MadFriars' Spring Training:  Max Fried

Peoria, AZ -  Max Fried, 20, comes into  the 2014 season as one of the Padres' top prospects.  The six-foot-four left-hander was the seventh overall pick of the 2012 draft and spent last season with the Low-A Fort Wayne TinCaps in his first professional season. 

"I have him as the number three prospect in the system and one of the top one hundred in baseball, so my expectations are pretty high," said Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus on his season last year.

"When you have his athletic ability, are left-handed and have the ability to throw three quality pitches I thought I would see a little more domination of the Midwest League."

Fried led Fort Wayne with a 100 strike outs in 118.2 innings pitched but also allowed a team high 56 walks.  Still, despite a 6-7 record the season was a success as he made 23 starts, pitched part of a no-hitter with three other pitchers and at times flashed three plus pitches; including a fastball that can touch 95 MPH.

How is your health?

Max Fried: I am doing a lot better. Progressing really well and the arm is feeling a lot better. I've had no problems going forward.

What exactly was wrong?

Max Fried: I just had some tightness and it had been something that was bothering me over the off-season coming into spring. I informed the team and we decided to just take some precautionary measures to make sure it was completely gone.

So you are still on track to start the season in Lake Elsinore?

Max Fried: Right now I'm probably going to begin the season in Extended [Spring]. I will miss a little bit of time but hopefully not too much.

Last year you pitched in Fort Wayne and had a pretty good year, but there were other parts I'm sure you would have liked to improve upon. How did your arm feel for throwing that many innings.

Max Fried: It was definitely a very fun time, one of the best times that I've had. A great baseball town and park. There was a little soreness after the season but it was much more of being a little tired than hurt.

Which pitch were you most satisfied with and which one do you need to improve upon the most?

Max Fried: I was very happy with how my changeup progressed. It was something that I really worked on in the off-season last year and I was happy with how it came along.

Obviously my fastball command could have been a lot better. It is something now in my throwing program that I am really trying to improve upon. Also my curve needs to be consistent. I really like it when it works, it just has to be more often.

Being from the LA area how was it working with TinCaps' pitching coach Burt Hooten, the former Dodgers‘ great?

Max Fried: Definitely a lot of fun. A long-time Dodger and MVP of an NLCS so it was great to have the opportunity to pick his brain by being around him all the time.

What do you really want to improve upon going into this season?

Max Fried: Not over analyzing situations and just going after hitters. I need to start trusting my stuff more and stay within my plan. Then the walks and other stuff should fall into place.

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