2012 MLB Draft Q & A: Alec Rash

The next interview in our 2012 MLB Draft Q & A series is with Iowa prep right-handed pitcher Alec Rash. Rash has been rumored to being moving up on some draft boards and is ranked by Scout's Frankie Piliere as the draft's number 98 prospect. Inside he discusses his arsenal of pitches and approach on the mound, his preparation for this year's draft, his commitment to Missouri and much more.

Rays Digest: What kind of pitches do you throw, and what would you say is your best pitch?

Alec Rash: Most people (even scouts) think that I throw fastball, slider and change and I do throw those pitches. My fastball is my best pitch, but it actually is more than just a four-seamer. I like to work in, out, up and down with my fastball and I like to cut my two-seamer. I haven't had chemistry with a catcher for a while, but two years ago I got to throw to Spencer Navin in fall ball (now Vanderbilt's catcher) and that kid could really handle my two-seamer. My cut fastball is my favorite pitch.

Rays Digest: What would a scouting report on you look like? How do you about attacking hitters on the mound?

Alec Rash: The scouting report on me would probably say that I like to get ahead and then want to overpower hitters. I actually do like my fastball, but also like my slider as a swing-and-miss pitch. I have been told that I should pitch to contact and let hitters get themselves out. I will get to that point, but I do enjoy striking out quality hitters. Being labeled a power pitcher makes my off-speed stuff more effective.

Rays Digest: What does your workout routine look like in-season and during the off-season?

Alec Rash: My in-season work includes more bullpen and mechanical work and more running to flush. Sometimes I will play a couple hours of basketball for my flush. Long-toss is a big part of my routine, but in-season it becomes less frequent. I do long-toss as part of my pre-pitching routine and off days include plyometric work. My off-season work is heavy on long toss. We chart every workout and go until it is to cold or snowy to get outside.

Rays Digest: You committed to the University of Missouri. What made you choose Mizzou over other schools?

Alec Rash: I chose Missouri because I could really identify with the program. [University of Missouri Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator] Kerrick Jackson recruited me and we talked on the phone every week for a year before I visited Columbia. When I got there and met the coaches and some of the players I knew that it was where I wanted to be. I'm from the midwest even though I spent some time down south.

Rays Digest: I read that you moved to Alabama after your sophomore year but returned to ADM High School in Iowa as a senior. What caused the move?

Alec Rash: My family moved to Alabama because my mom got reassigned to Birmingham from her Des Moines office. The experience was great for me for a number of reasons. I had great coaches and teammates that I stay in contact with.

Rays Digest: In addition to baseball, you're also a standout basketball and football player. What made you choose baseball, and did you ever consider playing the other sports after high school?

Alec Rash: I played every sport growing up and enjoyed all of them. I love to compete. I chose baseball because I started getting D1 attention in that sport as a freshman. Some schools contacted me about basketball and I did talk to a few schools.

Rays Digest: Now that high school baseball is slowly coming to an end, the focus turns on the draft. How much have you actually thought about and prepared for it? Are you attending any workouts?

Alec Rash: My baseball workouts have been very productive this spring and being in shape from playing basketball was a big reason why. I seriously had only thrown four times before the PG Indoor workout and it went very well. My preparation has been for the high school season and I have always done that at PG Spring league. The difference this year is the attention from the scouts. As the MLB guys talked to me more, I started paying a little more attention to what might happen in June. The pre-draft workouts conflict with the Iowa high school season so those don't fit the schedule that I am committed to. The scouts respect that, but it is an honor to be invited to the workouts.

Rays Digest: If a team decides to draft you, what kind of things are you looking for to potentially sign and pursue professional baseball?

Alec Rash: I would look at the developmental side of an organization and the success they have had with high school right-handed pitchers.

Rays Digest: Who have been the biggest influences on you as a player and person? Is there anybody that has helped you especially along the way?

Alec Rash: Coach Mauldin at Pelham High School in Alabama was a big influence on me as a player. I was just a thrower when I got to Pelham and Coach worked very hard to teach me how to pitch. My junior year was a great learning experience and I wouldn't even be talked about in the draft if I hadn't spent a year at Pelham. Steve James at Perfect Game has picked up where Coach Mauldin left off and helped me a great deal since then. The biggest influence has been from my parents. They have always been supportive of me and my sisters.

Rays Digest: Do you have a favorite MLB team? Are there any players you particularly look up to?

Alec Rash: I watched the Cubs growing up so I know more about them than any other team. As far as players that I admire, I keep track of Jeremy Hellickson and the Sweeney brothers because they are from Iowa.

Marc Nemcik is the MLB Draft correspondent for Rays Digest. You can follow him on Twitter at @marcnemcik


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