Q&A With Rice Pitching Coach Zane Curry

Pitching Coach Zane Curry of the Rice University Owls sat down for a Q&A session about Mets' first round draft pick Philip Humber. Find out what Coach Curry has to say is Philip's best trait, what he needs to work on, and what he predicts for Philip Humber. And a whole lot more! (Free Preview of Premium Content)

NYF: What type of pitches does Philip throw and at what speeds? What do you feel is his best "out" pitch and which pitch do you feel needs the most work? Do you feel you he has "ace" potential?

Coach Curry: Phillip throws a 4-seam fastball from 89-94, a 12 to 6 curveball from 75-80, a splitfinger FB from 79-84, and a change at about the same velocities as his split. At the moment his FB and CB are the two best pitches. He is and will need to continue to strive for consistency with his CB, and develop the ability to throw inside with more frequency and consistency with his FB.

NYF: Philip was rumored to be heading to the Mets for at least a week before the draft. Had you thought about him being drafted by the Mets? What are your thoughts about him heading to the New York Mets organization?

Coach Curry: I had talked to a few of the mets scouts in Nevada this spring and was aware from that point forward that they were very interested in the possibility of selecting Phillip as their 1rst selection in this years draft. I actually told he and his father Sunday night after our unfortunate exit from the tourney that I felt he would either go number two to the Tigers or three to the Mets. I think it will make for a great story if and when Phillip reaches the big leagues, considering the fact that coach Graham had a short stint there in his professional career. As we have all talked in the office, I just hope it lasts a little longer.

NYF:If you had to predict the future of Philip Humber, what type of a player do you see him as in the pros? What do you think he needs to work on the most in order to prepare for the Major Leagues?

Coach Curry: I predict that Phillip will be a solid middle of the rotation type pitcher and may eventually grow to become a number one. In my opnion the one thing he will have to commit himself to in order to reach and stay on at the big league level is throwing the FB inside. He has more than enough velocity and command to do so. His only other obstacle, as he is a perfectionist, will be to understand that all players have failures and that the great ones are those that rebound from set backs, no matter how great they may be.

NYF: What is your most memorable Philip Humber moment while he pitched for you at Rice? What were some of Philip's biggest achievements while he played for you?

Coach Curry: To me the obvious choice for Phillip's greatest moment and achievement is his remarkable performance against Stanford in the '03 title game. After a rocky start against Texas only days earlier, he rebounded to shut down one of the most powerful offensive attacks in recent college history. That team lost a first and second round pick and still was one of the best offensive teams in the country this year. Phillip was composed and focused in firing a complete game allowing only two runs.

NYF: What do you think his best quality is as a pitcher?

Coach Curry: His best quality as a pitcher is his tenacity. He has a tremendous will to win.

NYF: Is there any one piece of advice you would give Philip as he heads to the Mets organization?

Coach Curry: My advice to Phillip as he begins his career in the mets organization is to expect the unexpected and play everyday like it is your last.

NYF: What do you think set him apart to make him the type of player he has become?

Coach Curry: What has set him apart in helping him become the type of player that he is? That would undoubtedly be his work ethic. For as long as I have know him there has never been a problem in motivating him.

NYF: Was there ever anything you told Philip that you think has attributed to his great success?

Coach Curry: I don't know that there was any one piece of advice that I gave Phillip that sticks out, but I will say it was a pleasure to have coached him.

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