Cooper Brannan progressing in Peoria

Peoria, AZ-- When we last saw Cooper Brannan, he was a clean-cut military boy, but he went grunge, with facial hair to boot, kicking off his career on the mound in Peoria, Arizona. He has since cleaned up since he was given a brief respite back in California, but the attitude remains - his primary focus is baseball.

First, talk about your repertoire of pitches that you walked in hear with.

Cooper Brannan: I have five pitches right now – I am still working on a few of them – the changeup. I have a good four-seam and two-seam and was taught a new slider that I am throwing pretty well.

With five pitches, did the Padres tell you to shelve a pitch so you could focus on the command of a particular pitch?

Cooper Brannan: I didn't come with a curveball. We might shelve another one but it is a work in progress. They kind of like what I am doing and I am working hard and having a great time.

I am one of the few people who never asked you about the signing process. Can you shed a little bit of light on how that transpired?

Cooper Brannan: I got a chance to meet with Sandy Alderson and Buddy Black just on coincidence at a XO Sports Radio function in California. One of my buddies told them, ‘hey, he is a pitcher. Give him a tryout.' They gave me a go and liked what I had. They sent a scout out to Nazareene University and liked what I had.

What was the speed on your fastball at that time and you obviously had some projection if I remember right. And what are you hitting now that you have got into the routine?

Cooper Brannan: I only threw 85 out there with just my arm. They knew that once they got me with a pitching coach – and I told them I hadn't worked with anyone in a while and if they got me working with somebody I could probably throw low-90s. They have me throwing 88-90, 91 now.

How long had it been since you threw?

Cooper Brannan: I did it a few times with the Marines All-Star team – but it has been two and a half years.

Who do you feel has really helped you the most since arriving in Peoria?

Cooper Brannan: I have been working with Razor (Dave Rajsich) and he has been doing a great job. Bob Cluck, Wally Whitehurst – they are grooming me. I am throwing a few innings here and there so I don't throw my arm out.

Did you say you came in with a changeup and how has that progressed since coming aboard?

Cooper Brannan: I had two changeups coming in and one was solid. The other changeup was a little iffy. We changed the grip and now it is a changeup away to a left-handed hitter. It is a pretty good pitch.

Are you attacking lefties and righties the same?

Cooper Brannan: I feel like I attack righties a little bit harder, but I still feel confident going against lefties. I want to say just get used to seeing the batter switch up on the other side. It has been so long for me and the biggest thing is consistency. Once you get that consistency down it doesn't matter who you face.

MadFriars Top Stories