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PhoulBallz Q&A w/ Justin DeFratus- Off-season Edition

Phillies pitching prospect Justin De Fratus wore multiple hats for the SAL Champion Lakewood BlueClaws during the 2009 season. He pitched in a relief, started, and made the SAL All Star team. In November this off-season Baseball America declared that De Fratus had the best control in the Phillies minor league system. This week I had the opportunity to speak with Phillies De Fratus about his off-season training among other things. Here is how that went down.

I have heard talk in the past about your training regimen and that you throw foul pole-to-foul pole...true or false? Talk a bit about that...

Haha... I've never actually thrown from foul pole to foul pole because it would kind of get in the way of the practice at my college, but I do get out pretty far during my long toss sessions. It is my belief that the best way to strengthen my arm is to max it out as far as I can for as long as I can while staying within the proper throwing mechanics. Although, I have never actually gone foul pol to foul pole, I have gone goal post to goal post on a foot ball field. I like to try and get it through the uprights on days when my arm really has a lot of life.


Do you view your off-season training routine as a way to keep the rust off or is it still a way to improve yourself?

I look at it as a way to improve. If you're not trying to improve every day then what are you doing? I'm not in the Big Leagues for a reason; therefor, I need to improve. I really feel I have turned a huge page in my career as far as my off-season training is concerned. I've really stepped it up this year and can't wait to see what type of results I come out with.


What other routines do you work on during the off-season? Anything specific for arm strength, or is it a lot of cardio...?

It's a lot of both. I spend 3-4 hours every day between my throwing and my time at the gym. I also try to spend as much time at a baseball field as I can so that all the standing in spring training isn't as much of a shock as it has been in years past.



Were there any goals that you set for yourself over the off-season?

I had one goal this off-season. Come to spring training in the best shape of my life and carry those work habits through the season... and I'm pretty confident in saying that I think I have reached my goal and I cannot wait to see where these new workout habits will take me, as I continue through my career.


Soon, you'll be heading to spring training early and you'll be driving from California all the way to Clearwater, Florida. Are you making any special stops en route?

The only sure stop I am making is in Texas to visit a friend. Other than that, I'm just going to drive until I'm tired, find the nearest hotel, sleep for the night, then continue. I want to get to Clearwater as quickly as possible.


Talk about the advantages for a minor leaguer like yourself to show up early in spring....and/or what do you hope to get out of the extra time? Also, is there anyone (coaches or other players) you hope to be able to spend extra time with?

It is more of an advantage for players from cold weather states to report early so that they can get acclimated to the temperature change. Being from California, weather is not a concern being that it is usually warmer and less windy in California at this time. Personally, I am just trying to be around baseball a little more and get some extra time with my conditioning coordinator.


You started and relieved for the SAL champion Lakewood BlueClaws last season. Do you have a grasp on which role you'll be filling this upcoming season, or will that be decided in spring training?

I honestly have no idea. I will gladly welcome any role as long as I am pitching. Hopefully, I will get a heads up sooner than later so that I can mentally and physically prepare for which ever role it may be. I'm sure I will find out towards the middle of spring.



Are there any new addictions for you since last season ended...online, food, TV, technology, games, or otherwise?

Most of my week nights are spent getting dominated in Madden 10 by my friend Jamison and my weekends are spent playing Rock Band and Rock Band 2 for about 4 hours with a bunch of my friends each night. Yes, I'm a bit of a dork.


What was your favorite movie that you saw over the off-season?

I would have to say The Blind Side, but I know that will change when I go and see Valentine's Day in a little over a week.

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