Pirates Prospect Interview: Luis Heredia

Luis Heredia's first three seasons in the minors have been a bumpy ride. In three season in the Pirates' system he is 12-7 with a 3.23 ERA. Last season Heredia battled some weight issues and a drop in velocity. PiratesDugout.com's George Von Benko spoke with the 19-year old righthander.

GVB – How do you feel physically here in training camp?

LH – I'm very happy to be back, I'm working every day. It's not easy, but I like everything that I'm doing right now and everything that I'm doing is going to help me.

GVB – You struggled with your weight last year ballooning up to 276 pounds, you look trimmer, how much weight have you lost?

LH – I lost almost 40 pounds. I'm at 240 right now. I eat better and take care of myself. I feel good. I dress differently, too. I had a 42 (waist), and now I'm a 36.

GVB – Last season you went 7-3 with a 3.05 ERA at Class A West Virginia, were you happy with the way you pitched?

LH – It was good, it's not easy, but I made some mistakes last year and I've worked to fix that. I'm feeling great this year and ready for the season.

,B>GVB – Talk about your pitching repertoire and how those pitches are coming along? I noticed your velocity was down a bit last season.

LH – I'm working and I feel they are coming along. The speed will come. It's about command and control. The mechanics. Now, I'm staying back and throwing the ball easier.

GVB – This organization stresses fastball command, how are you doing with fastball command?

LH – The first thing you need to do is control your fastball, because that is your money pitch. The breaking ball is coming and the change up is coming, but the fastball is very important. I feel a lot better about my fastball control. It's not easy, but if you control your workout every day you can make it.

GVB – Are the curve ball and change up coming along?

LH – The change up is going to come, it depends on the count you have. The fastball is the first pitch and you need to get ahead with it and throw strikes.

GVB – Have they told you where you will start the season, and are you concerned about that?

LH – Haven't told me yet. I'm not concerned about that, I'm ready to go and I just want to play.

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