Pirates Prospect Interview: Tim Alderson

Tim Alderson spent the majority of ‘09 in Double-A while most players his age were finishing up their junior years of college. The 21-year old right-hander began the year in the Giants organization and made five starts in High-A ball. He was then bumped up to Double-A, he was a combined 10-3 last season with a 3.93 ERA. PiratesDugout.com's George Von Benko spoke with Alderson recently.

GVB -- Were you happy with the way you pitched last season?

TA -- I think I was, I don't think the results tell the whole story – I kind of had an up and down year and I could have easily had a lot more losses and vise versa, but it was a good year and there was a lot of learning along the way last year. Pitching in Double-A the hitters are a lot better and I was just trying to work deeper into games and not worry too much about my numbers and trying to learn as the season went on.

GVB -- You were traded from the Giants organization to the Pirates during the season, how did you handle that transition?

TA -- It was definitely a crazy week and you never expect to be traded, but when it happens you take a step back and realize that it's a huge part of the game now days. You just have to take it for what it is and go from there. The Pirates were great when I got there from day one and I'm really looking forward to being a part of this organization.

GVB -- What's the biggest difference you've noticed in the philosophies or methods between the Giants and Pirates organizations?

TA -- The Giants gave me a huge opportunity to start in High A and just let me pitch. The Pirates are much more hands on and have very structured programs with all their players, position and pitchers. Both systems have really helped me grow as a player.

GVB -- What are the areas of your game that the Pirates have had you work on?

TA -- They have had me go back to doing some of the things that I was doing in high school where I had a lot of my success. They had me start from scratch and watch some film that I had from high school and go from there.

GVB -- Was it anything drastic with your mechanics?

TA -- Not too much, just trying to be quicker with everything and use some of the things I've had success with in the past and I think it will work out.

GVB -- There has been a lot written about your unorthodox delivery. Have you had discussions with the Pirates coaching staff about making changes to your delivery?

TA -- The delivery is something I have always done, without knowing what it looked like. I have always been throwing that way since Little League. If you ask me to bend my leg that way I probably couldn't do that for you but when I pitch it feels very natural.

GVB -- What is your pitching repertoire and how confident are you in those pitches?

TA -- I'm basically a fastball, curveball guy. I try to keep the ball low and let my defense work for and get as deep in the game as I possibly can to give our bullpen some rest and I feel like I can throw those pitches at anytime in the count. I'm working on my changeup a lot and I look forward to using that and getting some confidence with that.

GVB -- Much has been made about the drop-off in "stuff" that you experienced in 2009. What happened with the drop off in your velocity?

TA -- I am not sure how to explain it but I did have a small drop in my velocity last year. It was a blessing in disguise because I have been focusing more on pitching than just getting on the mound and throwing and I am learning how to get people out without my best stuff.

GVB -- Have they talked to you about what level you will start the season at in the minors?

TA -- You always hope to go up to the next level each year, but it's not up to me and they haven't told me too much. They are kind of waiting to see where everyone falls from big league camp and I don't think they've made any cuts yet. I'm just kind of working on what I need to work on to get ready for the season and just go wherever they send me and go with confidence in what their plan is.

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