He missed the entire 2011 season recovering from Tommy John surgery performed in the fall of 2010. A shortstop for his first two years in Stetson, the coaches realized they were missing out on his good arm and tossed him on the hill in his junior year. The shock to the arm from playing a position, to the hefty demands of starting was too much for his UCL. He initially reported pain in the summer of 2010 with Kingsport and the Mets opted for a non-surgical rehab. When that failed to alleviate his pain, he had surgery in the fall.
You care because he already has a plus fastball. In his first start in Savannah, he was 93/94 mph with a little sink, and touched 97 and mixed in a few 91s as well. He has some feel for changing the shape of the slider and was not afraid to throw his changeup, which had good armspeed in the one outing I saw. He's got a nice pitcher's build at a lean 6'4" with long arms and legs.
The full interview is below in the audio player. These are some choice snippets.
On moving from SS to starting pitcher in collegeMy junior year at Stetson is when I really started pitching. I started at short, and I was gonna be a closer. About half-way through the year, I got converted into a starter. That's the story, I guess.
On why he can throw a breaking ball for strikesLotta hard work. Even in spring, coming off when I was throwing in Florida after the surgery, I was throwing live BPs and stuff, just been working on 'em a lot and a lot of people helping me with it.
On changing the shape of his sliderThe ones that are loopier are just "get me over" if it's first pitch or something. With two strikes, I try to bury it to get guys to chase it.
On looking at the game as a pitcher vs. a SSAs a pitcher, on the days you aren't pitching, studying the hitters you're going to face in the next day or so and learning their tendencies. I think you're more focused on what's going on with the other players compared to if you're in the field, you're more focused on what their pitcher is doing.
On his HS hoops experienceI was the "1" and "2" guard. I'd be point some days, and shooting guard the next. I had a chance to play in college, but I didn't do it.... Bethune-Cookman, actually.