Saturday, June 11, 2011

Interview with Nats pick Josh Laxer

Josh Laxer (from My601)

I am glad to present to you an exclusive interview with a Nationals draft pick Josh Laxer. Laxer, a 20th round pick, is a RHP from Madison Central HS in Madison, Mississippi. After the interview, you will see some notes, quotes and links about him. Enjoy!

1) I found an article about you from 2010 that said you threw in the 86-90 MPH range, but many this year that say you're now in the 95 MPH range. What have you done over the last year to improve your velocity?

This off-season I did a lot of long-tossing. I also fixed some sloppy mechanics.

2) Can you give us a quick rundown on what pitches you throw, what movement they get and around how fast they are?

4-seam fastball: 91-94 mph, runs away on a righty
2-seam fastball: 90-92 mph, runs in on a righty
Slider: 75-79 mph, has a late break
Changeup: 78-81 mph, circle change grip

3) You were drafted one round after another Missisippi high schooler (and Ole Miss commit), Hawtin Buchanan. Are you two friends, rivals or acquaintances? Do you think the Nationals picked you two together in hopes of signing you as a pair?

We are actually good friends. We played together in the East Coast Pro Showcase in Lakeland, FL. I do not know why they (drafted) us both.

4) Who are your baseball mentors? Who are your favorite players?

My favorite player is Greg Maddux. Not because he is a great pitcher but because he fields his position very well, also.

5) What was the scouting/draft process like for you? Who were you in contact from the Nationals organization? Did you get picked earlier or later than you expected?

Well, at the beginning of the year, I only had 4 or 5 area scouts come to my house. But by late April I had about 10 of them calling to come to my house after they saw me pitch. I talked to Harry Porter the most from the Nationals. I had been talking to him for the past 2 years because of his summer baseball team. I honestly had no idea when I would get picked. I was just honored to be picked.

6) Fill in the blank: Without _______, I would not be a baseball player.

My Parents

7) If you weren’t a professional athlete, what would you likely be doing right now?

I would be packing my bags and getting ready for summer school in July at Ole Miss.

Here are some reports on Josh:
"At 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, he pounds the strike zone with quality stuff, touching the low 90s and sitting around 88-89 mph with a fastball that has good armside life and sink at times. He spots his slurvy breaking ball well and knows how to pitch." - Baseball America

"Josh is a hard-throwing righty with solid mechanics at this stage in his development. His fastball can sit in the low 90's and when he avoids walks, he can be pretty unhittable at the high school level...He's not going to wow you with his height, but his overall build is pretty solid for a kid his age." - Travis Recek, My601

"As the Jaguars' ace, the Ole Miss signee drew dozens of scouts with his 95-mph fastball, a nasty slider and unique change-up - the last one he swiped from his older brother...The 6-foot, 190-pounder has rapidly been building on his speed over the last three years. He hit 89 as a sophomore, clocked 94 at times last year and was clocked as high as 95 this year. (Madison coach Gregg) Perry credits it to the Gregg Maddux approach of throwing often. 'He likes to throw. He throws every day. It's what Greg Maddux did,' Perry said of the Atlanta Braves Hall of Famer. '(Maddux) tried to throw every day, even the days after he pitched. It can't be bad if Greg Maddux did it.;...Josh credits it to his lower body mechanics - 'I use my legs to push off and then torque my hips,' he says - and, of course, to his brother and those intense competitions. - Josh Dellenger, The Clarion-Ledger

Josh is on Twitter @JoshLaxer. Feel free to leave additional questions for him in the comments section and I'll pass them along. Thanks, Josh!

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