Interview with Christian Friedrich: Colorado Rockies Prospect
Friday October 14, 2011
Jeff P (Guest Writer – MLB reports): Recently I had the honor of interviewing Christian Friedrich, top MLB pitching prospect. Speaking to Friedrich, I had the sense that he has the same key goal as many other baseball players: working hard to achieve his dream. Friedrich is a great guy and it was a pleasure interviewing him.
Firstly, I would like to relay some information on Chris, courtesy of Wikipedia:
“Christ Louis Friedrich (July 8, 1987 in Evanston, Illinois) is a left-handed starting pitcher in the Colorado Rockies organization. He currently plays for the Class AA Tulsa Drillers. He was drafted in the first round (25th overall) in the 2008 Amateur Draft out of Eastern Kentucky University.”
Considering that he was a prestigious first round selection, Chris is one of the most interesting guys you will ever meet in baseball. Chris has tremendous talent, to go along with his strong reputation in the game. Featured on MLB reports, I proudly present my interview with Rockies Prospect, Chris Friedrich:
MLB reports: Welcome to MLB reports, Chris. I am starting you off with a tough question: you have struggled throughout your time in double-A ball. What do you feel has been the most difficult part of moving from A+ to AA?
Friedrich: The hardest part about AA is being consistent. At the lower levels you can still get by on some of your bad days. In AA you have to be in it every day. The days you’re not pitching are just as important as the 5th day. Your routine has to be perfect and the same, your mental and physical preparation can’t skip a beat. All those things sum up in my mind to confidence. If you forget a certain lift, change your running routine, mental prep, or even your warm up before the game, it leaves doubt in your mind that doesn’t need to be lingering with you when you toe the rubber.
MLB reports: A few months ago, did you worry about the trade speculation around the clubhouse that you might be traded?
Friedrich: When the trade deadline comes around every year, you can’t help to listen in on what some of the guys or reporters are saying. For the most part though it’s something I can’t control and would deal with it if it happened. In all honesty though I didn’t and don’t think there’s a whole lot of teams looking for a guy like me after the season I put up and no one is more disappointed with that than myself. I had a good three months but couldn’t put it all together. I understand what I have to do, and that’s why this offseason is so important. There was a bit of a smile when that time passes because I love being a Rockie.
MLB reports: Daily rituals and hobbies, outside of the clubhouse?
Friedrich: For daily rituals as of now it’s a wonderful routine. Wake up and breakfast might be my favorite part of the day. Two eggs, two sausages, two toasts, and my beloved coffee from the Keurig. I’ll get my workout done in the mornings and then go for a swim. After that I usually go on the course or the range. I’m really roughing it (ha ha). It’s nice to be in one place for and extended period of time and develop the consistent routines. In the evening my other favorite hobby as many around me know is video games. I turned a closet into a video gamer’s paradise. My favorite part about video games is playing competitive games online with friends. It allows me to connect with buddies from back home, college teammates, guys I’ve played against, and even guys in our organization. It’s a lot easier than just sitting talking on the phone. I get to catch up with them and involve teamwork. I’m really excited for Modern Warfare 3 to come out.
MLB reports: What kind of music can one find on your iPod?
Friedrich: I have all genres of music on my apple products. My favorite would definitely be rock and roll. Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Steely Dan, Doobie Brothers, Grand Funk Railroad, and a lot of Fall out Boy. Home town band I really like. No Beatles!
MLB reports: You have suffered from injuries during your career. What effects did your health have on your baseball activities?
Friedrich: Injuries have plagued me through my career but I’m thankful they weren’t and major ones. You learn to deal with them and do everything you can to prevent them. When they first happen it’s hard to accept and deal with them. It’s a great way to train yourself mentally but that’s my only positive. All you can do is work your behind off to get back out there and help out the club. The past three years I’ve dealt with some tendonitis in my elbow. It’s a nagging injury that doesn’t sit you down always but prohibits you from keep up your routine. For example it doesn’t bother you much the day you pitch because you are usually amped up. But on those important days in-between, it makes it harder to work on the things you normally do. Certain lifts bother it, and most of all, certain pitches. I noticed this year my breaking pitches during that time weren’t as sharp and I was getting ahead, but not putting guys away. This comes from not practicing with them as much through your five-day routine. Now I have time to strengthen my body and smaller muscle groups to make sure I can prevent these (injuries) as much as possible.
MLB reports: Do you think we will see you in the big leagues sometime next year?
Friedrich: I’m hoping to shock some people come spring training and reach the expectations I’ve set for myself. I’m doing everything I can to get there but that’s not under my control. But I will try to make the decision very easy for them.
MLB reports: What do you think is unique about the Rockies organization?
Friedrich: The Rockies organization is unlike any other. Our staff is made up of the best around with great knowledge and experience. I feel like we’re taken in, like it’s a family. This is a very classy organization the prides itself on homegrown talent. I couldn’t be happier with where I’m at. From my experience, players who have left our organization and players that come to it, say it’s the best they’ve been a part of.
MLB reports: What was the worst moment of your baseball career thus far?
Friedrich: The worst moment of my career would probably be the collapse at the end of my season this year. Last year our big league club lost a lot of starting pitching to injuries and Ubaldo Jimenez to the trade. It would have been a prime opportunity for me to shine and I went in the opposite direction. I’m looking to fix that.
MLB reports: What are you planning to work on in the offseason to improve your pitching status?
Friedrich: This offseason is again all about my routine and keeping good habits. I took about a week off and got straight to work. I’m using dry work everyday to solidify my mechanics so come February it’s an after thought. I’m incorporating swimming into my workouts to strengthen my shoulders and lats. I have dropped the bad weight and adding the good weight. My eating routine is helping with my energy and muscle-building. I am currently living in Florida by myself, so I don’t have distractions and have loved every minute of it. I started just a month ago and can’t wait come February.
MLB reports: You were drafted 25th, in the 2008 draft. What was the after party and the phone call like?
Friedrich: The draft day was a day I’ll never forget. I was blessed to have friends and family there to celebrate with me. It was hard to think while talking to reporters and answer questions, when I was still trying to wrap my head around it!
MLB reports: Who do you look up to in the big leagues?
Friedrich: I look up to a lot of our own players even at some of our levels. What I’m most impressed with, with majority of the big leaguers I have been around is their work ethic. Guys like Tulo, Helton, Blackmon, Belisle and EY all are workhorses in their own way. And there isn’t one way they all go about doing things. They have all learned for themselves what works best for them. They each have become machines of routine and excellence. My favorite pitcher by far though, like many others is Cliff Lee. He masters the strike zone and his command for all of his pitches is superb. My favorite thing is to watch his sequences and see how he sets up all his opponents. You watch highlights and can’t believe guys miss a pitch, but it’s how he has set them up.
MLB reports: I’ll end off here, if you were not currently a baseball player, what do you think you would be doing right now?
Friedrich: If I wasn’t in baseball? Tough one. If I never played in college, I would have like to go into dentistry or design. Since I am in baseball, I can’t get out. I love it. I would stay in the game whether it would be coaching or scouting.
MLB reports: Thank you very much for taking your time out of your busy schedule so we can have you with us. Much appreciated!
Thank you again to Chris Friedrich for taking the time to join us today on MLB reports. We highly encourage our readers to post at the bottom of the article any questions and/or comments that you may have for Chris. As well, please follow Chris on Twitter (@CFRIED12)
***Today’s feature was prepared by Jeff P, Guest Writer to MLB reports. We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers. You can also follow Jeff on Twitter.***
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