Chase Stevens was drafted in the 30th round of the 2012 MLB draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Chase attended college at Oklahoma State University. During the 2012 season he played with the Missoula Osprey, an affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Chase pitched 33.2 innings in 26 games and compiled a 3-2 record with a 3.21 ERA. Chase struck out 59 batters while ONLY allowing 12 earned runs, 23 hits, and 17 walks (That’s 1.77 strike outs per inning). Those are some pretty good stats! His future looks very bright as a young ballplayer.
During the 2012-2013 off-season I got the chance to talk with Chase. I told him about my blog, and he kindly agreed to do an interview with me. Here is what he had to say during the interview:
Q1. So Chase, Tell us a little about yourself
Chase Stevens: “I’m a small town kid from Blanchard Oklahoma. I have lived there my whole life. I started playing baseball when I was 4 years old and loved the game ever since. I have a twin brother named chance. I played Junior college baseball at Seminole State college in Seminole OK. From there I went on to play my junior year at Oklahoma State University.”
Q2. In 2012, you were drafted in the 30th round by the D-backs. What was it like to be drafted to play pro baseball? What feelings or emotions did you feel on draft day?
Chase Stevens: “I was extremely anxious to see where I got picked. It was my first time going through the draft process so it was all very new to me and my family. When I got the call that I had been selected I felt like there was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders, and that all my hard work had finally paid off.”
Q3. Last season you pitched for the Missoula Osprey, an affiliate of the D-backs, in the Pioneer League. What role did have in your teams’ pitching rotation and how did you contribute to your team’s success?
Chase Stevens: “I was a 7th, 8th inning guy. A set up guy for the closer. My job was to come in and have a clean inning and hand the ball off to the closer.”
Q4. Did you have any coaches in high school who gave you tips that you feel have really helped your pitching? And what advice would you give to kids who hope to improve their pitching?
Chase Stevens: “I have been blessed with great coaches at every level I have played at. My junior college pitching coach really emphasized the importance of mental toughness. This is one thing I stress the most to younger guys.”
Q5. Did you have a strategy on the mound that you felt really helped you pitch well?
Chase Stevens: “I tried to focus on getting ahead of hitters. It was very important for me to stay away from walks that late in the game.”
Q6. What do you expect from yourself in order to have a breakthrough season into the Majors?
Chase Stevens: “Too stay consistent, work hard, and make the most of the opportunities that are given to me.”
Now I’m going to shift the focus away from on the field matters, and I’ll ask about off the field matters.
Q7. Do you collect memorabilia of any kind?
Chase Stevens: “I like to collect my hats from every team I play on.”
Q8. Are you familiar with the term “Ballhawk”? Odds are that you will run into a few Ballhawks at the ballpark next year, if you haven’t already. In your opinion, are they good guys or bad guys?
Chase Stevens: “From what I have heard it is a fan that collects home runs and foul balls. I haven’t really ever experienced one, but I think it is pretty cool that someone values a baseball that I have played with that much.”
Q9. Do you have a favorite band/song whom/that you would choose to walk out to the mound to?
Chase Stevens: “I enjoy a lot of different genres of music. It really depends on what I am doing while I am listening to the music. When I chose a walk out song I usually tried to pick something that I knew the fans would like. It would be hard to pick just one.”
Q10. Do you have a specific routine that you follow during the offseason to help prepare you for baseball?
Chase Stevens: “This being my first off season I am just trying to get the feel for being away from baseball this long. I returned to school this fall, and will finish my degree this coming fall. Staying in the routine of going to the field daily and working in the weight room have been key for me this offseason.”
Thank you very much Chase, for answering all my questions! I greatly appreciate your generosity and getting to talk with you!
You can follow Chase Stevens on Twitter @ChaseStevens.