Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Interview with Brewers Prospect Jimmy Nelson

Player Profile
Name: James J Nelson
Age: 23 (Born 06/05/1989)
Birthplace: Niceville, FL
High School: Niceville HS
College: University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
Height: 6' 6"
Weight: 245 lbs.
Year Drafted: 2012 (2nd Round, 92nd overall)
Position: Starting Pitcher
Throws: R
Bats: R
Minor League Affiliate: Huntsville Stars
Twitter: @Jimmy_J_Nelson

Andrew: Growing up, when did you start getting into the game of baseball?

Jimmy: I started when I was 4, but started getting really serious when I was a freshmen/sophomore in high school.

Andrew: Name an athlete that stands out to you as someone who inspired you to become an athlete yourself.

Jimmy: I've always liked Roger Clemens because of his work ethic and demeanor on the mound.  I admire his competitiveness.

Andrew: What were your favorite sports teams growing up?

Jimmy: The Braves since they were the closest MLB team.  I never really got into the NBA or NFL.
Andrew: If you had an opportunity to play with or against one baseball player that has either retired from the game or passed away, who would it be?

Jimmy: Probably the Yankee sluggers like Ruth and Gehrig.  It would be neat to face players from that era.
Andrew: Who is the best pitcher in baseball today, in your opinion, and why? 
Jimmy: Roy Halladay because of his consistency.  He always gives his team a chance to win.

Andrew: If it wasn't for your successes in sports, what would be your ideal career outside of baseball?

Jimmy: Well I would still like to stay in the game somehow whether that's being a pitching coach or something but outside the game of baseball I would stay in the field dealing with kinesiology which is what I was studying at the University of Alabama.

Andrew: If it weren't for baseball, what other sport do you think you would play professionally if you had the opportunity?

Jimmy: Basketball, I always enjoyed playing when I was growing up but nowadays the NBA players that are 6' 6" are fast and can jump out of the gym; and I can't really do either of those things.

Andrew: As a pitcher, are you more comfortable as a starter or as a relief pitcher? Talk about the different ways to mentally prepare for either position.

Jimmy: I like starting the most but am willing to do either.  Whatever would benefit the team the most.  I like starting and putting in the work in the offseason and between starts.  I feel like as a starter you really have to study the opposing lineups and the way you are going to attack them with what you have, and be able to go through the lineup a few times without being predictable.  As a bullpen guy you have to have all your pitches working right out the gate where as a starter it may take a couple innings to really get the feel of your stuff.  So I respect the guys out of the bullpen that have that ability to turn it on that quick.

Andrew: Let's go back to 2007. You were originally drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 39th round. What made you make the decision of not signing?

Jimmy: I had a good scholarship with the University of Alabama and it just wasn't a big enough offer for me to pass that up.  And in the end I feel as if it was the best decision I have made and has helped shaped me to who I am today.

Andrew: Jumping to 2010, you were drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the second round.  Talk about that experience and what it felt like when you were taken in the second round by Milwaukee.

Jimmy: I was extremely happy and relieved.  All the hard work and hours that I put in at Alabama were starting to pay off, however I realized that you can never be content with the good things that are going your way.  So I understood it was just a stepping stone in the right direction and got back to work to try and accomplish my next set of goals at that time.
Andrew: Have you made any trips to Miller Park yet? If so, how did it feel knowing that could be you one day on there on the field?

Jimmy: Yea I played there in the Rising Stars game and a game during the regular season in Appleton Wisconsin.  Both were great experiences and give you something to look forward to when you get there.  It was also good to be able to interact with the great fan base that the Brewers have.
Andrew: In your opinion, who is the greatest baseball player of all time?

Jimmy: I think there is to many to really just name one, and there are many still playing right now that at the end of their careers can be added to that list also.

Andrew: St. Louis Cardinal fans are considered the "intelligent" fans of baseball, and rightfully so. How would you describe Brewer fans in the realm of baseball?

Jimmy: Haha, I would describe the Brewer fans as very dedicated and enthusiastic about their team.  I also haven't really heard any negative talk from fair weathered fans about players.  So all of those attributes are greatly appreciated by us and make them a great fan base.
Andrew: Overall, what are your early perceptions of the Milwaukee Brewers organization?
Jimmy: I believe its a good organization regardless of what the "ranks" are.  I think we have a good way of developing guys through the system and teaching them how to be professionals.

Andrew: Chipotle or Qdoba?

Jimmy: Definitely Chipotle, I think I single handedly kept them in business in College Station this offseason.  We had one about 40 yards from our apartment so we were considered regulars.

Andrew: Steroids in baseball is a serious subject right now. Talk about your feelings about Performance Enhancing Drugs in baseball.
Jimmy: As someone who prides them self on working hard I'm strongly against them and am happy to see the steps that are being taken to filter them out of the game.  

Andrew: Bottom of the 9th, two outs. Runner on third. Who is the last person in baseball today you would not want to pitch to?

Jimmy: Myself haha just kidding. It really wouldn't matter truthfully, I'd trust my defense enough and my pitching ability to pitch to anyone in that situation.

Andrew: What is your main goal you have set for yourself going into spring training and the 2013 season with the Brewers?

Jimmy: To stay healthy the entire season.  I missed a little time last year with some shoulder fatigue/inflammation and have worked very hard this offseason to rest and strengthen my shoulder and my whole body.  You can't achieve any of your other goals you have set when you're on the disabled list.

Until next time, Beers, Brats, and Championships.

-Andrew Vrchota (@AndrewVrchota)

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