Wednesday September 28, 2011
Jeff P (Guest Writer – MLB reports): Recently I had the honor to interview Deck McGuire, top MLB pitching prospect. Speaking to McGuire, I had the sense that he has the same goal as many other baseball players: working to prove that he the real deal. McGuire is a great guy and it was a pleasure interviewing him.
Firstly, I would like to relay some information on Deck, courtesy of Wikipedia:
“William Deck McGuire (born June 23, 1989 in Greensboro, North Carolina) is a professional baseball pitcher currently in the Toronto Blue Jays organization. McGuire who spent three years at Georgia Tech was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the first round of the 2010 MLB Draft and is currently assigned to the Blue Jays’ Double-A affiliate, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.”
Considering that he was a first round selection, Deck is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet in baseball. Plus he has one of the best baseball names in the game. Featured on MLB reports, I proudly present my interview with Deck McGuire:
Jeff P: Hey, Deck. First of all, I want to thank you for being with us today, it really is an honor to have you with us. I’m sure you have a busy schedule so, let’s get this started. First off, what was your reactions to being drafted, your thoughts, and the party post-phone call?
Deck McGuire: I actually didn’t get the true draft experience. We were playing against Alabama in the Regional Championship game, so I was actually in the dugout while we were playing to go to the Super Regionals. I found out in about the 5th inning but I was way more concerned with the game at that moment. Definitely the most bittersweet moment of my life because we lost, ending our season, and my time with the Jackets.
Jeff P: You recently had minor struggles going into Double-A, was it a difficult adjustment?
Deck McGuire: I don’t think it was really the adjustment but more that I never let myself get into a rhythm. I got away from some of the stuff that got me there and then I got a little banged up. I take it as a great experience and a chance to get better heading into next year.
Jeff P: Can you give us some information on your daily rituals? What do you do in the clubhouse, and what are your hobbies off the field?
Deck McGuire: I seem to get there pretty early and I love to play cards, I have a slight competitive streak! I love video games and golf off the field, probably the competitiveness again!
Jeff P: How does your height of 6’6″ affect your play on the baseball field?
Jeff P: What do you find is the most special about playing for the different Blue Jays affiliates?
Deck McGuire: The diversity of locations! I got to play in Florida in the cold months and New Hampshire during most of the hot ones!
Jeff P: What kind of music can you find on your iPod?
Deck McGuire: Lots of country, a little rock, and even less rap.
Jeff P: Who was the most difficult hitter you have faced so far in professional, or college baseball?
Deck McGuire: Gordon Beckham. I faced him when he was at UGA and I was at Georgia Tech. His approach is unbelievable. In pro-ball it was Matt den Dekker from the Mets, same reason really, his approach changes pitch to pitch so he is really difficult to fool.
Jeff P: What baseball player would you most like to be compared to once you get to the big leagues?
Deck McGuire: I’d love to be compared to John Smoltz. He was one of my heroes growing up because he is really the player who can define a winner and a team guy wrapped into one. Starting or closing, he always got it done and did what his team needed to win.
Jeff P: As a minor leaguer, you already have several different pitches that you throw. Do you feel that your pitching arsenal will help you in your path to the big leagues?
Deck McGuire: Without a doubt! Something I have always prided myself on is my ability to throw a fastball, curveball, slider, and a change-up for strikes to any hitter and in any count.
Jeff P: I read recently that you have been compared to Jonathan Papelbon. Do you agree with this comparison?
Deck McGuire: Well the guy is a winner so that’s good, other than that I don’t think I see it. I mean he is a closer and throws fuel. I am a starter and rely more on my array of pitches to get the job done.
Jeff P: Do you think it’s fair to say that sometime next year, we will see you up in the MLB?
Deck McGuire: That would be awesome, but my goal is just to keep getting better. Whenever the Jays think I’m ready to help the big club win, then I am happy to give it my best shot.
Jeff P: You are proud to be a former Yellow Jacket. What were the big adjustments that you’ve gone through from college baseball to adjusting to professional baseball?
Deck McGuire: The 5-day rotation vs. having a week off in college.
Jeff P: I’m going to end off with this last thought. If you weren’t a baseball player, where do you think you would be right now in your life?
Deck McGuire: Gosh I’d like to think I would be in baseball somehow, but I might have played football at a smaller school or maybe gone to med school to try to be an orthopedic surgeon. I really don’t know. I know it is cliché, but being a pro baseball player has pretty much been my dream my whole life!
Jeff P: Thank you for taking your time out of your busy schedule for us today Deck. Much appreciated!
Deck McGuire: Thanks y’all!
Thank you again to Deck McGuire 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 Deck. As well, please follow Deck on Twitter (@DeckMcGuire).
***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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