MadFriars Q & A: Ben Krosschell

"When I was in high school I never lifted, never worked out, I ran and threw, and that was it." Ben Krosschell knew things would be different after being drafted by the Padres, but despite being recruited by some of the best college programs, and signing a letter of intent with New Mexico State, he never hesitated. Now in Peoria for extended spring training Krosschell's future is as bright as the Arizona sun.

MadFriars: You won't turn 20 until after the season, does that take some of the pressure off you because you don't necessarily have to move up quickly?

Ben Krosschell: I don't think it takes the pressure off, when I first came down here I knew I was going to be the young one but that doesn't mean anything to me, I'm a very competitive guy, and I want to be the best no matter how old you are or I am.

MadFriars: What do you throw?

Ben Krosschell: I throw a four-seam fastball and a two-seam fastball, a slider, and a change up. In high school never needed a change, so I've been working a lot on it this spring, and in the instructional league.

MadFriars: What were your offseason workouts like?

Ben Krosschell: When I was in high school I never lifted, never worked out, I ran and threw, and that was it. Since I've been here I work out everyday, I run everyday, and then Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I throw every week. During the offseason in Colorado there are just not that many places to work out but there were six or seven other Colorado pitchers who I worked out with and that was good for me because we all pushed each other.

MadFriars: What have you been working on so far?

Ben Krosschell: The change up. I really never even tried to throw it in high school, so I never really had control of it. This summer that's been my number one priority because I've been watching other people down here and the guys who are successful all throw it. If you want to be successful at this level you have to be able to change speeds.

MadFriars: Scout yourself for me?

Ben Krosschell: Wow, should I be telling everybody this? Okay, I can't throw the change for a strike, but I do throw the fastball consistently for strikes, my slider is fairly consistent, but it's more of a two strike pitch, I need to get guys to swing at it. I'm throwing the fastball 87 to 92 miles per hour.

MadFriars: What's the biggest difference you've seen between high school ball and the pros? Has it changed the way you pitch?

Ben Krosschell: Not necessarily. I guess my mentality is different, because the competition is better. In high school you could miss with your location, but here if you miss with a fastball they hit it a long way. It really hasn't been that tough an adjustment, because I knew coming down here there would be tough competition and guys would be able to hit the fastball, so I knew I'd have to keep it down in the zone and hit my spots.

MadFriars: What schools were recruiting you? Was it a tough decision to go pro?

Ben Krosschell: I had signed a letter of intent at New Mexico State, and I was getting recruited by Florida, Arizona, Minnesota, and Arizona State came in at towards the end, but it wasn't even a question as to whether I'd go pro or not. This is what I have always wanted to do, play pro ball. I just figured the earlier start I get the better.

MadFriars: Is there a difference between the guys who came out of college and are in extended and guys like you who came out of high school?

Ben Krosschell: Yeah, there's a little difference, but in the end we're all in the same boat. Everybody's fighting for the same spot, and the best man plays whether your sixteen years old or twenty-four years old.

MadFriars: Who are you working with?

Ben Krosschell: Wally Whitehurst. He's a great guy, we have a real good relationship. I have been having real trouble with the change, and he's been a huge help. I've probably thrown that change up with 15 different grips since I got here, and I think we've finally got one that's working now. It's not perfect, it's not even close, but it's getting better.

MadFriars: What is the ideal 2005 for you?

Ben Krosschell: I would be really happy to be in Fort Wayne by the end of the year. That's a goal I think is realistic, and I think it's still challenging me.

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