Q&A With Bama Signee

An imposing figure on the mound, right-handed pitcher Shane Funk, 6-6, 235, is considered one of the nation's best high school pitchers entering the 2005 season. He signed with The University of Alabama in November, but Funk is projected to go as an early round pick in the 2005 Major League Baseball Draft.

Shane Funk is one of the more complete right-handed pitchers at the prep level. Able to throw in the mid 90s with his fastball, Funk has developed an excellent breaking pitch repertoire and has shown great command in his career. He went 5-4 with a 1.57 ERA last season, striking out 108 batters in 62 1/3 innings for Arnold High School in Panama City Beach, Florida. Funk was selected to the AFLAC All-American Classic this past August as one of the nation's top rising senior talents and amazed scouts in his one inning of work by striking out the side. Shane Funk sat down with Scout.com for a Q&A session.

Other than playing baseball, what are some of your other hobbies?

I like to go fishing and play some golf when I am not playing baseball.

Bring us through your repertoire a little bit?

I am a fast ball, curve ball and change-up pitcher. My fast ball is my most dominant pitch touching 94-95 mph. My curve ball is my go to pitch, the one I go to second and usually get people out with.

Is there a pitch you are currently working on?

I am working on a slider and a split-finger right now, fooling around with both of them and trying to figure out which one I like better, and which one I can have the most success with.

How did you learn how to pitch?

Ever since a young age I was always surrounded with good coaching. When I was 12 and 13 years old I was on a team that went 59-7 and we had an outstanding pitching coach, who pitched in the Red Sox farm system. He taught me a lot about pitching, a lot about the game, and he was the one who taught me my curve ball. Now in high school, I am lucky to be surrounded by different guys who offer the best advice possible.

What college will you be attending in 2005?

I signed my letter of intent with Alabama on November 10. I took a visit to Alabama, and their facilities just blew me away. I saw all the players and the coaches and it just seemed like an overall good atmosphere. To go along with all that they play in the SEC which is the best conference around, so you are playing with the best day in and day out, so you can't ask for anything more.

What will you look to accomplish in your senior season?

I am just going to look to have some fun and win some games having the college stuff taken care off. The only thing that I really have left is to show my stuff to the professional scouts, and I figure if I have the season I know I can, all that will take care of itself.

Do you have a favorite MLB team?

I have always followed the Braves, but I don't consider them a favorite, so I guess the answer to your question is that I don't have a favorite team.

What pitcher would you try to model your game after?

Roger Clemens, just because he is real intimidating on the mound and he can just take over the game at any given point.

What is your outlook for the 2005 MLB draft?

I just hope to have a good season and in return that will put me in a position to get drafted and see what happens. If I go high enough it would be nice to sign and go into professional baseball. However, it just depends on what happens.

What has been your most memorable baseball moment for you?

Probably the AFLAC game, in which I struck out three guys in an inning, and then got to meet up with Cal Ripken during that week, so that was an exciting experience for me.

Do you feel any pressure constantly playing in front of scouts and college coaches?

There is a lot of pressure on you, however in a way it is good because it helps you out and gets you used to that type of stuff. You play against the best in the nation, and at the same time it helps you gain exposure for yourself as well, and if you can go out and perform against the best players at a young age, then the scouts can project you to do the same later on in your career.

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