Q&A with Drew Storen
As we said before in The Storen Identity, Drew Storen might not be Jason Bourne but he is special. He can’t fend off 30 people at once, dodge bullets or drive a car like Jeff Gordon during a high speed chase while weaving in and out of oncoming traffic. Well, he might be able to do all that… he doesn’t know. He hasn’t tried. He won’t need to if he continues to sit batters down the same way Bourne puts bad guys on their back. They are one in the same, two people extremely good at what they do. Storen saves games and Bourne saves humanity.
The 22 year-old is now pitching for the Double-A Harrisburg Senators. He picked up the save in Stephen Strasburg’s first start on Sunday–it won’t be the last time. He has been Storen the Stopper so far this season, pitching 3.1 scoreless innings with four strikeouts in three games. We will be sure to keep you updated on the tenth overall pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft because it won’t be long before he’s pitching in Washington.
The team record isn’t what you would prefer (1-6) but how has the first week been?
“It’s gone well. The three appearances have gone well and getting the save and the win with Strasburg was pretty awesome. I feel good. The arm feels good. I’m happy with the way I started. I’m happy with the way that Spring Training panned out. My body’s in good shape and I’m happy.”
You and Strasburg have formed a friendly bond and it had to be cool to pick up the save for him.
“It was cool…and honestly, I didn’t even think about it when I went into the game. It wasn’t something I realized until somebody asked me after the game, ‘Hey…What was it like saving Strasburg’s first game?’ and I was just like, ‘Oh…oh yea.’ It was like an afterthought, just because I was just thinking, ‘I need to save this game…make sure I go out there and throw well.’ I wasn’t really too concerned with it. Now looking back, I’m glad but I just go out there, and regardless of who pitched, if it’s a close game or a blow out, I try to go out there and do the same thing and hopefully try to get the same result.”
Last year, you experienced the Minor Leagues after you were drafted. Have you made it your responsibility to take Strasburg under your wing to teach him the ways of the Minor Leagues?
“I’ve been trying to but a lot of it has to do with stuff outside the lines. Different things like… How many bags to pack and stuff like that. You know, he doesn’t really need much help other than that. Everything else is pretty basic. It’s not too much to learn. It honestly comes down to the travel stuff at this point but anything I can help him with, I try to.”
Have you taught him any good pointers for the long bus trips?
“I told him about my inflatable pool raft.”
The one you guys lie down and sleep on in the aisle.
“Yeah, but I don’t know if there would be enough room for two of us, so I want to make sure that he doesn’t do that.”
Yeah you don’t want to leave yourself sitting in an uncomfortable chair.
“Exactly, I don’t want to help him out and then have to lean myself up against the window.”
Numbers alone it seems like your climb through the Minors has been–for the most part–smooth sailing, has there been a frustrating part?
“Of course. When I first got signed and got to Hagerstown, I was kind of getting hit around a little bit. I had to make that adjustment to pro ball and realize how I needed to pitch. I guess the big thing is that I needed to make adjustments. That was the thing I learned. Since then, I’ve done well because I keep my eyes and ears open and listen and make those adjustments to get guys out. I’ve been fortunate. I’ve had–I don’t know if I would say smooth sailing because it’s been up and down for me–but overall, I’m happy with the way things have progressed.”
In the Majors you know everything about every player, how are the scouting reports on players in the Minors?
“A lot of it is just word of mouth. A lot of guys have played with these guys or played against them, so they know what to do. For me, I just have to stick with my strengths. My fastball, curveball, slider combination. I’ll watch during the game and I kind of get to cheat a little bit because I get to see other pitchers pitch to these guys, so I can kind of read off that.”
Have you talked to your friend Toby Gerhart lately about the NFL draft? I am still convinced Storen and Toby Gerhart are brothers–the star running back at Stanford who finished second in the Heisman voting.
“No I haven’t. I need to though. I need to call him and catch up with him, but I assume he has a couple other things on his plate.”
Did you see his performance at the combine?
“No I did not. I just got to see his numbers though.”
I was going to say, you saw his 4.5 40 and his 38-inch vertical jump?
“Yeah, that’s pretty unbelievable.”
And 22 reps at 225. I mean, this guy is a beast.
“Yeah I could do that easily. I don’t see what the big deal is.”
I take it you taught him how to be athletic.
“I think if you talk to him, he would give a lot of the credit to his athletic success, especially his football skills, to me.”
He could probably jump over you.
“Oh easily. He could jump over me or run through me.”
I would bet money that you could tackle him without a problem.
“I’m pretty excited to see what’s going to happen with him. And he deserves it all, that’s for sure.”