"My velocity was up towards the end of the year."
In his first full season of professional baseball, John Lannan had his ups and downs, but ultimately came out of it on a positive note. The organization feels he has a bright future as a southpaw starter, and a potentially dominating one at that. We recently caught up with John for a detailed interview. (Free Preview!)
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CapitolDugout.com: First of all, what are your overall thoughts about your 2006 season?
John Lannan: It was an improvement from the 2005 season. I felt much more comfortable even though I had a couple of rough starts.
CapitolDugout.com: When we spoke to Field Coordinator, Scott Little, he mentioned you as being very impressive with your ability "to go through lineups and get quick outs." What do you think he would mean by that?
John Lannan: I think he would mean that I was able to pitch effectively to every batter, get ahead with my fastball, make good pitches and make the hitters get themselves out.
CapitolDugout.com: What were your general thoughts on the types of hitters you faced this season? In other words, what did you notice about them compared to batters you faced in the past and in what ways did you have to pitch differently to them?
John Lannan: I realized that they hit mistakes more. If I left the ball up they would capitalize. I just focused on working low in the zone using my two-seamer and my off-speed more
CapitolDugout.com: As far as your stuff is concerned, how was your fastball velocity this year and how well did you develop any of your other pitches as well?
John Lannan: My velocity was up towards the end of the year. I topped out at 93 MPH and was averaging around 91 MPH. I really worked on my curveball trying to make it harder and sharper. And, with my changeup I just tried to keep my arm action the same. My changeup really helped me out this year.
CapitolDugout.com: So, compared to last season, what do you feel is the most significant difference in your game and how were you able to make that change?
John Lannan: This season I really just went after hitters. I just attacked the strike zone and didn't let down. My pitching coach Paul Menhart really helped me out with that.
CapitolDugout.com: Looking back on your season, was there ever a turning point that you can look back on as a key game or moment for you?
John Lannan: Right now, no one game really comes to mind, but I pitched much better the second half of the season.
CapitolDugout.com: What are your plans for the off-season? Will you be on any type of throwing program or something else of that nature?
John Lannan: I'm just going to follow what my strength coach gives me, but I'm really going to focus on getting stronger and gaining good weight.
CapitolDugout.com: When you report for spring training next March, what will be the most important improvements that you will focus on making to your game?
John Lannan: Just improving on the changes that were made this season with my delivery. I just want to come back ready to play and pitch my best.
CapitolDugout.com: Switching gears for a minute, which of your fellow pitchers with Savannah impressed you the most and why?
John Lannan: Craig Stammen has always impressed me. I played with him the last two seasons and every time he goes out there we know we have a shot at winning. He has really good stuff and he has a good work ethic.
CapitolDugout.com: Which hitter from Savannah do you think would the toughest player to pitch against?
John Lannan: Dee Brown can really hit. He is a strong guy and is just a tough out.
CapitolDugout.com: Heading into next season, what are some of your goals, either statistically or just anything else you'd like to accomplish?
John Lannan: Try to get my walks down and go deeper into games by keeping my pitch counts down are my main goals.
CapitolDugout.com: For a Nationals fan who would like to know more about you, what type of pitcher should they envision and is there an MLB pitcher they could possibly compare you to?
John Lannan: I don't really know who I am comparable to. But, I would like to someday be like Johan Santana just because he is a dominating lefty with a great changeup.