Recently, former Oregon State star pitcher and potential major leaguer, Andrew Moore, was nice enough to agree to do an interview with me. He was very insightful and forthcoming, as we talked about Oregon State, Superstitions, and the Minor League and Moore!
Q: Growing up around Eugene, was there any hesitation in your decision to come to Oregon State and what sold you on the program?
A: It was definitely a tough decision for my family and I to choose where to play college ball but once I got on campus in Corvallis I knew that would be where I was going to play. Growing up I was a huge Oregon State baseball fan. I still have the news paper clippings from the 06 National Championship hanging on my wall at home. Ultimately it was the coaches that made me want to play at Oregon State. You won't find a better staff in the country.
Q: Is Pat Casey the same behind the scenes?
A: Coach Case is the most competitive person I have ever met in my life. That mentality can be seen when you watch his teams play on the field. The game of baseball is so much more than just physical ability and he knows that. His job is to bring out the best version of you that there is, both on and off the field. There are times where he can be tough to play for but if you know that he truly wants the best for every member of the program then you'll respond well when he challenges you.
Q: What was your favorite win you had, individually while at OSU?
A: My favorite win at Oregon State would probably be against Kansas State my freshman year (2013) in the Super Regionals. We had just dropped a tough one to them the night before and knew we would be fighting for our season that next day. The energy in the stadium that day was unlike anything I've ever experienced before. The crowd was a huge part of why we were able to pull through in my start and the next day to punch our ticket to Omaha.
Q: You are projected to make it to your parent club, The Seattle Mariners, a team you grew up watching and being a fan of. What does this mean to you?
A: It means a lot. They had a lot of confidence in me to draft me in 2015 and have been a 1st class organization since then. They have given me so many great resources to improve, I couldn't ask for a better start to professional baseball. It's tough to look forward to making my MLB debut since I still have things I'm working on but if I do get to make my debut in Seattle it will be a dream come true.
Q: Do you set individual goals for yourself?
A: All the time. I'm a very goal-oriented person. I have some short-term goals I have made for myself this off-season and then I have a few goals that I want to achieve a little further down the line. At OSU this was a big focus during our team meetings. Setting goals that you come up with yourself is a great intrinsic motivator. I'm a firm believer that you need to find inspiration from within to really get the most out of yourself. Learning to push yourself to keep improving, even when times get tough, can be really beneficial to any athlete.
Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, how superstitious are you?
A: I would say around a 5 or 6. I have a few things that I always do on my start days but I would say they're more routine than superstition. At Oregon State I was a little higher up the scale, eating the same meal the night before and day of my starts, always walking the same route to get to Goss stadium from my apartment, and listening to the same playlist before I pitched.
Q: Take me back to the 2015, when you were selected 72ndoverall by the Mariners. Did you know they were going to draft you, or were you caught off guard? What was that day like for you?
A: We had no idea what to expect going into the draft. I knew a few teams had interest in taking me around that slot but it's really hard to know for sure. We got a call from Seattle a couple picks before 72 asking if I would sign if they took me and we agreed. From that point we just had to wait until it became official when Ken Griffey Jr. called my name. Before they called I was a nervous wreck. I was pacing the whole time while watching the draft and just waiting for the phone to ring.
Q: What started you journaling after every start?
A: I remember hearing some MLB guys talk about how they have benefited from journaling throughout their careers. I think it was a suggestion from Coach Yeskie that got me doing it though. I have done it every start now since my first OSU start back in 2013. It helps me get through rough stretches by reminding me of exactly what was going through my head when I was having a good day on the mound. It only takes 10-15 minutes and has been a huge tool for me to become a better pitcher.
Q: I hear you have become really close with Jamie Moyer, can you elaborate on what all he has taught you ?
A: I have had some great conversations with Jamie. We first met last year at Spring Training and have talked about 4 or 5 times since then. He has given me some great insight on how to approach throwing to different types of hitters you'll face and other ways to game plan going into a start. The biggest thing I have taken away from Jamie was his mindset in a big game or tight situation in a game. He told me that he always tried to throw slower whenever the stage got big. This would help slow the game down, calm down his body and mind, and not get away from his strength which was location and messing with the hitter's timing. He has been a great resource that I hope to work with more in the future.
Q: What would you tell your younger self, who was just stepping into college, knowing what you know now?
A: To enjoy every day at Oregon State as much as you can, time will go faster than you can imagine. This is one of the top places to play college baseball in the country. I can't believe how fast those 3 years in Corvallis went by. This is a hard concept to grasp going into college but definitely would mean a lot learn going into it. This is a message I've tried to relay to some of the guys on the team so hopefully they will take it to heart.
Q: Hardest batter you’ve had to face yet in the Minors?
A: I would probably have to go with either Dansby Swanson from the Braves or Ian Happ with the Cubs. They both have a really advanced approach at the plate. They know exactly what they want to do and rarely go out of that game plan. Those are fun at bats, you know it's going to be a battle every pitch.
Q: How are you dealing with all the attention on you as a top prospect and do you have any advice for future potential prospects, who might soon be stepping into your position?
A: I really try to avoid any prospect lists or articles. I was never a highly ranked prospect in high school or college and didn't let that ever get to me. Once the game starts none of that matters at all, it's just a matter of competing and executing pitches. I would give that person the advice that nothing in this game is given to you. You have to earn it. Just because your drafted high or are labeled as a top prospect doesn't mean you'll get to where you want. There's no substitute for hard work and attention to detail.
I would like to say thank you to Andrew again for doing this! Go Beavs!