Ben Krosschell: I went out and did real well in spring training and got sent to the Northwest League and struggled in the beginning. I really got hit around a little bit. I think my approach wasn't as strong as it could have been. I was really only pitching with two pitches. I got myself into some bad counts and it kind of hurt me. I got a bunch of losses and gave up some runs that I didn't want and then the season went on and I gradually improved. Wally Whitehurst was my coach – we did this thing called ‘Pitching 101' and I would sit next to him in the dugout and he would ask me what pitch I would throw in a certain situation. I would think about it and it really improved my baseball savvyness.
Towards the end of the year I really started figuring it out and really started using the changeup more. It stated working out for me.
Instructional League – my whole objective was learning how to throw a changeup – shoot, every third pitch would be a changeup. I would only throw fastball, changeups. I started to figure it out – and that is my season.
You never threw a changeup in high school. Talk about that and where you stand now.
Ben Krosschell: I never needed to (throw it in high school). I really wish I could go back. It would be so much easier. ‘I wish I would have' but I really never thought of it and I had success with my fastball and my slider so I never brought it upon myself to learn the changeup. I really wish I should have. I have good coaching and have started to learn the changeup. I am really happy with how it is coming along.
Talk about your maturation process as a pitcher.
Ben Krosschell: I think from when I started to where I am at right now is I have just gotten smarter and smarter and smarter. Just learning the game. When I first got in here I really didn't realize how much savvyness you need – how much baseball intelligence you need. That is where I am really growing, not only physically but mentally growing.
How has your workout regimen changed since high school and what has been the goal this offseason?
Ben Krosschell: Shoot, they told me they wanted me to gain ten pounds so that is all I have been doing, eating and working out. I don't mind it and my mom doesn't mind it. I think I came out of Instructional League at 162 and I think I weighed myself in 179 or 180 now. I have been gaining some weight. Hopefully I can keep it on. I have been eating like crazy. I am trying to balance it – keeping it on while I do my cardio because I don't want to run my brains out with all this weight.
I have been working out a lot – really trying to stay in shape. That is my main thing and really conditioning my arm and I think – I don't think, I know I am ready. I have been working hard.