I didn't see this anywhere else, even though it's almost definitely been posted by now. Anyway, just in case no one's posted it, here it is from reds.com: http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/...=.jsp&c_id=cin
Roenicke originally had gridiron dreams
Right-handed prospect switched sports while at UCLA
By Brandon Harris / MLB.com
Right-hander Josh Roenicke has risen quickly in the Reds Minor League system.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- When Josh Roenicke finished high school and enrolled at UCLA, he didn't exactly envision a career as a professional baseball player.
Roenicke was a football player, and a pretty darn good one. He was the quarterback at Nevada Union High School in Grass Valley, Calif. If there was one career path the former Capital Athletic League football Most Valuable Player had in mind, it had him suiting up in pads and tossing touchdown passes -- not wearing a button-down uniform and throwing 98-mph fastballs.
Sometimes, though, you just can't avoid what's in your blood.
And so, here he is -- the 25-year-old should-be football player, son of one former big league outfielder and nephew of another, who has soared through the Reds Minor League system and made his mark as arguably the hardest-throwing pitcher in the organization.
Roenicke lasted three uninspiring seasons on the Bruins football team, including just one at quarterback before he was moved to wide receiver. After his third year, he left the team and switched his sole focus to baseball, though this time it wasn't with the all-or-nothing hopes of going pro like he had carried onto the football team.
"I was recruited in football, not baseball or basketball, so I thought that was going to be my career," Roenicke said. "I was confident I could go to the NFL as a quarterback, but that fell through. When I first started playing [baseball] in my second year of college, I was a defensive replacement in the outfield. A new staff came in and I told the pitching coach that I pitched in high school, and if he needed me to eat up innings, I could throw strikes."
And so it began. Roenicke quit the football squad after being moved to the scout team in his third year and concentrated all of his attention on baseball, where he played for two more years. He wiggled his way out of the outfield and into the bullpen, and wound up getting drafted by the Reds as a reliever in the 10th round of the 2006 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Roenicke's father, Gary, won a World Series with Baltimore in 1983 and now works as an Orioles scout. His uncle, Ron, played eight seasons in the Majors and now serves as the bench coach for the Angels. His older brother, Jarett, also played in the Minors, and his younger brother, Jason, was selected by the Blue Jays in this year's Draft.
With his bloodline chock full of baseball, it's easy to see how and why Roenicke needed just 15 1/3 innings of work throughout his career in UCLA's bullpen to get drafted and just two years in the Minors to advance to Triple-A Louisville, where his sizzling fastball and developing curveball have made him one of the hottest young pitchers waiting in line to for a shot at the Majors.
"I think I'm real close," Roenicke said. "I watch a lot of guys pitch in the big leagues, and I feel I'm ready right now. Once I start throwing my curveball for strikes, I think that'll put me over the edge and show that I'm definitely ready. I know when I get up there, it's a different ballgame. But right now, I feel confident and like I'm ready to go."
In many ways, Roenicke is right. His fastball hovers between 92-95 mph and can touch 98 mph when he's on. His curveball has only gotten better since he was promoted from Double-A Chattanooga on May 31, and he's started to work more with his changeup.
But the same fastball that has gotten him all the way to Louisville -- and the same fastball that drew praise from Reds manager Dusty Baker during Roenicke's first big league camp at Spring Training -- is part of the very reason he's yet to step foot on the big stage.
Roenicke was able to merely blow by hitters in Class A and Double-A, but it hasn't been the same in Triple-A where the all-fastball, all-the-time repertoire he's used to won't last and, more often than not, will result in short, problematic outings.
"You just can't throw all fastballs to the hitters in this league," Louisville pitching coach Ted Power said. "If they see five pitches and they're all fastballs, they're going to get the sixth one. You're not going to make them swing and miss.
"It's hard to say exactly how close he is [to being called up]. The thing you have to see from a pitcher in his position is, do they make the right adjustments [with their pitch selection]? Does their game not necessarily get better as far as velocity or break in the curveball, but do they get smarter? Do they learn how to work hitters? It's an all-around knowledge of the game, and I think those are the areas where he needs the most seasoning."
Louisville manager Rick Sweet said he's regularly asked for updates by the Reds on how Roenicke is performing, and so far, he hasn't much of anything but good news to relay.
Roenicke has a 2.70 ERA with 14 strikeouts through 13 1/3 innings of work. He's given up 13 hits, which he admits is a result of his affinity for throwing the fastball at inopportune times, and pitched a scoreless inning in his last outing on Saturday.
"I think about it every once in a while -- I was just in high A last year and now I'm in Triple-A, and I've only been playing for two years," Roenicke said. "I know a lot of guys who've spent a lot of time in the Minor Leagues. It's exciting and a really good feeling knowing that I'm that close. It's been really fun, and I'm really excited for the rest of the year. We'll see what happens."