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OnBaseMachine
02-19-2010, 04:52 PM
Leake aiming high in first Spring Training
Reds' 2009 first-round pick targeting fifth spot in rotation
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

02/19/10 4:25 PM EST

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Of all the Reds players to make their way to the new Spring Training complex in Arizona, pitcher Mike Leake probably had the shortest trip.

Leake, the organization's first-round Draft pick in 2009, lives in Phoenix and spent the previous three years starring on the mound for nearby Arizona State University.

In his first Spring Training, the 22-year-old Leake wants his journey to the Major Leagues to be just as short. Although he hasn't been mentioned to be in the mix for the vacant fifth spot in the rotation, it is his target.

"I'm definitely aiming that high," Leake said. "I realize my chances aren't as great as some of the guys. I basically have to come out and wow people and show them what I can do."

If he made the team out of camp, it would mean Leake would get to skip the Minors entirely.

"That would be nice," he said.

Generously listed at 6-foot-1, Leake was a sinkerball specialist for ASU when he was made the eighth overall selection. Because he pitched 142 innings while going 16-1 and appeared in June's College World Series, he did not pitch for the organization after he signed in August.

Leake did pitch six games and made five starts in the Arizona Fall League, where he posted a 1.37 ERA with three walks and 15 strikeouts. Besides the sinker that helped him succeed in college, he can also throw a cut fastball, changeup and a curve-slider.

"It helped me see what kind of talent is out there and what Double-A and Triple-A players look like," Leake said. "It definitely helped me to get on track sooner. It took me a couple of outings in the fall league to get back into my own mindset and pitch how I pitch."

Reds pitching coach Bryan Price watched three of those games and liked what he saw.

"You're not sticking your neck out if you would say this kid is ready to compete at the higher levels of the Minor Leagues and challenge to be on our Major League team quickly," Price said. "In the same breath, you have to say you have to go out there and do it.

"There are a lot of guys that you build up prematurely, which is unfair to a kid like him who is in his first full season of professional baseball and never been to a Spring Training. His first Spring Training is big league camp. He has enough challenges of his own. I think he is a very polished kid, and he's just going to go out there and pitch his way and force our hand."

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100219&content_id=8099848&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

MikeS21
02-19-2010, 05:09 PM
Has anyone else noticed that when a rookie/minor leaguer gets interviewed, they tend to use the word "definitely" an abnormal number of times during the course of the interview? :p:

nate
02-19-2010, 05:31 PM
Has anyone else noticed that when a rookie/minor leaguer gets interviewed, they tend to use the word "definitely" an abnormal number of times during the course of the interview? :p:

Definitely.

camisadelgolf
02-19-2010, 09:30 PM
Has anyone else noticed that when a rookie/minor leaguer gets interviewed, they tend to use the word "definitely" an abnormal number of times during the course of the interview? :p:
It's like definitely a young-person thing.

HokieRed
02-20-2010, 01:27 PM
It's like definitely a young-person thing.

Basically.

redsmetz
02-20-2010, 04:02 PM
I don't think I'm alone in this, but every time I read something quoting Bryan Price, I keep thinking he's going to be a huge difference maker for the Reds and their pitching this year. The guy just sounds brilliant. I'm anxious to see him working with Leake and all of these guys.

Screwball
02-22-2010, 12:08 PM
I don't think I'm alone in this, but every time I read something quoting Bryan Price, I keep thinking he's going to be a huge difference maker for the Reds and their pitching this year. The guy just sounds brilliant. I'm anxious to see him working with Leake and all of these guys.

I know what you mean. I get the same feeling as I did when the Bengals hired Mike Zimmer as DC. Like Zim, Price has a bunch of young and veteran talent to work with, and what he says to the media makes me believe he knows how to harness it. Let's just hope he can achieve the same results as Coach Zimmer.

TheBigLebowski
02-22-2010, 12:50 PM
I don't think I'm alone in this, but every time I read something quoting Bryan Price, I keep thinking he's going to be a huge difference maker for the Reds and their pitching this year. The guy just sounds brilliant. I'm anxious to see him working with Leake and all of these guys.

Indubitably.

thorn
02-22-2010, 06:52 PM
It's funny, I watched an interview yesterday with Strausburg on ESPN and he used definitely a lot during the interview, it almost got annoying. Now every time I hear an interview it's the one word I listen for, like a bad song stuck in my head.

mace
02-22-2010, 08:18 PM
It's funny, I watched an interview yesterday with Strausburg on ESPN and he used definitely a lot during the interview, it almost got annoying. Now every time I hear an interview it's the one word I listen for, like a bad song stuck in my head.

To me, the word so annoyingly in vogue is "amazing." As in, "Working with Owen Wilson was just amazing."

And as I was typing this, I heard it twice in an iPhone commercial. Amazing.

Spring~Fields
02-22-2010, 11:09 PM
I don't think I'm alone in this, but every time I read something quoting Bryan Price, I keep thinking he's going to be a huge difference maker for the Reds and their pitching this year. The guy just sounds brilliant. I'm anxious to see him working with Leake and all of these guys.

You know, I get something positive from Price also, I am looking forward to what he can achieve. He seems to be good with the constructive and positive answers with something to support them when responding.

membengal
02-26-2010, 03:16 PM
To quote The Wire:

"Most def".

OnBaseMachine
02-27-2010, 10:10 PM
C. Trent on Leake:

* Chapman wasn't the only young pitcher impressing, Mike Leake and Travis Wood were very good.

Leake throws harder than I'd been led to believe and has excellent command and presence. He had a nice K of Brandon Phillips. Wood broke Phillips' bat in one at-bat.

http://cnati.com/blogs/ctrent/

membengal
02-28-2010, 07:57 AM
Glad to hear on Leake. He was reported to be low 90s with his fastball, with pinpoint location, which sure seemed to be plenty enough "stuff" in terms of velocity, was never real sure why he has been pegged as a soft-tosser by some. The implication is that he gets by and has gotten by on guile. His stuff is superb all on its own.