Q&A with Rangers 14th Rd Pick Justin Gutsie

The Texas Rangers drafted right-handed reliever Justin Gutsie in the 14th round of the 2008 MLB Draft. Gutsie recently signed with the Rangers and is currently playing with short-season Spokane. Lone Star Dugout has a Q&A feature with the pitcher.

The Rangers selected right-hander Justin Gutsie in the 14th round of the 2008 MLB Draft.

In three seasons as a relief pitcher at St. John's University, Gutsie posted a 3.33 ERA. He was 4-3 with a 4.50 ERA in 28 innings this past season. Gutsie allowed 26 hits, walked 19, and struck out 35.

After a short negotiation process, the Pennsylvania native has signed with the Rangers. He was recently assigned to the short-season Spokane Indians, where he will pitch out of the bullpen.

Jason Cole: Can you tell me what it felt like to be drafted by the Rangers?

Justin Gutsie: It's a great feeling to get drafted by anybody. When they gave me the call on draft day, it was a lifelong dream that I had and I was just very excited.

Cole: Were you picked about where you were expecting to go heading into the draft?

Gutsie: Yeah, I heard anywhere from around eight to 15. Anywhere in that area. My expectations were right on I guess.

Cole: Had you talked to the Rangers much during your college season? Were they one of the teams that you thought had a shot at drafting you?

Gutsie: Yeah. I talked to the area guy a couple of times before the draft. They were one of the bigger teams that I thought were going to draft me.

Cole: Tell me about your game on the mound. Give me a scouting report on you, what pitches you throw, and the speeds you usually work at.

Gutsie: I'm a reliever. I usually throw my fastball 92-94, in that area. I throw a four-seam fastball and a two-seam fastball. My slider is usually 81-83. Changeup is 79-80.

Cole: You mentioned the two- and four-seam fastballs. Are they about the same velocity?

Gutsie: No, my two-seam fastball is probably 90, 91, 92. In that area.

Cole: What pitch would you say is your best?

Gutsie: I like using my fastball because I like going after hitters, but I use my slider as my out pitch.

Cole: Is there one pitch that, as you go into pro ball, that you're really looking to work on and develop?

Gutsie: Through college, I've actually been a two-pitch guy. I have been working on changeups in bullpen sessions and that kind of stuff. I would like to develop my changeup more.

Cole: Aside from your pitches, is there something about your game that you're really looking to improve on in professional ball?

Gutsie: I want to go there and try to improve everything. But if I had to improve something, I would like to work on my control a little bit, like hitting my spots better. I would also, like I said, like to improve my changeup.

Cole: What do you feel is your best attribute on the mound? What makes you a successful reliever?

Gutsie: I think I'm an athletic pitcher and I just like attacking hitters.

Cole: What were your thoughts on your season at St. John's this year?

Gutsie: I think I had an up and down year, but I always went out the same way. I always went out trying to attack people and sometimes the ball doesn't fall the right way. I just went out and did the same thing every time.

Cole: What would you say has been the best moment of your baseball career so far?

Gutsie: I think it's just the experience of playing Division I baseball. Making regionals two out of three years. I think that is the best experience so far.

Cole: Have the Rangers let you know whether or not you will be staying in the bullpen?

Gutsie: Yeah, I'm going to stay in the pen.

Cole: Have you ever been a starter?

Gutsie: I probably started two or three games in college, but that was it.

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