Sunday, December 15, 2019

PhoulBallz Interview: Off-season Check In with RHP Kevin Gowdy

Kevin Gowdy, image- Jay Floyd
Righty hurler Kevin Gowdy has a successful season as a member of the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws this year. After missing two full seasons following UCL surgery, the 2016 second round draft pick finally made it through a year totally healthy.

In 24 games with the Claws, the California native posted a 0-6 record with a 4.68 ERA and a .281 batting average against.

Recently, I talked with the 22-year-old about his off-season, his progress during the regular season and more. Read ahead for that complete interview.

-What have you been up to since the season wrapped up as far as baseball work?

So after the season wrapped up September 2nd, I went to instructs for two weeks to work on pitch design, I was out in Florida for another two weeks for strength camp and have also had some much-enjoyed time with friends and family.

-How long do you rest and avoid picking up a baseball? And during that time are you doing any conditioning or other sorts of work outs?

Once I’m done with baseball completely for the year, I take about a week off of everything and just hang out by the beach or with friends to really just unwind and get my mind right before getting back to work. After that week, I start getting back into strength training and arm care. I also take about a month of throwing completely, and after that I start playing light catch a couple times a week just to get my arm moving.

-What facility do you have access to use for training purposes?

This off-season I’ve trained at a place called BSTI which is in Aliso Viejo, California and ran through my agent. I’ve also been up at Driveline Baseball in Seattle which has been incredible so far.

-What would you say was your biggest takeaway from 2019? Any major lessons or improvements?

2019 was honestly an awesome year for me. Towards the beginning of the season and even into the summer I had a ton of ups and downs, especially with my command, velocity and my off-speed stuff, but I think a lot of that was to be expected coming back from Tommy John Surgery.

I was frustrated at times but going through such a grueling rehab process really taught me patience and mental toughness when I’m struggling. In a way I’m almost thankful I went through that surgery because it taught me so much about myself as a competitor and as a person. But once I started getting close to that two years post operation date, it all started to come together. My velocity started climbing back up into the mid 90’s, I started throwing my off-speed stuff where I wanted to and I cut down my walk rate by a lot.

This year was all about staying healthy, and I was able to do that. I don’t pay much attention to Twitter, but it was always funny to me when I’d see posts about how I haven’t returned from surgery or how I’ll never be the same pitcher, when, like I said, this year was all about staying healthy and by the end of the year, I was an even better version of myself pre-surgery.

I learned so much this year and am so fired up to get out there and compete next year.

-Do you have any big plans remaining for the off-season? Any vacations or anything else?

I don’t have too many big plans for this off-season, but I’ve had a few little trips here and there. One of them was to my buddy Jonathon Hennigan's wedding in Center, Texas back in October and I had an absolute blast with a bunch of the guys from the organization.

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