Friday, May 7, 2010

PhoulBallz Q&A With Jonathan Pettibone

Jonathan Pettibone is a 19-year-old right handed pitching prospect with the Phillies Low-A level affiliate Lakewood BlueClaws. Pettibone was drafted by the Phillies with a supplemental 3rd round pick in the 2008 amateur draft. Pettibone signed with the Phillies, despite being committed to attend USC out of high school.

Jonathan's father, Jay, is a former Major League pitcher. The elder Pettibone was a 1979 draft pick by the Rangers and eventually reached the Majors, in 1983, when he started 4 games for the Twins.

Through 5 starts this season, Pettibone is 1-0 with a 3.45 ERA. In his last 2 outings, he has allowed just 2 earned runs in 14 total innings.


I spoke with Jonathan the other day and that interview lies ahead.


In your most recent start, you went 7 shutout innings against the Yankees affiliate Charleston this week. Can I get some comments from you on that excellent outing?

My arm felt good. We had finally gotten a day off after, I think, 24 straight games. So it was good to get the extra day of rest. I felt good. I was just attacking the zone and throwing strikes, mixing it up and let my defense (play well behind me).


You've had some pretty solid success overall early this season. What do you think is helping you most thus far?

Just attacking the zone, getting ahead in counts and mixing the pitches up. Then I just let them put the ball in play. And my defense has made some great plays behind me.


How big of a help have your catcher, Sebastian Valle, and pitching coach Steve Schrenk been for you this season?

With coach Steve (he helps) with working on mechanics. Starting this year in spring training there are a few things that he adjusted that helped a lot with velocity and location. So I credit him with that. And Sebastian's always been good. I've thrown to him the last two years and I know him well and he knows me well and it's been working out so far.


You missed some time last year in Williamsport with an injury. How discouraging was that and what was the recovery process like?

I mean, it was my first full year, so my arm kind of tired out toward the end of the season. They shut me down for a little bit, I never went on the disable list or anything. It was just some needed rest they gave me and I came back strong.


What went into your decision to sign with the Phillies after committing to USC?

The Phillies stayed in contact with me after they drafted me. I knew they wanted me, (based on the money I signed for), which was definitely a factor. And I just really wanted to play pro ball.


What sort of impact did your dad have on your progression as a pitcher?

Well, growing up, he's always been my pitching coach, through little league. Always working on mechanics, teaching me how to throw, and then as soon as I got to high school he kind of backed off. But every time he saw something, because he's always watched me pitch, he'll definitely say something.


What is your pitch repertoire like and what would you consider your out pitch?

Right now, I am working with the 4-seam fastball, change up and curveball. The change up's actually coming along real well and I would say my fastball right now (is the out pitch) and then, second, my change up.


What was your favorite team & player growing up?

Being from southern California, I followed the Angels. They had that good team back in '02 when they went to the World Series and stuff. I liked a lot of guys on that team...a lot of pitchers. I always went to their games. I (looked up to) John Lackey...big build, throws hard, good curve ball and he's always out there battling.


What is your favorite baseball movie?

Bull Durham. It relates to the minor league life and kind of what we go through and all the struggles and everything.
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