Q&A with Craig Stammen

Few pitchers in the Nationals' farm system have outperformed Craig Stammen here in 2006. He's been a model of consistency all season and recently earned a promotion to High-A Potomac. We recently sat down with the 22-year-old right-hander for an in-depth Q&A session.

CapitolDugout.com: First of all, what are your overall thoughts on your 2006 season?

Craig Stammen: It was a very enjoyable first full season. Although we did struggle a little bit as a team, I feel that we all and especially speaking for myself learned a great deal.

CapitolDugout.com: Were your surprised by your promotion to Potomac when it happened? What were your thoughts when you found out?

Craig Stammen: I was surprised because of the timing of it all because they had started to limit my innings. However, it was my goal to get that promotion since the beginning of the season and I was very pleased to have been able to achieve that and set higher goals.

CapitolDugout.com: Have you received any kind of indication as to how the organization feels about you? The innings limit seems to show how they're being cautious.

Craig Stammen: I'm not real sure how they feel about me, but that's how it is for everyone. They are my boss and all I really have to worry about is doing my job the best I can and they will be happy. Having my innings limited is a good sign and it does mean that they care at least a little bit (laughing).

CapitolDugout.com: So far, what do you think is the biggest difference between pitching in low-A and pitching in high-A?

Craig Stammen: The hitters are more experienced and look for the pitches they can hit in high-A. Also, they are better at doing something with your mistakes, which is expected as you move up.

CapitolDugout.com: Going back to last season, what do you feel is the most significant difference in your game since then?

Craig Stammen: I think that it just has been the continued work on my repertoire of pitches. My fastball command has gotten better along with my curveball, changeup and slider. Also, for me it was very nice to have been able to take a break and have a whole off-season to prepare for this season. I was able to get prepared as far as conditioning, weight training, and mental preparedness.

CapitolDugout.com: In the remaining outings that you have, what are some things you'd like to accomplish or improve on before the season ends?

Craig Stammen: I have one more start. All I'm thinking about right now is finishing the season strong and using what I've used all season.

CapitolDugout.com: A lot of Nationals fans have begun to take notice of how well you've pitched this year. What type of pitcher should they envision when they think about you and is there an Major League pitcher they could compare to your style?

Craig Stammen: I want to be known as a workhorse and as a guy they can count on day in and day out. I'm not sure who I would be compared to, because I haven't given that much thought. I would describe myself as aggressive and intense, so I will leave the comparisons up to other people.

CapitolDugout.com: Heading into next spring after a long off-season, what are some very important improvements you'd like to make for '07?

Craig Stammen: I know that my changeup needs to continue to get better, so that pitch will be my main focus. Also, coming into camp in the best shape I've ever been in is another goal of mine. Another improvement I will need to make is continuing to learn to pitch and not just throw.

CapitolDugout.com: Since you began your career, what do you feel is the most important lesson you have learned about pitching in professional baseball and being successful?

Craig Stammen: For one, I've learned that there are no days off. Each day I've learned is another day to perfect your craft and learn hitters. Also, the game is more mental than it is physical. Dealing with failure the correct way is very key to keeping your confidence and having success.

CapitolDugout.com: Switching gears for a minute, you've played with a lot of talented pitchers this year. Which ones have impressed you the most and why?

Craig Stammen: The pitchers that come to mind are Gene Yost, John Lannan, and Collin Balester. They are all guys who this year were able to overcome some tough times and pitch really well. Gene just doesn't ever get hit and John and Collin have pretty good stuff.

CapitolDugout.com: As for the position players, which of those guys have impressed you the most?

Craig Stammen: Dee Brown has played really well this year and it is a lot of fun to have been able to play the whole year with him.

CapitolDugout.com: Every player's long term goal is to make the big leagues. What other goals do you have headed into next season and beyond?

Craig Stammen: Obviously, goals are centered around moving up levels, which moving to Harrisburg at some point in the season, has to be one of my goals. On a smaller note, I want my changeup to be a pitch that I can really count on at any time and get it to the point where it matches the effectiveness of my curveball and fastball.

Capitol Dugout Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nCapitolDugout.com: First of all, what are your overall thoughts on your 2006 season?\r\n

\r\nCraig Stammen: It was a very enjoyable first full season. Although we did struggle a little bit as a team, I feel that we all and especially speaking for myself learned a great deal.\r\n

\r\nCapitolDugout.com: Were your surprised by your promotion to Potomac when it happened? What were your thoughts when you found out?\r\n

\r\nCraig Stammen: I was surprised because of the timing of it all because they had started to limit my innings. However, it was my goal to get that promotion since the beginning of the season and I was very pleased to have been able to achieve that and set higher goals.\r\n

\r\nCapitolDugout.com: Have you received any kind of indication as to how the organization feels about you? The innings limit seems to show how they're being cautious.\r\n

\r\nCraig Stammen: I'm not real sure how they feel about me, but that's how it is for everyone. They are my boss and all I really have to worry about is doing my job the best I can and they will be happy. Having my innings limited is a good sign and it does mean that they care at least a little bit (laughing).\r\n

\r\nCapitolDugout.com: So far, what do you think is the biggest difference between pitching in low-A and pitching in high-A?\r\n

\r\nCraig Stammen: The hitters are more experienced and look for the pitches they can hit in high-A. Also, they are better at doing something with your mistakes, which is expected as you move up.\r\n

\r\nCapitolDugout.com: Going back to last season, what do you feel is the most significant difference in your game since then?\r\n

\r\nCraig Stammen: I think that it just has been the continued work on my repertoire of pitches. My fastball command has gotten better along with my curveball, changeup and slider. Also, for me it was very nice to have been able to take a break and have a whole off-season to prepare for this season. I was able to get prepared as far as conditioning, weight training, and mental preparedness.\r\n

\r\nCapitolDugout.com: In the remaining outings that you have, what are some things you'd like to accomplish or improve on before the season ends?\r\n

\r\nCraig Stammen: I have one more start. All I'm thinking about right now is finishing the season strong and using what I've used all season. \r\n

\r\nCapitolDugout.com: A lot of Nationals fans have begun to take notice of how well you've pitched this year. What type of pitcher should they envision when they think about you and is there an Major League pitcher they could compare to your style?\r\n

\r\nCraig Stammen: I want to be known as a workhorse and as a guy they can count on day in and day out. I'm not sure who I would be compared to, because I haven't given that much thought. I would describe myself as aggressive and intense, so I will leave the comparisons up to other people.\r\n

\r\nCapitolDugout.com: Heading into next spring after a long off-season, what are some very important improvements you'd like to make for '07?\r\n

\r\nCraig Stammen: I know that my changeup needs to continue to get better, so that pitch will be my main focus. Also, coming into camp in the best shape I've ever been in is another goal of mine. Another improvement I will need to make is continuing to learn to pitch and not just throw.\r\n

\r\nCapitolDugout.com: Since you began your career, what do you feel is the most important lesson you have learned about pitching in professional baseball and being successful?\r\n

\r\nCraig Stammen: For one, I've learned that there are no days off. Each day I've learned is another day to perfect your craft and learn hitters. Also, the game is more mental than it is physical. Dealing with failure the correct way is very key to keeping your confidence and having success.\r\n

\r\nCapitolDugout.com: Switching gears for a minute, you've played with a lot of talented pitchers this year. Which ones have impressed you the most and why?\r\n

\r\nCraig Stammen: The pitchers that come to mind are Gene Yost, John Lannan, and Collin Balester. They are all guys who this year were able to overcome some tough times and pitch really well. Gene just doesn't ever get hit and John and Collin have pretty good stuff.\r\n

\r\nCapitolDugout.com: As for the position players, which of those guys have impressed you the most?\r\n

\r\nCraig Stammen: Dee Brown has played really well this year and it is a lot of fun to have been able to play the whole year with him.\r\n

\r\nCapitolDugout.com: Every player's long term goal is to make the big leagues. What other goals do you have headed into next season and beyond?\r\n

\r\nCraig Stammen: Obviously, goals are centered around moving up levels, which moving to Harrisburg at some point in the season, has to be one of my goals. On a smaller note, I want my changeup to be a pitch that I can really count on at any time and get it to the point where it matches the effectiveness of my curveball and fastball.\r\n","mobileBody":" \r\nCapitolDugout.com: First of all, what are your overall thoughts on your 2006 season?\r\n

\r\nCraig Stammen: It was a very enjoyable first full season. Although we did struggle a little bit as a team, I feel that we all and especially speaking for myself learned a great deal.\r\n

\r\nCapitolDugout.com: Were your surprised by your promotion to Potomac when it happened? What were your thoughts when you found out?\r\n

\r\nCraig Stammen: I was surprised because of the timing of it all because they had started to limit my innings. However, it was my goal to get that promotion since the beginning of the season and I was very pleased to have been able to achieve that and set higher goals.\r\n

\r\nCapitolDugout.com: Have you received any kind of indication as to how the organization feels about you? The innings limit seems to show how they're being cautious.\r\n

\r\nCraig Stammen: I'm not real sure how they feel about me, but that's how it is for everyone. They are my boss and all I really have to worry about is doing my job the best I can and they will be happy. Having my innings limited is a good sign and it does mean that they care at least a little bit (laughing).\r\n

\r\nCapitolDugout.com: So far, what do you think is the biggest difference between pitching in low-A and pitching in high-A?\r\n

\r\nCraig Stammen: The hitters are more experienced and look for the pitches they can hit in high-A. Also, they are better at doing something with your mistakes, which is expected as you move up.\r\n

\r\nCapitolDugout.com: Going back to last season, what do you feel is the most significant difference in your game since then?\r\n

\r\nCraig Stammen: I think that it just has been the continued work on my repertoire of pitches. My fastball command has gotten better along with my curveball, changeup and slider. Also, for me it was very nice to have been able to take a break and have a whole off-season to prepare for this season. I was able to get prepared as far as conditioning, weight training, and mental preparedness.\r\n

\r\nCapitolDugout.com: In the remaining outings that you have, what are some things you'd like to accomplish or improve on before the season ends?\r\n

\r\nCraig Stammen: I have one more start. All I'm thinking about right now is finishing the season strong and using what I've used all season. \r\n

\r\nCapitolDugout.com: A lot of Nationals fans have begun to take notice of how well you've pitched this year. What type of pitcher should they envision when they think about you and is there an Major League pitcher they could compare to your style?\r\n

\r\nCraig Stammen: I want to be known as a workhorse and as a guy they can count on day in and day out. I'm not sure who I would be compared to, because I haven't given that much thought. I would describe myself as aggressive and intense, so I will leave the comparisons up to other people.\r\n

\r\nCapitolDugout.com: Heading into next spring after a long off-season, what are some very important improvements you'd like to make for '07?\r\n

\r\nCraig Stammen: I know that my changeup needs to continue to get better, so that pitch will be my main focus. Also, coming into camp in the best shape I've ever been in is another goal of mine. Another improvement I will need to make is continuing to learn to pitch and not just throw.\r\n

\r\nCapitolDugout.com: Since you began your career, what do you feel is the most important lesson you have learned about pitching in professional baseball and being successful?\r\n

\r\nCraig Stammen: For one, I've learned that there are no days off. Each day I've learned is another day to perfect your craft and learn hitters. Also, the game is more mental than it is physical. Dealing with failure the correct way is very key to keeping your confidence and having success.\r\n

\r\nCapitolDugout.com: Switching gears for a minute, you've played with a lot of talented pitchers this year. Which ones have impressed you the most and why?\r\n

\r\nCraig Stammen: The pitchers that come to mind are Gene Yost, John Lannan, and Collin Balester. They are all guys who this year were able to overcome some tough times and pitch really well. Gene just doesn't ever get hit and John and Collin have pretty good stuff.\r\n

\r\nCapitolDugout.com: As for the position players, which of those guys have impressed you the most?\r\n

\r\nCraig Stammen: Dee Brown has played really well this year and it is a lot of fun to have been able to play the whole year with him.\r\n

\r\nCapitolDugout.com: Every player's long term goal is to make the big leagues. What other goals do you have headed into next season and beyond?\r\n

\r\nCraig Stammen: Obviously, goals are centered around moving up levels, which moving to Harrisburg at some point in the season, has to be one of my goals. On a smaller note, I want my changeup to be a pitch that I can really count on at any time and get it to the point where it matches the effectiveness of my curveball and fastball.\r\n","skipOnMobile":true,"skipOnMobileReason":"Unsupported Markup","unsupportedMarkup":"body","media":[],"dateOverride":"2006-08-31T19:21:00","authorOverride":"Frankie Piliere","role":"","isPremium":true,"isHotNews":false,"isRumor":false,"syndicationFlag":true,"isClassified":true,"hotNamesLinked":true,"storyImage":"[MEDIA:350956]","mainImage":{"url":"[MEDIA:350956]"},"thumbnailImage":"[THUMBNAIL:350956]","heroImage":{},"authorImage":"","tags":[],"nodes":["274","70843","313313","2563572"],"isActive":true,"inActiveAndMemberHasPublishRights":false,"createdOn":"2006-08-31T19:26:08.41-07:00","createdById":"509016","modifiedOn":"2006-08-31T19:26:08.41-07:00","modifiedBy":"509016","imgs":[],"viewStats":[{"from":"2015-06-02T17:00:00","to":"2015-06-02T18:00:00","count":4},{"from":"2015-06-06T08:00:00","to":"2015-06-06T09:00:00","count":12},{"from":"2015-06-08T11:00:00","to":"2015-06-08T12:00:00","count":4},{"from":"2015-06-14T10:00:00","to":"2015-06-14T11:00:00","count":4},{"from":"2015-06-14T22:00:00","to":"2015-06-14T23:00:00","count":8},{"from":"2015-06-18T19:00:00","to":"2015-06-18T20:00:00","count":8},{"from":"2015-06-21T08:00:00","to":"2015-06-21T09:00:00","count":4},{"from":"2015-06-22T13:00:00","to":"2015-06-22T14:00:00","count":4},{"from":"2015-06-25T04:00:00","to":"2015-06-25T05:00:00","count":4},{"from":"2015-06-26T16:00:00","to":"2015-06-26T17:00:00","count":4},{"from":"2015-06-28T02:00:00","to":"2015-06-28T03:00:00","count":4},{"from":"2015-07-11T23:00:00","to":"2015-07-12T00:00:00","count":4},{"from":"2015-07-21T03:00:00","to":"2015-07-21T04:00:00","count":4},{"from":"2015-10-14T22:00:00","to":"2015-10-14T23:00:00","count":1},{"from":"2015-11-20T17:00:00","to":"2015-11-20T18:00:00","count":1},{"from":"2015-11-28T03:00:00","to":"2015-11-28T04:00:00","count":1},{"from":"2016-02-06T04:00:00","to":"2016-02-06T05:00:00","count":4}],"hasVideo":false,"brandUnsafe":false,"breakingNews":false},"editorsChoice":{"siteUrls":[],"networkUrls":["http://www.scout.com/nfl/giants/story/1689679-charles-barkley-obj-becoming-too-famous","http://www.scout.com/college/football/story/1688440-25-most-expensive-cfb-student-ticket-prices","http://www.scout.com/college/penn-state/story/1689639-meyer-downplays-negative-recruiting-ruckus","http://www.scout.com/nfl/cowboys/story/1689579-cowboys-gregory-gets-another-drug-suspension","http://www.scout.com/college/football/recruiting/story/1688677-video-scout100-wr-jeudy-shuts-down-fnl-camp","http://www.scout.com/college/football/recruiting/story/1688217-super-cade-never-ever-giving-up?s=143"],"topRibbonWidgets":[],"carouselStoryUrls":[],"storyStreamUrls":[],"storyStreamBlacklistUrls":[],"videoStories":[{"type":"StorySummary","containerType":"StorySummary","id":"1677397","siteId":"381","isPublicSite":true,"subdomain":"sbb","siteFolder":"/mlb/scouting","canonicalUrl":"http://www.scout.com/mlb/scouting/story/1677397-2016-mlb-draft-best-available-day-2","shortUrl":"http://foxs.pt/1rgtQ4J","siteName":"Scouting Baseball","forumName":"","friendlySubdomain":"Scouting Baseball","title":"2016 MLB Draft: Best available, day 2","subtitle":"","seotitle":"2016 MLB Draft: Best available, day 2","caption":"","deck":"Who are the best players still available at the start of day 2 of the draft? 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