2006 MLB Draft: Q&A with Jeremy Jeffress

Widely considered one of the best pitching prospects in high school, right-handed pitcher Jeremy Jeffress is armed with a fastball that not only sits in the mid 90's, but it has been clocked as high as high as 99 MPH already. Honored as one the nation's best high school players at the AFLAC All-American Classic, Jeffress sat down with us for a Q&A session.

MadFriars.com: What does it mean to you to be named an AFLAC All-American and play among the nation's elite high school players?

Jeremy Jeffress: All of my life I've wanted to play in something big like this. For me to get to a stage like this, its an honor for me to play with guys like these. To be considered one of the best in high school and play with the best from around the country is really just an honor.

MadFriars.com: Tell us a little bit about your repertoire. What kind of pitches do you throw and what speed?

Jeffress: I throw a fastball, a 12-6 curve, a slider and a changeup. I throw my fastball in the upper 90's. My 12-6 is in the mid 70's, the same with my slider and changeup. I just throw as hard as I can, you know. Then I try and get them with my 12-6 and my slider. My changeup is a pitch that I don't throw all that much but it is something I will throw a little bit more this year.

MadFriars.com: We've heard all week how fast you can throw your fastball and how that is definitely your best pitch. What would you say is your second best pitch?

Jeffress: It would be my 12-6 curveball. That one is definitely my strikeout pitch and one that I use to keep the hitters off balance.

MadFriars.com: What would you say is your strongest attribute on the mound?

Jeffress: My speed [with his fastball]! That's it. I can throw my fastball for strikes but I can throw my fastball a lot harder than most guys. So that's definitely my strength as a pitcher.

MadFriars.com: What would you say is the one thing you need to work on the most this upcoming season as you prepare to begin your baseball career either in the pros or in college?

Jeffress: Gaining some weight, hit the gym, and getting stronger. I also want to work on staying loose and stretched out on the mound.

MadFriars.com: Who would you compare your game to at the Major League level?

Jeffress: I'd say Dontrelle Willis. He's just a flow kind of guy and I think I pitch the same way. I just go to it. When I'm done, I'm done. I'm not a Marlins fan. I'm actually a Red Sox fan. But he's the best pitcher for me and I think he's a guy that I could honestly say I'm like because we both have a fluid motion.

MadFriars.com: Who's the one positional player from your workouts here at the AFLAC Classic that has impressed you the most?

Jeffress: I don't think I can pick just one. I think all the catchers here have impressed me the most. That's the hardest position I've seen that you have to play. They all have great arms and they can swing the bat too. (laughing) Plus the pitchers can't pitch without a catcher.

MadFriars.com: What about the pitchers here? Who has caught your eye more than anyone else as a top pitching prospect?

Jeffress: Dellin Betances. He's tall [6'9'] and long. He's impressed me a whole lot. I've played with him before even though he's from New York, but he's the one guy that has really impressed me a lot. He reminds me of Randy [Johnson]. He's long and just lets it loose. No matter he goes [with the pitch], he just lets it fly.

MadFriars.com: Have you committed to a college yet or are you looking at colleges?

Jeffress: I'm still looking at college right now, but if the draft comes up and I go pretty high, we'll see. My main priority is to go to school. I just have to pick one. I really want to go to college, but we'll see what happens [in the draft].

MadFriars.com: So you're firmly set on going to school, even if you go in the first round and the early stages of the first round?

Jeffress: No if I go that high, I'm gone. But we'll see what happens. We have a long way to go before we get to that point.

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