Thank you for taking the time to sit down with royalsprospects.com for this 9 inning interview
1st inning- How important was baseball to you as a little kid?
Kevin-Â Baseball was a big part of my life growing up. My cousin Matt den Dekker who plays for the New York Mets lived right down the street when I was younger, and I definitely remember the countless days we would spend In baseball related competitions with each other. I normally won the competitions.
2nd inning- You were one of the premiere pitchers in the state of Florida in high school and unfortunately you had a setback…how much did that experience make you appreciate the game?
Kevin-Â Having been through some injuries in baseball has definitely helped me realize what a blessing it is to be able to play baseball everyday. I had some doubts if I would ever come back to where I was before surgery and that really gave me a different perspective on baseball that today could be the last time I get to play baseball.
3rd inning- You had such a stellar season last year at Florida….after all that you had been thru with the high school injury and the lost season in college what did 2010 mean to you?
Kevin-Â Last season at The University of Florida really just gave me my confidence back. To be able to come back from an injury and help a young team make it to Omaha was really special.
4th inning- Going forward as a professional I know you have 3 very good pitches (fastball, slider, change) do you see a return to the starting rotation in your future or do you think the pen suits you best?
Kevin-Â You never know what will happen in the future. Having said that they want to keep me in the bullpen. I think the bullpen suits me better and my stuff is a little better when I come out of the pen.
5th inning- Talk to us about your arsenal…when you are on top of your game where do your pitches sit and if you are having an off day what do you rely on?
Kevin-Â On a good day my fastball is at 92-94, slider 80-83, change-up 83-85. On an off day I really just focusing on getting ahead of the hitters and keeping the ball low in the strike zone.
6th inning- What is your process in the pen before you enter a game (they say Trevor Hoffman would catch some z’s)
Kevin-Â Trever Hoffman is a legend so he can get away with that. I don’t really have anything special I do besides just getting loose and warming up. On a good day i’m able to just zone everything out and just focus on what I have to do.
7th inning- You joined your college teammate Patrick Keating as a member of the Royals. He struggled a bit as a collegiate (his last year) before signing with the Royals but a move to the bullpen has made him a very good prospect. What are your thoughts on Keating?
Kevin-Â Haha you have to give my boy Keating a little more credit than that. He went 8-0 his junior year with a really good ERA. His velocity dropped at the end of the year which made him fall in the draft and he decided to come back to school. He struggled at the start of his senior year and got moved to the bullpen and really started to get better. He just kept that going in pro ball and he’s doing really well for himself. I expect to see him in the big leagues sometime this season. He is also on of the funniest people I have met and he is really proud of his spring training number.
8th inning- I loved watching the Gators last year with the defense of Fontana and Zunino and the bats of Maddox and Tucker..can you share with us anything you will miss about being a Florida Gator?
Kevin-Â I’ll definitely miss the bros that I got to know over my years at UF, and the fact that every game in college ball means so much. I will also miss the grog house.
9th inning- Kevin, what are you most proud of?
Kevin-Â Closing out the two games that clinched us the SEC in South Carolina against Whit Merrifield and the Gamecocks. It was so awesome to have 10,000 fans screaming and then 10 seconds later all you could here was us celebrating.
extra innings- Ok, Kevin if you have 4 tickets to the ultimate concert who would the opening and closing act be and who gets the other 3 tickers ( 2 current or former teammates and one celebrity and why)
Kevin-Â Sublime would open up, and closing it off would have to be Bassnectar. I would have to take my two roomates this offseason Pat Keating and Matt den Dekker because they know how to have a good time. The celebrity I would take is Brooklyn Decker because she is perfect. I would try to convince her to break up with Andy Roddick and marry me.
thanks Kevin and best of luck this season
Kevin- Follow me on twitter @ChapStarr