"I just want to win games."
Zach Baldwin has become one of the Vermont Lake Monsters' most consistent pitchers of late, using his less than plus stuff to get hitters out. He doesn't have the power fastball, but Baldwin has found success early in his pro career. We recently sat down with the southpaw for a Q&A session. (Free Preview!)
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CapitolDugout.com: First of all, how do you feel about your first taste of professional baseball here in 2006?
Zach Baldwin: Well, it's been up and down. Pretty much, its been kind of inconsistent for the most part. I've had some good games and some bad ones. I'm pitching more consistently lately though.
CapitolDugout.com: What do you feel has been the most difficult part of adjusting to professional baseball for you?
Zach Baldwin: Professional hitters compared to college hitters is just such a big difference. These guys out here are all really tough outs. Not too many easy outs to be had here.
CapitolDugout.com: You mention the hitters being more difficult. What do you feel makes them so much tougher than the college hitters you faced?
Zach Baldwin: Well, in college you could throw the ball down the middle and get away with it sometimes. Here, even with the wood bats, you aren't going to get those pitches back.
CapitolDugout.com: If you would, please take us through your repertoire.
Zach Baldwin: I don't throw very hard. I throw a fastball that's usually about 84-86 MPH. Every now and then, I'll throw it a little bit harder. I throw a breaking ball, a slider, a changeup, and a cut-fastball.
CapitolDugout.com: Out of the pitches you mention, which of those would you call your best pitch or your out pitch?
Zach Baldwin: I'd say my out pitch is probably my slider most of the time. I think all my pitches are solid, but that's a pitch I go to when I need an out.
CapitolDugout.com: What pitcher at the big league level would you best compare yourself to?
Zach Baldwin: Well, you know, if I threw harder, I'd compare myself to Randy Johnson (laughing). But, probably a better comparison would be someone like Jamie Moyer or Tom Glavine.
CapitolDugout.com: Moving towards your final appearances of the season, what are some goals you'd like to accomplish?
Zach Baldwin: I like to keep it real simple. I just want to win games at this point.
CapitolDugout.com: Looking ahead to next season, what are some things you'd like to improve on?
Zach Baldwin: I'd like to work on my flexibility and hopefully try to pick up a little more velocity on my fastball. If I can improve on that, I think I'll be set to go.