Have you met Joe Musgrove?
*RHP Joe Musgrove, selected 46th over-all in North America in 2011 from El Cajon, Calif., by scout Dan Cox, is another Blue Jays mound prospect ….
By Clayton Richer
Joseph Musgrove was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the first round, 46th overall in the 2011 amateur draft out of Grossmont High in El Cajon, Calif.
Musgrove signed early with the Jays and began his professional career with the rookie-class Gulf Coast Blue Jays starting seven contests and posting his first pro win.
The 6-foot-5 right hander features a wide array of pitches already in his arsenal including a four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, slider, curve and a “fosh” pitch which is a cross between a split-fingered pitch and a straight change-up. One thing is for certain Musgrove will be an intimidating figure standing on the hill barrelling his 94 MPH fastball on a downward plane.
Musgrove joins a long list of Jays pitching prospects who hope to one day grace the Rogers Centre mound but for now he is content honing his craft wherever the Blue Jays see fit. As you will see from the interview below Musgrove has a good head on his shoulders and is wise beyond his years when it comes to pitching and what it will take for him to make it north of the border with the Jays.
Joe Musgrove Interview:
1. What was the deciding factor to sign with the Blue Jays and forego an education at San Diego State University and secondly how soon in the process did you know you were going to sign with the Jays?
There was no doubt I was going to sign and I tried to make that as clear as I could to the scouts: ”where ever you take me I’m signing.” The way I see it, the minor leagues is my college and my major is baseball education. I don’t think there’s a better place to learn and work on the game than at the pro level. It has been my dream since I can remember and there was no way I was going to pass it up.. As for the Blue Jays, I had no clue until my name was called. I knew they were an option but was not expecting it at all. It was a great surprise.
2. You signed with the Jays out of high school for $500,000, what was the biggest item you purchased with the signing bonus to reward yourself?
My family has gone through a rough few years with my father being disabled and not being able to work, so a lot of money has gone to the ones who have supported me all throughout my childhood, my family. I did however need my own car and I decided on the 2012 Dodge Charger!
3. What pitches do you throw and what is your “out pitch” and at what velocity?
I throw a four-seam around 91-94, two-seam at 88-91, straight change around 80, slider 80-82, curve 75-78, and a fosh at about 82-84 I like to use the Fosh and the slider as out pitches.
4. For people who have never seen you, what type of pitcher can they expect from and what MLB player do you model yourself after or emulate?
I’d say I’m an aggressive pitcher who likes to attack hitters and not nibble around the zone. From a physical look I’d say a Josh Johnson type. Mentally, I try to resemble Jamie Moyer, Iworked with him a bit in the off season and picked up a ton of very helpful things.
5. You are currently in extended spring training in Florida; do you figure to be assigned to the short season with the Vancouver Canadians or Bluefield Blue Jays in June?
You know if you asked any of the guys down here every one of them would probably say they hope to go to Vancouver. Vancouver is something to shoot for, more like a goal to set for yourself. If I make it great, if not I’ll work my way up. That’s all up to where the staff see’s me fitting in. I’m gonna do my best to put myself in a good position for a spot up there with my performance and effort and leave the rest up to the staff.
6. What has been your biggest baseball related accomplishment to date?
I’d absolutely have to say draft day 2011. Something I’ll never forget.
7. What is the one pitch you feel you need to add or perfect to be a successful major league pitcher?
My change up. I’ve learned quickly that you can be successful with just a fastball and change up, and the fact that I have more pitches makes me more of a threat, so if I can perfect that change up it will give the hitters one more pitch they have to worry about.
8. What has been the biggest transition for you getting accustomed to life in the minor leagues?
There’s a lot of baseball related transitions but I enjoy those, it makes things a bit more challenging and makes you push yourself. I’d have to say living with a roommate. You gotta learn them and all their habits so that you can get along. Everything from leaving the TV on or not at night, liking the same music, etc. … A lot different than being able to do whatever, whenever you want like when you had your own room at home. I got Tom Robson as my roommate and we get along well and figured out each others likes and dislikes.
9. Who has been the most influential person in helping you develop as a baseball player throughout your career?
My godfather Dominic Johnson. He got me started as a pitcher at age 14 and I have learned everything I know from that man and am very great full for all he has done for me. And of course my father who has been by my side every step of the way and who introduced me to the game that would later on give me the opportunity of a lifetime.
10. Your ultimate walk out song for your major league debut in Toronto?
Vampire by Tribal Seeds