2012 MLB Draft Q & A: Walker Weickel

Right-handed pitcher Walker Weickel of Olympia High School in Orlando, Florida is featured today in our 2012 MLB Draft Q & A series. Weickel has a commit to the University of Miami and is one of the draft's top prep pitchers. Inside he discusses his pitching arsenal and approach to attacking hitters, his workout routine, his commitment to Miami, who has influenced him in his life and more.

For a full scouting report on Weickel from Scout.com's National Baseball Expert Frankie Piliere, see: 2012 Draft Scouting Report: Walker Weickel

For scouting video of Weickel, see: 2012 MLB Draft Scouting Video: Walker Weickel


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Rays Digest: If you had to give a scouting report on yourself what would it look like? What kind of pitches do you throw, and at what speed?

Walker Weickel: If I had to give a personal scouting report it would look something like this: Tall RHP with a high 3/4-to-over-the- top arm delivery. He pounds the bottom of the zone well and knows how to work the corners of the plate. He can command the zone with all three pitches and change eye levels effectively. Fastball (91-94, touches 95) is a part of a smooth and easy release with some arm side run and sink to the ball. Curve ball (74-78) is a tight 12-6 breaking ball that is located well and a very effective pitch when kept down in the zone. Change up (81-84) is still developing, but a good set-up pitch. He is athletic for his size and can repeat his delivery well. Pitch consistency and overall command are still developing and but has a concept of how to pitch and change speeds.

Rays Digest: What is your approach on the mound, and how do you go about attacking hitters?

Walker Weickel: A lot of guys try and simply over power hitters and rely completely upon their pitches to beat hitters. I, myself, like to use a more mental approach and pinpoint a hitter's weakness based on their swing or string together a series of pitches that keeps them off balance and never expecting the next pitch. Greg Maddux made quite a career off of this thinking.

Rays Digest: You're also a talented hitter with a good amount of power. Is being a full-time hitter and fielder something you're considering, or have you always been focused on pitching?

Walker Weickel: I like to do whatever I can to help my team win. If that means going to the plate and driving in a run or getting on base, I'll do whatever is asked of me to win.

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

Walker Weickel: My off-season work out is an intensive regime of training my body to be prepared to take the grind of pitching and playing all season. I try to incorporate a lot of lower-body and core strength workouts, which is the foundation for a solid pitcher. However, one of the most important parts of my offseason work out is continually improving my flexibility and speed. I want to be an athlete that can pitch and move around effectively when needed. I also try to build arm stamina and endurance through lots of running and long toss. In-season, I just try to maintain my flexibility and arm strenghth while trying to eat healthy and keep a steady playing weight.

Rays Digest: Your high school, Olympia High School, is currently ranked first on the ESPN power rankings after having not lost a single game. What has the experience been like to play for the best team in the nation?

Walker Weickel: It was great playing for my high school team this year. It was an incredible run, one that most likely won't be matched for quite a long time. It was a once in a lifetime experience and I shared it with a great group of guys.

Rays Digest: You have committed to the University of Miami. What made you choose the Hurricanes over other schools?

Walker Weickel: Miami has always been one of my favorite schools to follow ever since I was young and started to appreciate colleges. After I was fortunate enough to recieve interest from them, the snowball just started rolling. The more contact I had with the coaches, the more comfortable I became with their approach and ideology to the game. Although I've lived in Florida for the majority of my life, I'd never visited University of Miami. So once I was able to take a trip down there, it was like the icing on the cake. The combination of history and academics and overall atmosphere made it an easy decision. I knew it was the right fit for me.

Rays Digest: Although I'm sure you're focused on your season right now, the draft is approaching quickly. Being a top prospect, how much time have you spent thinking and preparing for the draft?

Walker Weickel: I've just been focused on the tasks at hand, which have been completing my senior season and graduating from high school. I don't waste a moment and am constantly taking strides to try and improve everything I do. In regards to the draft, I have worked hard and what will be, will be, I've tried to not really think about it right now. Right now my focus is on the present day.

Rays Digest: Who have been the biggest influences on your career? Is there a particular person that has helped you the most to get where you are?

Walker Weickel: My family has been my biggest support structure throughout my entire career. They have made numerous sacrifices in order for me to continue moving forward and playing baseball. I'll never be able to thank them for all they've done. I also have to thank my Lord Jesus Christ for blessing me with such amazing opportunities. My dad has been my main influence on my career so far. He has helped me with guidance and support, as well as countless hours of practice.

Rays Digest: What is your favorite MLB team? Is there a player that you admired growing up?

Walker Weickel: In more recent years I've enjoyed watching Adam Wainwright pitch.



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

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