Spring Training Q&A with Collin Balester

"I'm going to work hard."

Coming into the 2006 season, Collin Balester has assumed the role of number one prospect in the Washington organization. With that comes high expectations, but the talented righty appears more than up to the task. We discussed that and much more in a Spring Training Q&A session. (Free Preview!)

CapitolDugout.com: Collin, what are some of your overall expectations for your 2006 season?

Collin Balester: I just want to have a good spring training. I'm going to work hard and hopefully break camp with a full season club and have a good year. I also want to just stay healthy and that's about it.

CapitolDugout.com: Compared to last year, what do you feel is the biggest difference in you that will help you a lot this season?

Collin Balester: Well, I mean, now I know what it feels like to be on a full season team and I know what I need to do to get better. And, I mean, from all the good hitters I have faced, I think I pitch better against better batters. Also, just having the experience is going to help me.

CapitolDugout.com: In your opinion, what will be the big key to your success this year?

Collin Balester: Well, again, the key for me is really staying healthy all year. All I want to do is be able to make my start every five days. If I'm healthy, I know I'll be successful.

CapitolDugout.com: Obviously, the organization has expressed their confidence in you recently. Do you think hearing that kind of praise helps you and in what way?

Collin Balester: I just try and not read all of those websites and what people say just because I don't really want to get myself to excited. But, don't get me wrong, I have read those websites and my friends and family have always told me what they say. Anyway, I mean, I am just happy that I am in an organization that really likes me. I think it helps me out a little more because people tell me that I am closer to the majors than I think. So, I just work hard, keep my head on straight, and not go out and get in trouble so that I really can make it faster than expected. I just try not to worry about that and just play because things will just happen.

CapitolDugout.com: What type of improvements would you like to make in the month before the season begins?

Collin Balester: Well, I think this off-season I worked a lot on my control so I can cut down my walks. And, I would like to continue that and also work on my changeup because it needs a lot of work, even though it is getting a lot better.

CapitolDugout.com: Are there any specific changes in approach or other aspects of your game that you feel will be very different from last year?

Collin Balester: No, I mean, I think everything is good. My approach has always been a key part of my game. I think I have a really good approach to the game.

CapitolDugout.com: To all the fans who are beginning to know who you are and may start following your progress this year, what should they know about your upcoming 2006 season?

Collin Balester: I am just going to go out there every game and give it my all and just pitch a good game every time I get the ball, no matter where I am. That's pretty much what they should know. I try and pitch a good game each time I go out there.

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