Q&A with Blake McGinley

LHP Blake McGinley sits down with NYfansonly.com for a Q&A session to discuss what it was like not being protected by the Mets on the 40-man roster this offseason, what it was like not being selected by another team, what his repertoire is like, who he has been impressed with, and much more.

NYF: What are your thoughts on not being selected in the Rule V Draft and remaining in the Mets organization?

Blake McGinley: Honestly, I was a little disappointed that the Mets didn't put me on the 40-man roster. I thought I had a good chance of being selected by another team and then get a chance at the Big Leagues. I was just hoping to get a chance and I guess the Mets look smart since nobody took me. I can't worry about it now though and now I'm hoping the Mets give me that chance. That's what I wanted all along anyway.

NYF: What's it like for a pitcher like you when the organization seemingly is revamped year after year with some new faces? I mean, do you feel you have to prove yourself over and over?

McGinley: Actually that's a good situation for me. With (Rick) Peterson and now Minaya here, I have the chance to open somebody's eyes and get a chance at the Big Leagues, and more importantly, do something with that chance once I get it.

NYF: You have had more success in the pros than you had at Texas Tech, at JUCO, and in high school. What do you attribute that to?

McGinley: I have a lot more confidence now than I used to and I think that's a big reason for my success. I am better prepared mentally each day and I go out there with no fear on the mound. I can't be scared out there. I also think it has something to do with the fact that they let you pitch in the minors. It's more about developing guys and in college there's a much shorter leash than in the minors so now I am not always looking over my shoulder.

NYF: What has it been like in the Mets' system since you've been drafted?

McGinley: I've had a great time. I have had some great coaches and I've been on a winning team the last three years. It's been a lot of fun. But we're all here to get to the Majors. I have to get guys out. I'm a 21st rounder and not many late picks make it to the Majors. I look forward to Spring Training and hopefully I can make it with the Big League club this year.

NYF: A lot has been made of your repertoire. Can you give us a little scouting report on your stuff?

McGinley: I throw a fastball, curveball, circle changeup, and slider. The slider is something I've recently just added. I wasn't really throwing it much but the pitching coach in Venezuela was working with me on that pitch and I'm starting to feel more comfortbale with it, so much so that I think it could be a #3 pitch for me. I throw a 4-seam fastball in the 85-88 MPH range and I'd like to consistently get it around 90 MPH. (laughing) I mean, every guy that throws hard seems to get a better chance. My curveball is my #2 pitch and I throw it between 70-74 MPH. My circle changeup is my best out pitch right now and I throw that somewhere between 75-80 MPH. I like to get ahead with my fastball and then finish off batters with my fastball when I'm ahead in the count. My fastball is sneaky fast. There are 1,000 throwers out there and what I have done is learned how to pitch. But I always want to get better so there's no letting down.

NYF: What have you been doing this offseason to get ready for next season?

McGinley: I was down in Venezuela like I said and I was working on my slider mostly. I finished pretty strong. I think I had a 3.20 ERA or something like that. Nothing too great. I'm not throwing right now but right after the New Year I'll be throwing a few times a week to get ready for Spring Training.

NYF: You've been in the Mets' farm system for a few years now. Who is the one positional player, in your opinion, that you feel has what it takes to make to the Majors?

McGinley: I think Bobby Malek has what it takes to be a real good player. He has a lot of heart and plays with desire. He's a Lenny Dykstra type. He's hard nosed and a little rough. He has a great arm, is a good hitter, with great gap-to-gap power. He had a bad year last year and I think he's going to be even better next year.

NYF: Who's the one pitcher you've been most impressed with in your time with the Mets?

McGinley: I haven't seen him as much as some of the others but I'd say Yusmeiro Petit. I watched him pitch over the winter and he'll definitely be there (the Majors) soon. He has three plus pitches with his fastball, slider, and changeup. He's real mature too and just knows how to pitch. The Mets should keep him around for a while and not trade him. I think that would be a mistake.

NYF: Who would you compare yourself at the Major League level?

McGinley: Well I strive to be like Tom Glavine. But I've heard I look like Mike Remlinger on the mound, although he throws a little harder. We all have good curveballs and changeups and we all go right after the hitters. (laughing) I don't like giving up hits.

NYfansonly.com would like to thank Blake McGinley for taking the time to answer our questions.

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