Musgrove Focusing On Location

Supplemental first round draft pick Joe Musgrove has gotten his professional career under way with the Blue Jays organization. After spending most of the summer in the Gulf Coast League, the 6-foot-5 right-handed pitcher was called up to Bluefield late to finish out the season. During the offseason, he is looking to add velocity to his fastball and work on his pitch location.

Musgrove said he was surprised to get moved up to Bluefield so late in the season.

"It was really exciting," said Musgrove. "[It was] definitely something I wasn't expecting being a first-year player. I was kind of expecting to spend my summer down in the GCL and maybe be up here next year."

After eight outings in the GCL, Musgrove made two appearances with Bluefield, including one playoff outing. In 6.2 innings, he allowed one earned run and struck out five hitters.

Heading into the offseason, Musgrove said he would be working to get stronger in an effort to add velocity to his fastball, which he said has hit 96 mph.

"I'm looking to get into a little bit better shape and strengthen out my core a little bit," said Musgrove. "Hopefully I'll get a few more miles an hour on my fastball."

After dominating hitters in high school, Musgrove has learned he cannot get away with missing his location at the professional level.

"In high school, guys either couldn't catch up to it or hadn't seen the breaking ball before," said Musgrove. "It was pretty easy to get away with stuff down there."

Now facing better and more patient hitters, Musgrove is working on keeping the ball in the lower half of the zone.

"My first two outings were a little rough," said Musgrove. "I got smacked around a little bit. After my second outing I kind of learned to keep the ball down in the zone and spot it a lot better."

Musgrove said staying away from the top of the zone has helped him a lot.

"I've been working my two-seam low and away and living off that as my bread and butter," said Musgrove.

Bluefield pitching coach Antonio Caceres worked with Musgrove to make some minor tweaks to his mechanics.

"He just needs stay close and stay in line," said Caceres. "That's the main thing. When he does that, he commands three pitches and he looked really good on the mound."

Along with his fastballs, Musgrove throws a curveball, slider, changeup, and split-finger changeup. His arsenal of pitches and poise on the mound has made him an effective pitcher. He's also helped control the opposing team's running game by keeping base runners close to the bags.

"It's fun to watch him pitch," said Caceres. "His mound presence and his poise on the mound are solid," said Caceres. "He's controlled the running game very well. He's got a good move to first base and a slide-step to home plate and very good timing."

Musgrove has confidence that his skills can move him up through the minor league system.

"I think I have the stuff now that I can throw in the bigs," said Musgrove. "I've just got to kind of fine-tune things and work on location and be consistent with everything. That's what I'm looking to work at in the offseason."


Future Jays Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nMusgrove said he was surprised to get moved up to Bluefield so late in the season.
\r\n
\r\n\"It was really exciting,\" said Musgrove. \"[It was] definitely something I wasn't expecting being a first-year player. I was kind of expecting to spend my summer down in the GCL and maybe be up here next year.\"
\r\n
\r\nAfter eight outings in the GCL, Musgrove made two appearances with Bluefield, including one playoff outing. In 6.2 innings, he allowed one earned run and struck out five hitters.
\r\n
\r\nHeading into the offseason, Musgrove said he would be working to get stronger in an effort to add velocity to his fastball, which he said has hit 96 mph.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'm looking to get into a little bit better shape and strengthen out my core a little bit,\" said Musgrove. \"Hopefully I'll get a few more miles an hour on my fastball.\"
\r\n
\r\nAfter dominating hitters in high school, Musgrove has learned he cannot get away with missing his location at the professional level.
\r\n
\r\n\"In high school, guys either couldn't catch up to it or hadn't seen the breaking ball before,\" said Musgrove. \"It was pretty easy to get away with stuff down there.\"
\r\n
\r\nNow facing better and more patient hitters, Musgrove is working on keeping the ball in the lower half of the zone.
\r\n
\r\n\"My first two outings were a little rough,\" said Musgrove. \"I got smacked around a little bit. After my second outing I kind of learned to keep the ball down in the zone and spot it a lot better.\"
\r\n
\r\nMusgrove said staying away from the top of the zone has helped him a lot.
\r\n
\r\n\"I've been working my two-seam low and away and living off that as my bread and butter,\" said Musgrove.
\r\n
\r\nBluefield pitching coach Antonio Caceres worked with Musgrove to make some minor tweaks to his mechanics.
\r\n
\r\n\"He just needs stay close and stay in line,\" said Caceres. \"That's the main thing. When he does that, he commands three pitches and he looked really good on the mound.\"
\r\n
\r\nAlong with his fastballs, Musgrove throws a curveball, slider, changeup, and split-finger changeup. His arsenal of pitches and poise on the mound has made him an effective pitcher. He's also helped control the opposing team's running game by keeping base runners close to the bags.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's fun to watch him pitch,\" said Caceres. \"His mound presence and his poise on the mound are solid,\" said Caceres. \"He's controlled the running game very well. He's got a good move to first base and a slide-step to home plate and very good timing.\"
\r\n
\r\nMusgrove has confidence that his skills can move him up through the minor league system.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think I have the stuff now that I can throw in the bigs,\" said Musgrove. \"I've just got to kind of fine-tune things and work on location and be consistent with everything. That's what I'm looking to work at in the offseason.\"
\r\n
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