How’d you get into baseball? Specifically pitching?
I've been playing baseball my whole life. My parents always wanted me to be busy. I started when I was six years old.
Pitching came because playing all the positions was just something my dad wanted me to do. Pitching was just a good idea for arm strength and control.
Did you play any other sports in high school?
Football and basketball. I was a receiver in football and a shooting guard in basketball.
How did you decide to go with baseball?
Basketball was my favorite sport, but I was always pretty good at baseball and I got drafted out of high school, so I decided that would be the better move than anything else. Baseball would get me the furthest in life. I had D-2 offers for basketball, but I went with baseball.
I had D-1 offers from Oregon, Oregon State, UNLV, Boise, UTEP and the University of Hawaii for football too, but I felt my best opportunity was baseball. For football, I figured I wouldn’t have played in the NFL. With injuries, I figured baseball would be more promising.
At first, my senior year of high school, I wanted to concentrate on baseball, but my dad didn’t let me. He said if I didn’t play football, I would get fat and out of shape. He was a big football guy, but he made sure I was on the right path.
Who was your favorite pitcher and your favorite player growing up?
I would have to go with Pedro Martinez for favorite pitcher. When he was up there, he controlled the whole game. He intimated hitters and that’s what I like to do. You have to battle and he did.
I didn’t have a specific favorite player. In Hawaii, we didn’t have a team we watched daily, so you just watched whatever was on.
What's the best and worst part about minor league baseball?
The traveling, the new experiences, different faces, different people you come across day in and day out and being on that grind is the best part.
Worst part is a lot of it is the same. We have to go through the same routine every day. Nothing changes. Traveling and showing up to the field each and every day.
What is your dream matchup?
A-Rod. He’s just so consistent and he can hit pitches on both sides of the plate. It would really challenge you to hit your spots on every pitch.
Who would you like to plunk more than ever?
I’d rather strike them out of they pissed me off than plunk them.
Who is the last guy you’d like to see charging the mound after you?
Someone smaller. Those are the little firecrackers. It’s usually the small guys you have to worry about. The bigger the guy, the harder the fall, but small guys have tricks up their sleeves.
Do pitchers laugh when they hear fans yelling a move was a balk, knowing fans don’t know what a balk is?
It’s so funny. That happened last night. You just say, “If they only knew what this game was about and how it’s played.” You think to yourself you wish they read the rule book.
What's the funniest heckling you’ve received?
I had someone heckle me about my hair. It was gelled in a fohawk and they were wondering how I get my hair like that to stay under my hat.
Do you have a pre-game ritual before starting a game?
Nothing really. When I’m at home, I go and clean up the house when my roommates leave to clear my mind. I do some busy stuff around the house that won’t get me tired, but get my mind off it. If you overthink, you try to do too much. It clears my mind and I’m still resting my body.
What's the best baseball moment for you?
Getting drafted. My parents were watching the MLB tracker and just to see the look on their faces and knowing I have the opportunity to get paid to have fun and go out there and do what I love to do. It’s a little opportunity that can get you very far in life.
Describe the draft moment.
My mom was watching the computer and me and my dad were chilling in the living room. My mom started screaming. We all kind of worked for this since I was a little kid. Baseball can be boring, but my parents stuck through it all with me; the good and the bad, the summer trips and the clinics.
They were a little more happy than I was because I knew it was a small step.
When you hear the word "prospect," what does that mean to you?
You can’t really think too much. It’s just someone who has an opportunity and a chance. You have a chance to play in the big leagues and that's what everyone wants to do.