Bucs Prospect Interview: Zack Von Rosenberg

Pirates right-hander Zack Von Rosenberg spent last season at State College. He posted an ERA of 7.50 in his first three outings, but 2.11 after that. The 21-year old opened 2011 at West Virginia. In his Single-A debut against the Asheville, He struck out nine, walked one, and gave up four hits and one run in five innings. PiratesDugout.com's George Von Benko spoke with Von Rosenberg recently.

GVB -- Looking back at last season how did you feel you pitched?

ZVR -- It was definitely a learning experience; I got a lot out of last year. I got beat up and I'm a better man for it and luckily I got to finish strong and stayed strong throughout the season and finish well in my opinion.

GVB -- You got beat up early, what were some of the adjustments you made that helped you finish strong?

ZVR -- Precision more than anything, try to keep the ball down against experienced hitters or they will make you pay if you leave the ball up. That was the biggest thing for me – just making sure I get those groundball outs and just keep the ball down in the zone so they couldn't put a good swing on it.

GVB -- Tell me about your pitch arsenal – what do you throw?

ZVR -- I throw a fastball; curveball and a change up, I also throw a two seamer.

GVB -- Have you had those pitches all along or have you developed one of those pitches while you were in the system and how confident in those pitches are you?

ZVR -- With me I feel like I can throw any one of those pitches in any count. I've always had them and that's been my strength and now I'm just refining them and making them even better.

GVB -- You are just starting your career, what was your first impression of professional baseball – anything surprise you?

ZVR -- How much better the talent is and how many great players there really are. It's humbling to know that there are that many great ballplayers in this game and around the country. It's phenomenal to see all this competition and it makes you want to be that much better.

GVB -- How about the grind of playing everyday – was that a problem for you?

ZVR -- It's a grind, but what would I be doing? This is something I've wanted to do my whole life, when I was a kid you tell people you want to play pro baseball and they laugh at you, but you get here and it's exactly what you dreamed of doing. Going out and having fun playing the game in front of people that are rooting for you, it's a unique thing and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

GVB -- Colton Cain said the guys in your particular draft class are still together and you push each other. Is the competition good?

ZVR -- Oh yeah we keep each other in check and we all work hard to get better and we are all friends and it's healthy competition. I think it's going to benefit us all in the future.

GVB -- What did the have you working on in the Instructional League this year?

ZVR -- Most important was repeating my delivery, because during the year I was a little bit sporadic with certain things and aspects of my delivery and the most important thing I tried to refine was repeating delivery and quality pitches and it was obviously beneficial.

GVB -- Do you feel good about your progress and are you on track in your mind?

ZVR -- I don't have a timetable, I'm just going to take it day-to-day and make sure I take one day at a time everyday to improve my game in the process of getting to the major leagues.

GVB -- Are you excited about some of the young arms in the minor league system?

ZVR -- Absolutely, there is a very, very bright future for the Pirates and it's something for fans to get excited about because the talent in the minor leagues is unbelievable and this year the system is going to be unbelievable trying to place guys at affiliates and competition is awesome, but would you rather not have competition and not have a good minor league system? I'd rather us be stacked with pitching, because it's awesome to know that we're among the best in the minor leagues – especially with our Double A club that pitched really well last year.

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