Q&A with Michael Devaney

Michael Devaney, the Mets' 23rd round draft pick in the 2004 draft out of Concordia University, led a dominant Cyclones' pitching staff this past season and was among the NY-Penn League leaders in ERA. He loved his time in Brooklyn this summer and is now with dozens of other Mets' prospects down in Florida at the Instructional Leagues. We caught up with Michael to check in to see how things are going.

NYF: Tell us about your first professional season and what it was like pitching for the Cyclones this past season.

Devaney: Well it was a lot more than I could have expected. When I got drafted I heard a variety things from a few scouts about what it was going to be like but it was so much more than I thought it would be. It was both challenging and fun. I mean, we're all there to try and get ready for the next level and I was just extremely pleased at the way the team came together. Of course winning helps make it more fun.

NYF: What did you think of Brooklyn? You know the crowds are not that big in too many of the other stadiums in the minors.

Devaney: That's what I've heard. I loved Brooklyn and I am glad I was given the opportunity to play there. The fans embrace you there and you seemingly know everyone in the park. They love the Cyclones.

NYF: What was your personal goal for your first season of professional baseball?

Devaney: For the most part I was just trying to become more mechanically sound, to be more consistent on the mound. In college you face some good players but there you can get away with a few bad pitches here and there. I wound up walking a few too many guys and I just wanted to work on my consistency. So that's what I wanted to do. I wanted to pitch enough innings to become more consistent.

NYF: What are you working on down in the Instructional Leagues?

Devaney: Really they are getting us all set for our offseason conditioning programs to get ready for next season. They're not too strict down here. They let us go a little bit. For the most part I am just working on some little things with my curveball and trying to get stronger for next season. They are not allowing me to throw my fire and I'm not allowed to throw too many sliders. Basically I have just been working on spotting my changeup down here.

NYF: On that note, can you tell us a little bit more about your repertoire?

Devaney: I am a four-pitch pitcher. I have a fastball, curveball, changeup, and a slider. My fastball sits in the 87-91 mph range, my curveball ranges from 68-74 mph, my changeup is between 78-80 mph, and my slider sits in the mid-to-high 70's. I am a balanced pitcher. I set up my fastball with my offspeed pitches. I spot my fastball and my curveball the best right now and my slider is something I am looking to improve but it did get better this past season. You can say I depend more on my offspeed pitches.

NYF: Of your fellow Cyclones' pitchers, which pitcher impressed you the most this past season?

Devaney: That's a tough one. I mean, they're all really good. I guess I'd have to say Evan MacLane. He's a pitcher that does not show his fastball very much but still manages to make the batters look pretty bad. He's the perfect example of showing you that you have to pitch, not throw.

NYF: On the flip side, of all the Cyclones' positional players, which teammate would you least like to face in the batter's box with the game on the line?

Devaney: Again, that's a toughy. I'd say Tyler Davidson. I know he had a lot of problems with striking out too much early in the season, but towards the end of the season he just found a way to get the bat on the ball at the end of the year. It was tough for him to make the consistent contact because the guy is so huge. His power drives pitchers to throw him away. But honestly, all of those guys are tough outs in my mind.

NYF: How did you like playing for Tony Tijerina this past season?

Devaney: I love Tony. He would let us do our own thing but he had a good balance of being relaxed and knowing when he needed to kick us in the ass. He's great and I loved playing for him.

NYF: Which of your teammates would you say you are closest to?

Devaney: Definitely Scott Hyde. We are both from around the Portland area and we played against each other in college so I knew of him before going to Brooklyn. Plus we are roommates down here in the Instructional League and we'll probably hang out some when we go home.

NYF: Which of your fellow Cyclones' pitchers do you feel has what it takes to make it all the way to the Majors?

Devaney: To be honest, I haven't been around enough of those type of guys long enough to know what it takes. Although we had a pretty good pitching staff in Brooklyn this past year. What I can say is we all work really hard. It's not like in college when a few people are not trying very hard. We are all striving to make it to the next level and nobody wants to be outworked by the other guy.

NYF: Of all the pitchers you've seen down in the Instructional Leagues, which one has impressed you the most?

Devaney: Well we've gotten in 16 games or so the last five weeks and there has been some really good pitching down here. Some of the guys from the upper levels have been down here getting ready for winter ball. I've been impressed with Jeremy Hill, Blake McGinely, and Neal Musser. We've also got a bunch of players from the Dominican and Venezuelan Summer League teams. One guy, Rafael Cova from the VSL, has some of the dirtiest stuff I've ever seen. He just needs to get more experience and become more polished, but he's really good.

NYF: Which batter down there has impressed you the most?

Devaney: (Laughing) Lastings. Definitely Lastings. He hits the ball really hard. But pretty much all the hitting down here has been really solid. They gave out some awards. I can't remember who won Most Improved Hitter...I think it was Wilson Batista. Nick Evans won Most Improved Defensively.

We would like to thank Michael Devaney for taking the time to speak with NYfansonly.com.

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