Michael Finnigan: You know, I am just super excited right now. I kind of dont really know what to think. I did not expect to go near as high as I did. I am just really excited.
ITO: Were you surprised it was the Orioles that selected you? Had you and the Orioles talked much before the draft?
Finnigan: No, they were by far the most interested team so I kind of thought they would and was more hoping they would. Out of the teams I was talking to the Orioles by far seemed like the best fit for me so I was kind of pulling that it would happen with them. I did not really start talking to the Orioles until about our last series of the season. I actually have delt with Mark Ralston (the Orioles area scout and I have been going down and throwing for him probably once or twice a week since our season ended. I have built a pretty good relationship with him in the last month or two.
ITO: Do you have any idea what the Orioles organization or farm system is like?
Finnigan: Not a whole lot. With me being a left handed pitcher, I kind of wanted to see what I would be up against in that system. You know, how many left handed pitchers do they have and where are they at. I have kind of done my research on that, but other than that not really a whole lot.
ITO: What type of pitches do you throw and at what speeds? Give us a scouting report please- what are your strengths and what do you need to work on the most?
Finnigan: Fastball, slider and change-up. My fastball consistantly is around 88-90. I have topped 93-94. My two-seam fastball tails alot. I throw a four-seam fast ball as well and that has natural cut movement. I have always had that natural movement. I think it just comes from the arm slot that I throw. I probably need to work more on consistency. This year I was able to stay pretty consistent. I had only one bad outting. That has been my one flaw about me is that I get kind of inconsistent at times and struggle to command the strike-zone. That doesnt happen alot, but I can always work on getting better with that. My strenghts are my mound presence and composure. I dont let stuff get to me on the mound. I can through in tight games and tight situations. I like that. I like that pressure, that build up. Whereas alot of people will give in and let the hype get to them, I seem to always throw better.
ITO: Would you say you are a strikeout type pitcher or a pitch to contact guy?
Finnigan: I would say a strikeout pitcher. I had more strikeouts than innings this year. My slider is probably my go to strike out pitch. I use my changeup to throw more backwards in the count. Maybe start a guy off with a changeup, come back with a fastball and then use the slider as my strikeout pitch.
ITO: Are the Orioles looking at you as a reliever or a starter?
Finnigan: Probably a reliever. That has always been my strength. I kind of split roles during the college season. I started closing but then with some injuries, I became a starter. It has been the census though that I am stronger out of the pen. It is something I prefer to do as well. I am open to anything though. I am not set in my ways.
ITO: Did you have a favorite team growing up or a favorite player?
Finnigan: Favorite players were definitely Randy Johnson and Andy Pettite. Being a lefty, those two guys were definitely ones I look up to. (He assured me, now that he is an Oriole, he is talking about Andy Pettite of the Astros days NOT the Yankees). I dont really have a favorite team. I followed the Angels alot, being a southern California guy, but I will watch any team. I just love the game.
ITO: Who would you compare your stuff to at the Major League level so Orioles' fans can get an idea of what you're like on the mound? and why?
Finnigan: Someone I have always tried to pitch similar to because I feel that I have similar stuff to is Andy Pettite. I have always tried to do my windup like his. He is a guy I always idolized. He always battled and he kept his composure on the mound. (He assured me, now that he is an Oriole, he is talking about Andy Pettite of the Astros days NOT the Yankees).
ITO: What would you say is your best moment in baseball and why?
Finnigan: I went to a different Junior College last year and got to pitch against them at the end of the season this year and I got the only win of the series. That was a pretty bitter sweet moment for me.
ITO: What do you think you will bring to the Orioles organization?
FInnigan: I am a workhorse. I want to get in and start working. Being drafted is something I have always strived for and I am not going to give up until I get there. Until I get to play on a major league field. That is something that I can guarantee is that I am always going to work hard and do whatever they need me to do to help the team win and eventually get on that big field and that big stage.
ITO: Have you ever been on the east coast?
Finnigan: No, I have not.
ITO: Are you looking to sign quickly and get your professional career started right away?
Finnigan. I want to move on and I want to go play. I will sign as quickly as they want me to. As long as everything is right and they are ready to go, then I am ready to go tomorrow. I want to start playing. My uncle played professional baseball for the White Sox and he has been guiding me through how everything works. (his name is Mike Eatinger).
- Finnigan holds a scholarship to Azusa Pacific