Q&A with Justin Bristow

For the second straight year, the Cubs drafted a pitcher from East Carolina University, opting for right-hander Justin Bristow, 21, with their fifth-round pick on Thursday. Bristow, listed as 6-foot-4, 213 pounds, was 9-2 with a team-best 3.07 ERA in 16 starts with the Pirates this season. He struck out 84 batters in 93 2/3 innings.

You were drafted out of high school by the Royals as a third baseman. When did the full-time move to pitcher come about?

JUSTIN BRISTOW: I went to college as a two-way guy. This is the first year that I guess I really got to focus on it. It was just a good move for me. ... Last summer, I got to go out to the Northwoods League and throw a lot of innings. It was just the first time I'd really focused on it for an extended period of time.

Was there anything that made you lean more toward pitching?

BRISTOW: I just think it was success early this year on the mound, because I started off even this year playing some third base. It helped out a lot, that success on the mound.

What about your repertoire?

BRISTOW: I throw a lot of fastballs. I throw a cut-fastball and also a changeup and a curveball.

Do you have an out-pitch?

BRISTOW: It's probably either the cutter or the curveball.

I always ask this – how much do you know about the team that drafted you?

BRISTOW: I've known the area scout, Billy Swoope, for about three or four years, ever since high school. It almost worked out in high school that they picked me, but it didn't and I think it was good that somebody I knew [drafted me this year] and had followed me for a while.

How much did pitching in the post-season this year help you?

BRISTOW: I felt I was getting stronger as the season went on and my velocity was going up as the season went on. I don't know exactly, but I'm sure that helped the scouts see that I was getting stronger as the season wore on.

What is your velocity normally?

BRISTOW: I'd say probably 89 to 92 (mph). A little higher at times.

What would it take for you to sign with the Cubs and to go ahead and start your pro career right away?

BRISTOW: I'm fairly sure I'm going to sign. A long as I'm treated fairly for where I was drafted, I don't see any reason why I wouldn't sign.

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