Q&A with Top Prospect Casey Janssen

Casey Janssen has had perhaps the best season for a pitcher in the Blue Jays minor league system this season. Janssen dominated the Midwest League and the Florida State League and is currently with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. The right-hander is currently on the disabled list after being hit in the right hand by a line drive but told ITD that he expects to start next week. Read more about his superb season below. Not a Premium Member? Sign up today!

InsideTheDome: Casey, you have had a tremendous season so far. Did you expect anything like this when the year started?

Casey Janssen: It has been a crazy season. I had a little bit of bitter taste in my mouth when I found out I would be starting in Lansing, since I wanted to start out at a higher level out of the gate, but unfortunately that did not work out. I had a blast in Lansing and this entire season has been one heck of a ride.

InsideTheDome: What has been the biggest thing you have learned so far this seasom?

Casey Janssen: I have been very lucky to have a bunch of very good coaches. They have given me lots of tidbits regarding what approach to take when facing a team or a specific hitter. As far as stuff goes the organization wasn't looking to re-invent the wheel with me, but rather stick with what I got and fine tune that.

InsideTheDome: You have pitched in three different levels in the minor leagues. Although you don't have that much experience seeing the Double-A hitters, can you comment about the difference between low-A, Single-A and Double-A?

Casey Janssen: The biggest adjustment when you move up a level is to still believe in your ability and your stuff. You are moving up for a reason and the organization believes you can succeed at that level. As far as the hitters go, they get more selective and look for a certain pitch, in a certain area. They are more polished and don't swing at bad pitches, so you have to adjust your game to them and towards that.

InsideTheDome: How is your hand feeling after being hit by that liner on Saturday?

Casey Janssen: I just threw a side today and I feel great. I don't feel it anymore and I am just ready to get back into action. I don't want to wait too much longer and as soon as I get off the disabled list, I will be ready to go.

InsideTheDome: Has there been a specific pitch that has really worked for you this season?

Casey Janssen: You throw the fastball the most, so a lot depends on my fastball. My cutter has been a very good compliment to my fastball and it has taken hitters a little off in terms of looking for my fastball. Other than that, more than anything is just to try and throw strikes and not walk too many batters.

InsideTheDome: What pitcher in the organization has really impressed you this season?

Casey Janssen: Being able to watch Zach [Jackson] down in Dunedin and here in New Hampshire. He has been very impressive and is ready to go. He is throwing everything in the zone and pitching at the knees. This entire staff here in New Hampshire has just been tremendous and I have learned something from watching every pitcher throw, and watch how they attack hitters.

InsideTheDome: Turning that questions around, what hitter in the organization has impressed you the most?

Casey Janssen: He has basically followed me every step of the way, and that is Chip Cannon. He is locked in and it is impressive to watch how far the ball travels off his bat, and that is a big tribute to how hard he works.

InsideTheDome: Has the organization told you what they have planned for you after the season. Possibly pitch in the Arizona Fall League or Winter League Baseball?

Casey Janssen: I haven't heard of any specific plan, but if I don't do something with the Blue Jays I still plan on getting my work in during the off-season, back at home and refine my stuff.

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