Friday, May 23, 2014

Kenny Giles Interview Excerpts

Kenny Giles, Image- Jay Floyd
Recently, I spoke with Phillies pitching prospect Kenny Giles for a segment on Phillies Nation TV. Some of what the 23-year-old right-hander chatted with me about didn't make the cut for the show, but I've transcribed that material below.

Through 18 combined games with Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley this season, Giles has posted a 2-0 record along with eight saves, a 1.29 ERA and a .155 batting average against.  Additionally, the Phils' 7th round pick from 2011 has struck out 33 and walked 10 in 21 innings.

Read ahead for some exclusive quotes from Kenny.


-I asked Giles which individual stood out among Phillies teammates that he learned the most from during his time with the big club in spring training this year...

I can't just pick one guy.  I mean, everybody on that team opened up my eyes and opened my mind to bigger and better things.  Just things I never thought I would think about.  I'd just say everybody on that team opened my eyes.


-Giles spoke about the progress of his consistency and how that is key for him...

I think my consistency is getting a lot better.  My control is getting there.  I mean, I wouldn't say I'm perfect.  I'm never gonna be perfect, but I think over the years, I've gotten so much better with my consistency.  I've been a lot better this year.  


-On the subject of how missing a lengthy amount of time last season with oblique strains and how that helped him develop mental toughness...

It was a big thing mentally.  I mean, everything I went through was really hard on me.  I really wanted to get on the field.  I'm one of those guys that even if something hurts a little bit, I'm gonna push right through it.  But, in that case, I couldn't do it, 'cause it's one of those things where (the Phillies) wouldn't let me.  And, so, they sat me down and were like, "Hey, you need to take a breather.  Take some time off and focus on what you need to do first."  And they broke me down and I started to see why they wanted me to do that.  Right now, it's been great so far. 


-I asked Giles if he has athletics in his family tree...

I've got some athletics.  Nothing you would expect.  My mother was a swimmer and my dad was a track star, wrestler and a football player in high school and he did track in college.  So, I don't know where this arm strength came from, but I guess that's the perfect combination for it.  

My brother (Joshua) played for the Texas Rangers' (organization) for five years, now currently playing indy ball right now and I have an older sister (Cassandra) that played played three years of (collegiate) softball as a pitcher as well.


-Giles also spoke of getting a kick out of hitting 100 MPH on ballpark radar guns and the buzz that comes from the crowd and the dugouts when he enters a game...
 

I enjoy it.  That's who I am.  I'm not gonna change that for the world.  I'm the guy that can pump triple digits whenever I need to.  It's always there and I'm going to unleash it once it a while.  That's just who I am.  That's just what I do.

It's like a sideshow for everybody.  I like to enjoy and I like to entertain people.  But, it's always fun.  The more people (there are) wanting to see me, the more excited I'll get.

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