Eric Pettis, a 2010 Phils Draft Pick was kind enough to give Phuture Phillies a few minutes of his time to answer questions. Pettis is a 6’2 RHP out of University of California-Irvine and had an excellent start to his professional career in WIlliampsort going 8-0 with a 1.37 ERA in 20 appearances. After being immediately placed into the WIlliamsport rotation after the drafty and having quite a bit of success, Pettis transitioned to the bullpen at the end of the year and matched his success as a starter with 7 late season saves. Pettis was called up to Lakewood in the playoffs, making his SAL debut with another scoreless outing.
Question: After a lot of success as a closer at UC Irvine, you were placed into the
starting rotation right out of the gate in Williamsport, how difficult was that
transition after being primarily a closer for several years?
Answer “The transition wasn’t too difficult because I also had a lot of
experience starting at Irvine. My freshman year I started some really big
games including one at the College World Series and my senior year I
started on Sunday’s the entire year. Those experiences really helped me
when I was asked to start in Williamsport.”
Question: You seemed to have placed yourself firmly onto the prospect radar screen with your performance as a starter, however, at the close of the year, you spent time back in the bullpen. Was that a matter of workload and the Phils protecting your arm after160 plus innings??
Answer: It was a matter of workload. After throwing 125 innings at school this
year they were especially aware of my innings and pitch count. And after
my first five starts in Williamsport they told me that if I kept starting
I would easily surpass 200 innings for the year and the bullpen looked
like a more feasible option to still get me work while protecting my arm.
Question: Have you been given any indication as to where (Lakewood?) you will start next year, and if so, whether it will be in the rotation or in the bullpen?
A They haven’t told me where I will start next year but they told me to set
my sights high. If I come into spring training in shape and perform well
the placement will take care of itself.
Q From what I have read and seen, you throw a fastball, curve and change.
Have you been working to develop any other pitches? Did you velocity increase with your move to the bullpen?
A I throw a fastball, slider, and change. As of now I am focusing on
refining those three pitches to make them the best that they can be. In
the pen my velocity does increase probably 1-2 mph and in the offseason I
am working of getting my lower half stronger to help me throw a little
Q You had a good deal of success in the Cape Cod League. How (if at all)
did your performance in that league help your confidence?
A When you play in the Cape you know you are playing against the best
amateur baseball players in the country. So making the All-Star team
there was a big accomplishment for me. But the minor leagues is a
different level and coming in you don’t really know what to expect. So
all you can do is go out there and compete and try to execute to your
Q Name one player on the Williamsport roster this year that you were
impressed with and why.
A I was really impressed with Carlos Alonso. He was a guy who struggled in
the beginning and didn’t get much playing time. But that didn’t keep him
from working hard and trying to get better every day. Then he got his
chance again toward the end of the season during the middle of a playoff
race and he tore it up. He was our MVP of the last few weeks. A guy like
that could have easily shut it down and given up, but he didn’t and he
ended up having a great year because of it.
Q How difficult was the transition from growing up and playing on the West
Coast to starting your professional career in WIlliamsport, PA?
A The transition wasn’t hard at all. My whole life I have been traveling to
play baseball. My travel ball, high school, and college teams have
allowed me to see so much of the country. Also, playing summer ball my
freshman and sophomore years in college really taught me how to live away
from home and focus on baseball. I consider myself lucky to have grown up
with all these great baseball experiences so when I arrived in
Williamsport I was able to focus on performing instead of trying to get
Thank You to Eric Pettis for giving us his time in answering our questions.