Q&A 4th Round Pick, Kyle Simon

ITO interviews the Orioles 4th round pick, RHP Kyle Simon from the University of Arizona. This year Simon was 11-3 with a 2.72 ERA. He appeared in 19 games, started 18 and pitched five complete games. He struck out 86 and walked 11 over 129 innings.

InsidetheOs: Tell us what is going through your mind after being selected by the Orioles

Kyle Simon: I was really excited. I spent my last summer at Cape Cod. I love the East Coast. Growing up on the West Coast I had not really experienced the East Coast that much but knowing that I am going to live there for many years in the future, I am ready to go.

ITO: Where were you when you heard your name called?

Simon: We were playing our regional championship game at Texas A&M.

ITO: Were you surprised it was the Orioles that selected you? Had you and the Orioles talked much before the draft?

Simon: I talked to a rep from all the teams, but they did not pop out to me as one that I was going to get picked by. I talked to a few others the night before and I thought they would get me. I talked to the O’s area scout and I felt comfortable with him and we went over everything that I would go through and it sounded amazing to me.

ITO: Do you have any idea what the Orioles organization or farm system is like?

Simon: I learned that they are all in Maryland except for Triple-A and Spring Training is in Florida. One of my friends from high school’s dad is a huge Orioles fan. My best friends grandpa was one of the first Orioles, Cal Abrams. People would come over to me and talk to me about Baltimore and how it’s a great place to live

ITO: What type of pitches do you throw?

Simon: I throw a two-seam fastball which I throw every time, a cutter and then a change-up. My fastball is usually around 87-91 when I start. When I come out of the pen I can usually get it up to 93-94.

ITO: Have the Orioles talked to you about if they want you to be a starter or come in relief?

Simon: Since I threw so many innings the past three years, I think I threw around 350-400 innings, they are going to put me in the pen just to give my arm a rest. I will probably throw an inning or two every other game just because there is no rush. i think they are going to have me as a seven inning guy or back to the starter. It really depends how I work in the minors. I am really comfortable in whatever position they put me

ITO: Would you consider yourself a pitch to contact pitcher or strikeout pitcher?

Simon: I am a pitch to contact guy. This year I pitched to contact and had one of the highest ratio of balls put in play that were on the ground.. All my stuff just dives down. I am never really afraid to throw my fastball in any count because it is pretty rare for them to make solid contact with it. I am excited to start throwing to wood bats so I can break some. Over my freshman summer I think I broke 25 bats in the Northwoods League and last year I think I broke around 10-20. I am certainly a pitch to contact guy. I would rather throw one pitch and get a guy out and give the fielder a little bit of play than throw three to four pitches and strike a guy out. I love to pitch to contact and terrible contact at that.

ITO: Did you have a favorite team growing up or a favorite player?

Simon: I grew up being an Angels fan but as the years went on, I did not have a preference of any team. In my last year of Pony ball I was on the Orioles. I feel like I resemble myself closest to Derek Lowe

ITO: Talk to us about the mindset from a closer to a starter

Simon: When you start, you have slotted when you are actually going to throw so you have three to four days before each start and you can prepare your mind by relaxing it. I usually go through a lot of mental preparation. With coming in closing, you really don’t know when you are coming in. You don’t know what type of game is going to happen. You don’t know if the starter will only go two or three innings. Other than that I feel like it is a different mindset. Finishing the game, those last three innings are so crucial. If you start the game and have a bad inning, there are four or five after that you can make up for it.

ITO: What would you say is your best moment in baseball and why?

Simon: Probably making the Cape Cod All-Star team and being able to pitch in Fenway.

ITO: Are you looking to sign quickly and get your professional career started right away?

Simon: I am going to sign but I am going to give myself some time to rest. It will probably happen in the next few days. I am just kind of giving my arm a rest since it hasn’t had one in about three years. I am still conditioning and everything. I will head out to Baltimore, and you have to go through all these physicals, and then I think after that I will go to Low-A Short Season in Aberdeen.

ITO: What do you think you will bring to the Orioles organization?

Simon: I am going to bring an aggressiveness. I am guy who really attacks hitters and gets the job done. I can be an innings eater guy. There is alot of stuff I can bring to the table. Being an expierenced player, I have faced some of the best hitters in the country and I am ready to start my career going after major league hitters. I am not going to be afraid, and I am not going to be timid. My strikeout to walk ratio was 86 to 11 this past season over 130 innings.


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