Hi! I’m Bryan Sheehan, I’ll be contributing some prospect interviews to the site. Here’s one I did recently with Lakewood’s Ethan Stewart. – Jump it -
PhuturePhillies: You started off this season with a really hot April, but you seem to be struggling a little bit in the second month of the season. Have you noticed any change in your pitching style, and how are you working to get back to your early success?
Ethan Stewart: After every outing I try to focus on the good, and fix the bad and saying that for this month I’ve haven’t changed anything. It’s just a few innings that have really costed me some good outings.
PP: Opponents are struggling to hit off of you so far, yet you have surrendered almost as many walks so far as you did all last season. Are you pitching differently, or are hitters just more patient at this level?
ES: I haven’t switched anything up from what I’ve seen myself do. Just a little excited. Somewhat players are more patient and I’ve been told many times that “As you move up they’ll want that one pitch.” And on the other hand I’ve thrown some pitches that bounced 3ft in front of home plate that have been swung at.
PP: Baseball America noted in a recent article that your velocity has increased into the low 90s over the past few years. Have you changed your delivery or was this just a matter of getting stronger?
ES: When I was drafted in 2010 and to where I am right now it’s been a complete turn around. Gorm Heimuller (pitching coordinator) for the past two years has helped me jump that velocity. First it’s mechanics and the speed will come with it.
PP: How would you scout yourself? By that I mean, how would you grade your pitches, and what do you see as your out pitch?
ES: Fastball is always number 1. I’ll give that an A+. Anything less I don’t know how I’d be where I am right now (laughs). I’ve been working on a good changeup since FIL last fall, and it’s getting there but not fully 100%. Give that one a B-. Finally, my curveball which has been my bread and butter since I can remember and when it’s working, it cannot be stopped, haha. Give that pitch a solid A.
PP: Growing up in British Columbia, your hometown was about 300 miles away from a MLB team (Seattle). What team did you root for as a kid, and who was your favorite player?
ES:I’ve always been a fan of the Mariners every since I can remember. Experienced my first major league game was I was 14 and they were playing the White Sox. Jim Thome hit a massive homerun that game that I watched clear the stands and hit the very back wall haha. My favorite player has and will always be Randy Johnson. Tall lefty who throws cheese? Who wouldn’t want that?
PP: Is there anyone you’ve modeled your delivery or style after?
ES: All throughout highschool I emulated Jeff Francis (Cincinnati Reds) because he had a big leg kick and had been the first major leaguer that pitched at UBC (University of British Columbia). Somewhat it felt appropriate that “If I pitch like him, I’ll have the same success.”