like, college baseball. I’m only 21 now but I got, you know, four years of professional baseball behind me now. For me, the way I see it, it’s better than college baseball, but that’s just for me, so...
And you’ve moved really fast through the farm system and everything, but what have you learned along the way?
I played two years in a row in the same category… rookie ball. In the middle of my second year (after that) I’m just trying to learn to not think too much, just go ahead and just let it go. Everything went pretty good, except for here and there.
You pitched really well in West Virginia and Brevard, but your numbers went a bit down in Huntsville and Arizona, why do you think that is?
Yeah, well actually, it was a pretty good step from high-A to double-A for me. It was the biggest step of my whole minor league career. You know, hitters are a lot better, more patient; they’re going to swing at their pitches.
And when I got there, I kind of gave a little too much credit to the hitters. You know ‘Oh, they’re double-A hitters, blah, blah.’ So I kind of had a little trouble here and there. But my goal for next year is, pretty much, go ahead and not think about anything like that.
I mean, I’m in double-A too, so I can pretty much do the same things that they do.
Do you think that having a higher workload was another one of those little factors in that too?
What do you mean workload, like inning-wise?
Uh, yeah, you pitched about 40 more innings last year… I mean, this year than you did last year.
Yeah, well it’s not anything like an excuse or something. I don’t think that’s what it is. I mean, I got a little tired, but I just think, especially in the fall I was going in there trying to hit the corner here and there and trying to be too perfect.
I need to go there and just pitch like I am, like I used to do and not try to hit the corner and anything like that.
Speaking of Arizona, you actually logged, uh, I think it was 6.1 innings of relief there. Is that something that you like doing or would you rather start?
I actually like to start better. They told me I was going to relieve down there, but somebody got hurt down there so they just moved me up to start. It was fine with me, I was pretty happy about that.
But I was trying to be pretty a little too much, but I really enjoyed starting a lot more than relieving actually.
In Huntsville, you got to hit. I believe you had seven at-bats. As a righty who hits lefty, I’m wondering if your managers were ever nervous about having you up there to hit.
We got some protection and guards and everything, so, no.
You even had one hit there.
Yeah I did actually, I got my first hit in double-A. I was pretty happy about that.
Is it one that you’re going to remember for a while, or are you waiting for that first major league hit?
No. I mean it’s pretty cool to get your first hit, but it’s not that big of a deal. It’s pretty fun to have. It think it’s a good thing to see how pitches look like from behind, not only from when you pitch, but when you go hit.
I think it’s a good thing to learn as a hitter so you can see what an outside fastball or an inside fastball looks like. I think it’s a good thing to learn from for me.
This might be a weird thing to ask, but I’m wondering if you read any of the Brewer blogs out there?
Yeah, a little bit. Brewerfan, a little bit. Yeah.
Did you see their rankings? I think yesterday they had their (prospect) rankings up and I think you were ranked No. 13 overall. How does that feel to know you can be recognized on sites like that?
I’m pretty happy that I can be recognized as a prospect and everything like that. It’s cool. It’s pretty nice for me.
It’s, like, a really long road there. It must be nice knowing that, even though you’re halfway up the ladder, you’re already being noticed.
Yeah, like I said, it’s always nice to be recognized among the prospects in the organization.
What’s one minor leaguer that you’ve played with who we maybe haven’t heard about that you think will make a Major League impact?
Boy, that’s a good question. You guys kind of know about him. I was playing with Taylor Green for the past two years and he’s a pretty good player. I played with him on a National team when I was like 15 years old, and I think he has a pretty good potential to make it.
One other guy that you played with in Huntsville last year was Patrick Ryan. He got Rule-Fived by he Mariners, I don’t know if you’ve heard that. What do you think he’ll bring over to them?
Yeah, I did. I actually do think that’s going to be a pretty good thing for him. That’s going to be great for him. And hopefully he’s going to go ahead and have some Major League time. He’s a pretty good guy too.
How would you describe yourself on the mound, how you work?
I’m more of a sinkerball pitcher. For me, it’s more just to go ahead and be aggressive and go through the inning and not think about anything, just try to be aggressive, keep the sinker down – that’s about it.
What’s your favorite city you’ve played in during your American experience?
I think all the cities were pretty good. I think the fans were awesome everywhere we went. So no, I don’t really have a favorite city, but I think everywhere we went the fans were supportive.
Have you ever been to Milwaukee?
I did, I did. When I signed, they got me down there to see a game and meet a couple people down there. It’s a tremendous stadium.
Are there any players that you model yourself after? Anyone that you watched when you were growing up or emulated?
I would say I’ve been watching Roger Clemens since I was young. He’s always been my model kind of pitcher. When I was a kid I was always trying to be like him.
When you were younger, he was on the Blue Jays, too.
He was, I always liked him.
Did you like the Blue Jays or the Expos?
As a kid, I was an Expos fan for sure. It was kind of sad that they let them go, but that’s alright.
Non-baseball. What’s your favorite movies, and bands and foods?
Movies… I would say Rocky IV is my favorite movie. Bands, I kind of like Hinder and food would be a big steak.
And lastly, if you weren’t actually playing baseball, what would you want to do?
I would like to have my own business I think.
What would it be?
I’d like to have restaurant.
Anything else that you’d like to say?
Not really. Just thank you for everything.
Yeah. Thank you and we’ll be seeing you in Milwaukee.