Results tagged ‘ 2009 Draft ’

Storen Stops In

Drew Storen, the Nationals’ second pick in the first round (10th overall) of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, is already making his way through the Minor League ranks. He signed with the team the day after the Draft and immediately went to work with the Hagerstown Suns. In 14.2 innings (11 games) he struck out 26 batters without walking anyone. On July 19th his hard work was rewarded with a promotion to the Potomac Nationals. On July 30th, Storen finally gave up his first walk, but not before accumulating 19.2 innings without a walk. In five games with the P-Nats, he is 1-0 with two saves, an ERA of 1.13 and a BAA of 0.050. Overall, the former Stanford Cardinal has 36 strikeouts and one walk over 22.2 innings in his professional baseball career.


Prior to tonight’s game against the Wilmington Blue Rocks, Storen stopped by Nationals Park to watch former P-Nat Craig Stammen pitch. While there, he sat down with Notes from NatsTown and the other Nationals beat writers. Here is what he had to say:


On his Minor League career thus far:
“I’m just very excited about how things are going. I’m very happy about how I’ve turned things around. I kind of  struggled a little bit at the beginning, just kind of getting back into the groove of pitching in a game again and I’m just planning to keep on doing my thing and just going out there and throwing strikes every time and hopefully finding success and if I get moved, I get moved.”


061009-236 drew storen.JPGOn trying to make it to the Majors this year:
“That’s my goal, obviously, but I really don’t plan on anything. I just kind of take it pitch by pitch, I guess, and that way it’s not really, you know, I don’t control that and I know that the Nationals are going to do what’s best for me and if they feel like I can be a good fit up here, they’ll put me up here. It’s not something I really try to concern myself too much with.”


On balancing his desire to play in the Majors with his everyday duties:
“I really do just kind of concentrate on doing those steps and really getting better each time and, like I said, if it becomes a fit for me in the Big Leagues than that’s what I want to do. But if I just go out there and get better each time, I should be able to put myself in a position to help them win at this level.”


On his early struggles:
“I really wasn’t doing anything differently than what I did at school. It was kind of a combination of not throwing in a game in a month and an adjustment to pro ball too. In pro ball, guys don’t really care how hard you throw, and I had to pitch a little more, make sure I got the fastball down in the zone a little bit, and that was really the main adjustment I had. Fortunately there were some veteran guys down there in Hagerstown that were able to help me out. Travis Reagan. He had come down from Potomac about a week or so into my stay down there and he helped a lot.”


061009-166 drew storen.JPGOn his walkless streak:
“You know, for the first twenty or so strikeouts, it really didn’t come [into my head] and then I kept getting asked about it and so then it kind of got in my head a little bit so it was kind of nice to get that off of my back a little bit… It’s something I take a lot of pride in too and so it worked out. It’s kind of good to get that monkey off of my back, though.”


On his strong ball-strike ratio:
“It’s something that’s the key for success out of the bullpen for me. I try to get guys to earn their way on-base and every time you give a guy a free pass it usually comes back to haunt you, especially at the end of the game.  So it’s really something. And ironically the guy I did walk… scored, so it’s just one of those things.”


On the types of pitches he throws:
“I throw a curveball and a slider, I usually work off both of those. I throw a changeup too, and I’ll only show that every once in a while. A four pitch guy out of the bullpen isn’t really something you normally see, but I don’t really use it too much. But I really try to work a little more on my fastball. That’s really something I’ve worked on since I’ve gotten in pro ball is trusting that fastball down in the zone a little bit more.”


On one of his role models, Chad Cordero:
“I haven’t talked to him. I would love to talk to him, and thank him for the advice he gave me about five or six years ago, but no I haven’t talked to him. Like I said before the season started, that was my goal. If I were to sign a professional contract, I wanted to try to get in the Big Leagues by the end of the year and that was really something I really worked for. That way I go out every day to get better to try to get closer to that goal. So that’s just something I kind of keep in mind that, ‘hey he did that.’ So it’s not out of the question.”


On the Minor League experience: 
“I learned how to sleep on a bus a lot better (laughs). I honestly didn’t anticipate how good the hitters were. You assume you’re going to wooden bats and the hitters wouldn’t be as good, because I’m just used to facing aluminum. But there’s really not that much difference because they’re better hitters and they really compensate for having wooden bats and, like I said earlier, you really learn how to pitch in the Minor Leagues and learn a lot from those older guys.”


On the adjustment period starting off in the Minors:
“Yeah that period was actually my second pitch of pro ball that went about 500 feet (laughs). I remember I fell 1-0 behind the guy and it was my first batter so I was excited to be out there and I was in front of a big crowd at Hagerstown and I was like, ‘okay, I’m going to throw this fastball by him here.’ He hit it way over center field and it was one of those ‘welcome to pro ball’ moments. And I asked the guy doing the radar how hard I threw it and he said 96 and I was like ‘wow, that’s pretty hard’ but it was belt high… In college you can get away with that sometimes and that’s when I was really like ‘okay, I need to make some adjustments with my fastball and work down in the zone a little bit more.”


Storen060208_01KT.jpgOn what he studied at Stanford:

Product design. It’s in the mechanical engineering school out there, so it’s a combination of mechanical engineering and art. My mom is a graphic designer so I’ve always been interested in design and I like engineering so it’s a perfect fit.”

Olsen can’t beat friend, former team in strong return from DL

Scott Olsen.jpg

Scott Olsen pitched well against his former team and good friend Ricky Nolasco but the Marlins still beat the Nationals, 4-2, on Monday night. The left-hander, who had been on the 15-day disabled list since May 18th, gave up two runs on six hits while striking out seven over seven innings. It was his longest outing since April 18th. Olsen left with the game tied at 2-2, however relievers Julian Tavarez and Ron Villone each gave up a run in the eighth which proved to be enough for the Marlins’ victory. Ryan Zimmerman hit his 13th home run on the season off of Nolasco in the second inning. It was Olsen’s first start since being placed on the DL on May 18th with left shoulder tendinitis.

 “I’m not Jamie Moyer — I can’t really be hugely successful throwing 82 or 83 [mph],” Olsen said. “The exercises and new routines that the training staff and physical therapists got me on here — it’s a real credit to them. Every start I’ve made to this point has put me at 88 to 92 [mph].”

In other Nationals News:


Craig Stammen and Willie Harris secure regular roles with the team

– National’s sign second-round pick Jeff Kobernus

– Syracuse’s Garrett Mock is IL Pitcher of the Week

Ryan Zimmerman falls to third place in All-Star voting. Cast your vote HERE.