Brett Evert Chat Transcript

Brett Evert joined the subscribers of BravesCenter.Com for a chat on Sunday October 12. Brett spoke about his time in the Arizona Fall League, in addition to his experiences in the bullpen this season. Read on for the full transcript, and to ask Brett YOUR question.

The following is a transcript of a chat between Braves right handed pitching prospect Brett Evert and the members of the BravesCenter.Com Message Board on Sunday October 12. BravesCenter would like to thank Brett for taking the time out of his busy schedule to conduct this chat, and wish him the best of luck in the future!

BravesCenter: Alright let's get this going. Hello everyone and welcome to our chat with Brett Evert, a great pitching prospect with the Atlanta Braves.

I'll start off by welcoming Brett. He's in Arizona for the Fall League and is doing very well so far.

Brett can you start off by simply telling us a little bit about the Arizona Fall League. How is it similar/different from the minor leagues?

Brett:The fall league here is awesome. The level of competition is at least a few notches up. Everyone here is real relaxed, so it makes playing a lot of fun. Pat Kelly is our manager here, and he's real fun.

Who would you say you pitching is similar to?

Brett:Well I dont try to pitch like any one pitcher, but I have heard some comparisons to Aaron Sele.

What are your basic pitches in your arsenal and what speeds can you vary them?

Well, I throw a fastball, curveball and change up. I throw my fastball between 86-95, depends on the day, and how good I'm feeling. The curve is around 70-75 and my change is around 80-83.

How did you feel about your transition to the bullpen? Do you think that is your future role in the majors, or do you envision yourself starting?

Brett:I was really ok with going to the bullpen. I knew I was going through some mechanical problems and I needed a change, so I was fine with it. With Jung Bong doing it the year before and having so much success, it made it that much easier. As for my role in the big leagues, I see myself as a starter longterm, but I feel that I might get my first shot in the bigs as a reliever.

Who are a few of your favorite athletes?

Brett:Growing up I always loved watching Ken Griffey Jr. I also like Vince Carter and Brett Favre.

How did you like pitching in Greenville this season? How does the city compare to some of the other places you have pitched?

Brett:I like Greenville. Myrtle Beach is by far the best place to play, but Greenville has its nice parts. Not a pitchers ball park though.

Who is the best hitting prospect and pitching prospect that you have seen since you were drafted?

Brett:For me facing Coveli Crisp( aka. Coco Crisp) was a pain in the ass. He doesn't have lots of power, but can really hurt ya. As for pitchers I'd have to go with our very own Bubba Nelson. Really, he has the some of the best stuff around.

What's it like seeing people you played against already in the big leagues? For example, I know you played against Miguel Cabrera, who is on right now with the Marlins. How about watching other pitchers who you pitched against who may have made it already to the big leagues. Does it make you think you too can be up there?

Brett:It's exciting seeing those guys on TV and in the big leagues. It helps you realize how close you really are. Ya Cabrera is damn good. I see those other pitchers that have made it, and you know that its just a matter of time. Consistency, Consistency, Consistency.

What an unbelievable post-season this year, who do you want/think will win the world series? Any favorites?

Brett:Yeah, the playoffs are always exciting, but really this year, because we have some different teams in there. I don't have a favorite team. I'd like to see the Cubs win, cause they haven't done it in so long, same with the Red Sox. But I also wouldn't mind the Marlins, because I played against some of those guys this year. Oh yeah, I dont want the Yankees to win. Haha!

Who were your favorite teams to watch growing up? Who's your favorite band/group?

Brett:My Dad and I always watched the Giants and Dodgers. Then I started watching the Mariners once Griffey got there.

I like Goldfinger and most all alternative music.

Is their any extra added pressure to perform being a pitching prospect in the braves organization?

Brett: No I don't feel any extra pressure being in the Braves organization. I know we are loaded with pitching prospects, but I feel like I can just be myself each time I go out and pitch. I can't worry about everyone else, I can only control myself.

A lot of us that don't get to see minor leaguers play rely on statistics to evaluate prospects. Can we really tell much about a pitching prospect just by looking at the statistics? Do you pay close attention to your own stats (ERA, etc), or is it more important that you work on mechanics and certain pitches?

Brett: Awesome question! Stats are funny. Sometimes they can be misleading. For example: Kevin Barry. He had a real bad few weeks to start the year, but after that, he was almost unhittable, and he still finished with an ERA over 5 I think. So In some cases it's misleading, but sometimes its right on. As for my stats this year, I'm not sure what to think. I know my stats were real bad to start the year, but got turned around real fast when I went to the bullpen. That really helped my ERA. So my numbers show I had a pretty average year, which is true as a starter, but it doesnt show how well I did as a reliever.

Yeah, I follow most of my stats through the year. Anyone that says they don't I think would be lying!

Do you think you'll go to spring training in February and have a chance to make the Atlanta roster? Will this stint in the AFL be what you need to take that last step?

Brett:I really feel like I have a shot. With the way I'm pitching out here in Arizona, if I can carry this through into spring, I'm sure I'll open some eyes.

With this competition out here, I'm sure that if I can pitch well against these guys here, im sure I can do it in the show.

What is your plan for the offseason? I understand you know somebody in Goldfinger, is that true?

Brett:My plan is to relax as soon as this fall league is over in mid november, and then get into good shape and get ready to go to spring training.

Yeah I do know someone from Goldfinger. My brothers went to highschool with one of the band members.

Do you think you will make the Atlanta bullpen next ST and how good of a hitter is A. LaRoche?

Brett:You know I can't really answer that question right now. I'm not sure what the situation will be come spring training. Who knows who will be back? All I can tell you is that I'm going to be as ready as possible. And in my mind I think I'm ready! I think I have to have that attitude going in.

LaRoche is real good. He's a professional hitter. He took me deep in spring training.

With Bobby Cox likely looking to retire within a few years, who do you think out of the minor league managers/coaches would be most likely to make the majors as a manager -- Randy Ingle, Brian Snitker, Glenn Hubbard, somebody else? Secondly, working in the Bullpen or Starting -- do you think that one or the other puts more stress on your arm (More innings on a scheduled basis vs less innings more often but irregular).

Brett: Well I haven't thought about that much, but I do know that I really enjoyed playing for Randy Ingle for the short amount of time that I was with him in Macon and in Myrtle Beach last year. I am also enjoying playing for Pat Kelly. However, I do think that Freddy Gonzalez will have the 1st shot. I know that he has interviewed for a few managerial positions.

Since I did both, I'd have to say starting has more stress for me. Keep in mind that they didn't really abuse me in the pen, remember I was sent there to work on some mechanics, so I wasnt thrown out there every night. I would imagine pitching everyday would be hard.

Being a professional athlete, how tough is it to be away from home for long periods of time?

Brett: It's getting a lot easier. Now that I'm married it makes things a lot easier, now that she (my wife) can be with me. But I'll tell you it was pretty tough for the first couple of years. I wish some of my friends would come visit me though.

I heard that you got married the beginning of this year. My question for you is, what the hell is the matter with you?

Brett: Yeah I did get married. I'll tell you though, its nice having a pretty lady with me all the time, she keeps me out of trouble.

What do you think of big bubba and your old room mate (Adam Wainright) are they wacky or what?

Brett:Let's just say they are real special people.

How did the transition between starting and relieving go on your arm? Did you feel your stuff was consistently better as a reliever, or pretty much the same?

Brett:I felt like my stuff was better. Coming in as a reliever I could just let it all hang out and I didn't have to worry about pacing myself.

When you pitched against the USA Team the other day you pitched very well. Was that one of the toughest lineups you have ever faced?

Brett: That was one of the toughest lineups I've ever faced. Not the toughest though. This past Spring Training I faced the Mets. (Cliff Floyd, Mike Piazza, Mo Vaughn, Jeromy Burnitz, Jay Bell and Rey Sanchez) I'd say that's a pretty good lineup.

Is the Braves pitching philosophy the same from Atlanta all the way down to rookie ball or do they let you learn based on your own capabilities?

Brett:For the most part it's the same. It really does depend on who your pitching coach is. Everyone has different ways of teaching, but for the most part it seems everyone is trying to teach the same way Leo does.

What will the Braves do with the situations at third and first base? Castilla and Fick aren't the answers in my mind.

Brett:You know that hasn't even crossed my mind. I know they are both great players, and both former All-Stars. But I also know that there has been talk about cutting payroll, and I know there are guys in the minors like LaRoche and Wilson Betemit that could fill those spots if they need to be filled.

You know it was awesome playing ball with you back in Babe Ruth...I wish you all the luck in the world and even though I am not a Braves fan, I will always be rooting for you!

Brett:Well I will always remember that team we had. We had a great team. We ended up losing in the regionals to the team that went on and won the Babe Ruth World Series. Ty Howington of the Reds was on that team that beat us. Thanks for the support. Hope to see you when I get back to Salem in the off season.

I don't have a question because the rest of the posters took all the good ones . However, I would like to thank you for taking time out to talk to us tonight.

Brett: Hey no problem. This has been a lot of fun. If you think of a good one post it and I'll try to get to it within the next few days.

Have a question for Brett? Submit your question here!

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Brett Evert: Player Bio

2002 SEASON: Named to the USA team in the Futures Game in Milwaukee. Named the 10th-best prospect in the Braves' organization by Baseball America.

2001: Named Braves 4th best prospect by Baseball America and a top prospect by Baseball Weekly. Evert was promoted from Macon to Myrtle Beach on May 3, 2001. At Myrtle Beach, Evert was named the Baseball America Carolina League Pitcher of the Week for May 31-June 7 (2 games started, 1 complete game shutout, 2-and-0 record with a 0.00 ERA, 12 innings pitched, 6 hits allowed, no runs, two walks allowed and 16 strikeouts).

2000: Named Jamestown's pitcher of the year. Has a 4-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio since turning pro. Named the 14th best prospect in the New York-Penn League by Baseball America. Tied for the NY-Penn lead in games started, ranked second in wins and tied for fourth in homers allowed (6).

1999: Rated by Baseball America as the organization's 10th best prospect. Tied for the team lead in wins.

PERSONAL/MISC: Full name BRETT STEVEN EVERT…Married, wife's name Elisa (1/18/03)…1999 graduate of North Salem (OR) High School, where he played baseball and basketball…Was All-State in baseball as a senior, and All-Region Pitcher of the Year in junior and senior years, and third team All-America as a senior…Hobbies include golf and music.

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