Q and A with pitcher Sam Wilson

Sam Wilson, the Cubs 8th round pick in 2013, is interviewed by NorthSiders Report’s Rob Willer. Wilson started the year on the DL but has recently been promoted to Boise and has moved into the closer’s role.

Selected in the eighth round in 2013, Sam Wilson was a two-way player at Lamar Community College but was drafted as a pitcher After making his pro debut last year on July 7 in the Arizona Rookie League, Wilson was promoted to Boise the following day and made his NWL debut on July 11. Wilson, 22, made 12 relief appearances for the Hawks going 3-1 with a 3.33 ERA and a .283 BAA. He fanned 25 in 24.1 innings with 13 walks. Drafted by the Rangers in the 20th round in 2010, Wilson attended the University of New Mexico playing in 52 games, including six on the mound, before transferring to Lamar. The left-hander started 2014 on the DL but after rehab, recently joined Boise and has appeared in four games with two saves and 10 K in eight IP.

NorthSiders Report: Background on yourself? Where you played high school and college baseball?
Sam Wilson: I was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I went to Eldorado High School, then played one year at University of New Mexico before transferring to Lamar Community College in Colorado. 

NorthSiders Report: Where do you see yourself in your from rehab, starting or in relief ?
Sam Wilson: I am pretty sure I will be in a relief role...I'm definitely open to either, but right now I'm just excited to get back on the mound and compete again. 

NorthSiders Report: What pitches do your throw? Are working on any extra pitches to try out once you return from rehab?
Sam Wilson: I throw a 2 and 4 seam Fastball, change up and slider. I've really been trying to develop my slider so I can throw it more consistently with command. 

NorthSiders Report: What's your best advice to high school pitchers?
Sam Wilson: I think the best advice for any high school pitcher is to go out there and pound the strike zone. Throwing strikes and getting ahead really gives the pitcher a big advantage to get outs and be efficient. 

NorthSiders Report: Who has been your biggest mentor throughout the Cubs organization?
Sam Wilson: Our pitching coordinator, Derek Johnson, has really helped me  develop my pitches and my mental approach to pitching. Also, There's a lot of guys in our upper levels who have been great to talk baseball with and are willing to help.

NorthSiders Report: What was it like when you heard your name getting called in the MLB Draft?
Sam Wilson: It was awesome. It's nice to reach a goal like that because of all the hard work put in to it. I think the best thing about it was seeing my parents reaction. I know they sacrificed more than anyone just to give me the opportunity to chase my dream. 

NorthSiders Report: What's the biggest difference between Boise and the Arizona Rookie League?
Sam Wilson: There's a lot of great players in both leagues, but the hitters have a more patient approach in the Northwest league. They take advantage of the mistakes more often.

NorthSiders Report: Getting your first professional win describe that feeling ?
Sam Wilson: Getting that first win was a good feeling...the whole purpose of playing this game is to win, and knowing I could contribute to the team to get a win is awesome. 

NorthSiders Report: How did your rehab go? 
Sam Wilson: The whole training staff and coaches in Mesa were great. They really know what they are doing and it's made the process a lot easier. I feel great now and I'm excited to get to 100% again, thanks to them.

NorthSiders Report: What it’s like to play CF in a Northwest League playoff game?
Sam Wilson: Well our team was put in a tough position going up to Vancouver short handed, and I was happy to help out in a different role. I won't lie, I was pretty nervous but it was a lot of fun! The atmosphere and situation was great to play in.

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