Thursday, December 27, 2012

Off-season Q&A: Austin Wright Issues Challenge

Left-handed pitcher Austin Wright has been a fast rising performer since he was selected by the Phillies in the 8th round of the 2011 draft, out of the University of Mississippi. In his first season of pro ball that year, the 6-foot-4 235-pounder tallied a 4-3 record with a 3.03 ERA and an 11.2 K/9 mark combined with short-season A level Williamsport and Class A Lakewood.

In 2012, Wright, 23, became an all-star and was honored as the Florida State League pitcher of the year, as he posted an 11-5 record, a 3.47 ERA and an 8.11 K/9 mark with Class A Advanced Clearwater.

Recently, I spoke with Austin about his off-season routine and how he uses his time during the colder months, during which the Illinois native issued a challenge to any gamers that might see this material. Read ahead for that full interview.


- How much time off from throwing do you take during the off-season? When do you begin a throwing program to prepare for spring training?

I took off October and November and started throwing December 1st.


- I know you're a Chicago area guy. Do you have a hard time finding a venue to keep your arm in shape during the colder months?

No, I've got it down. I have a pitching mound in my basement, where I do dry drills, and then in mid-December my dad sets up a warehouse to be used as a baseball practice facility for local teams. It allows me to air it out a little, and I workout there with my dad until I leave for spring training.


- What exactly is your routine during the off-season and is this year different than your routines from previous off-seasons?

I'm doing the same things I did last year during the off-season. From the time I get home, I spend a lot of time at the health club, doing a variety of classes and workouts. I do yoga, swimming, core workout, weights and run a little 5-on-5 basketball.


- When trade rumors pop up, do you ever worry about having your name attached to stories like that, or would that be welcome, because it might mean you have impressed another team and you are a hot commodity?

I try not to worry too much about things that are out of my control. Right now, I'm just focused on improving my game and I'll let the business side take care of itself.


- I know some guys hold down jobs over the winter months. Do you work at all and, if so, what do you do?

I didn't work last year, but this year I was asked to do pitching lessons for some travel teams in the area, which has been a lot of fun.


- What video game is taking up the most hours of yours, since the season ended? And what teammate(s) are you whooping at it?

I usually play whatever game/sport is in season, so, right now it's Madden, and NBA2k13. I'll take on anyone willing to play me - Xbox LIVE awright022.


Check back here throughout the off-season for updates on Phillies players from around the globe in the fall/winter leagues and plenty of interviews.

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