Bryan Shaw went 2-1 this year, leading Long Beach State with eight saves, posting a 1.84 ERA, fanning 35, and walking six in 29.1 innings. In 2007, he compiled a 6-2 record with 11 saves, 44 strikeouts, and 22 walks through 49 frames. Shaw did not allow a home run in 80 appearances over his three college seasons.
Long Beach State was extremely well-represented in this year's draft, with seven players getting drafted on Day One and another marking the first pick of Day Two. We spoke with Bryan a couple of days ago about his selection, stuff, and durability.
FutureBacks: How excited were you to get selected as high as you did?
Bryan Shaw: It was awesome! I was expecting to go in the top five rounds. You never know which round in between there, and I ended up being the second round and the second guy out of Long Beach to go. It was really exciting.
FB: Do you expect to sign pretty soon?
BS: Actually, we just came to an agreement yesterday or the day before. I'm actually flying out to Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday to sign my contract, do my physical, do all that kind of stuff then. Then I'll be heading out on Wednesday.
FB: Please tell me about the type of pitcher that you are: what you throw and what your arm slot is.
BS: I think about an average, three-quarters arm slot. I would consider myself a power pitcher. Mainly fastball; I can get it up there around 97, 98 [MPH] on a good day. I've got a good slider that comes back for my out pitch, usually. I can throw the slider for a strike pretty much consistently. So I'm pretty much a two-pitch guy.
FB: Now is there some sink on that fastball? I've noticed that you've been pretty stingy about giving up longballs.
BS: Yeah, every once in a while, [I use] a two-seam; it's got a little bit of run on it. My four-seam's pretty true; it usually stays inside corner on the lefties, and then my two seam sinks in to righties. So I get a lot of jams on that and a lot of cappers to lefties, so I think it's pretty efficient.
FB: So if the four-seamer's around 97-98, where does the two-seamer normally sit at?
BS: Well, the four seamer usually sits around 93 or 95, and I'll get it up there occasionally at 97. Usually, the two-seam's probably close to 90, 92-93.
FB: Tell me about being a closer and having the mentality to come in during pressure situations.
BS: I've always liked pressure situations. I've been the closer all three years here at Long Beach. Some guys don't like coming in there with that pressure: bases loaded, runners on second-and-third or whatever. I love coming in there in those situations.
FB: I see you're a switch-hitter. Does that mean you're pretty good with the bat?
BS: In high school, I actually swung a little too, but I don't know about anymore. It's been about three years.
FB: Do you have any specific goals going into your professional career this season?
BS: Yeah, obviously everybody's main goal is to make it to the majors. My personal goal here is to go out there and do my best. The way [Diamondbacks Director of Player Development] A.J. Hinch has been talking to me, I can get to the majors in a couple of years if I continue to pitch the way I did at Long Beach and everywhere else.
FB: I noticed that you had fewer innings pitched this year than you did as a sophomore. Were you injured for part of the year?
BS: No, the only reason they pitched me so much last year versus this year is that last year, I was their only closer in the pen. This year, we had what we called our "Final Four" guys: We had two setup guys, and we had me and another closer. So we had more depth in the back of the bullpen this year than we did last year, and we pretty much split time between all four of us at the back instead of just me going out there all the time.
FB: How did you hold up towards the end of 2007? Were you tiring a bit under that workload?
BS: No. Actually, I was fine. There were three or four series where I threw all three games, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I just like pitching, so the more opportunities I had, the better for me. I wasn't tired at all.
FB: How do you condition yourself to go that many innings or to go so many back-to-back outings?
BS: Well, we had a running regimen and a lifting regimen. We do get up every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at five or six o'clock in the morning, and we lift, then we practice - you always have to run in practice, whether it's sprint or long distance. So our coach was really good at keeping us in shape and keeping our arms healthy.
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