TigsTown Q&A: 9th Rd Pick RHP Anthony Shawler

Everyone knows the Tigers snagged Justin Verlander from Old Dominion - but what they don't know is that Verlander's single game strikeout record lasted just a couple years, before being broken by ODU standout Anthony Shawler. Shawler, one of the newest members of the organization, can only he can continue to out-pace Verlander.

TigsTown: How does it feel to be drafted?

Anthony Shawler: Very excited to be drafted, relieved as well that it's over now. When I was drafted in high school I wasn't picked until the 45th round, so I'm glad this time it got over quick. But I'm just real excited, relieved that the waiting is over and I can get ready to get to that next step.

TT: Did you have any idea where you might go?

AS: I knew the Tigers liked me a lot – their area scout saw me break Justin Verlander's record, so I knew they had a lot of interest. As far as round, I was hearing as high as round six, all the way down to round ten. So going in the ninth was right in where I was expecting.

TT: What do you know about the Detroit Tigers?

AS: Not a whole lot – wasn't a big Detroit fan growing up, but I'm their favorite fan now!

TT: Do you think you'll be signing with the Tigers, or do you feel like more time in school would help develop your game more?

AS: Pretty sure I'll be signing. I obviously will want to look at all the avenues and talk with my advisor and talk with my family, but I think I'm ready to go play at that next level.

TT: Tell us a little bit about your game.

AS: I have two fastballs – my two seamer I throw anywhere from 88 to89 while my four seamer is around 91, which I try and control and keep down in the zone. As for secondary pitchers, I have both a slider and cutter, the cutter I throw mainly to left-handers, down and in as a good out-pitch. I also have a change-up that I throw mostly to lefties because against righties it runs back to the barrel.

TT: Where do you feel like you could improve the most?

AS: My Change-up needs the most work – I didn't have a good one last year, but this off season I worked hard on it. This season people commented how I had a viable change-up, but it's still not a great pitch, and I need to develop it as a good pitch.

TT: What kind of role do you see yourself having – starting or relieving or even closing?

AS: Really, I'll do whatever they want me to do. I've been a starter for three years at Old Dominion, and I think that's what they drafted me as. But if they want me to come out of the ‘pen, and be that shut down type guy

TT: So if they felt you'd be better off in relief, you'd move there?

AS: As I see it, they've got a lot more experience and knowledge, that's why they're there. So if they feel like I'm better suited for something, whether that be working in relief or changing my arm slot, I'll do it. They're going to coach and lead me to do what is going to help me be most successful, so I just need to follow them.

TT: What's been your most memorable moment as a baseball player?

AS: I've got two. The first is when I got a phone call that I was named First Team All American – it was so rewarding for all the hard work and the great year I had. And the second would be when I had 18 strikeouts vs. Northeastern, breaking Justin Verlander's record. Now looking back I'm just in awe that I was able to do that. Also, it gives me a great respect for someone like Kerry Wood who had 20-plus strikeouts.

TT: Who is one person you'd like to thank for helping you get to where you are today?

AS: Definitely my father. He was always my biggest fan, and wanted to see me do well. He's always been there and helped me out where he could, and put me with the people that had the knowledge that could help me when he couldn't.

TT: Do you have an ultimate goal as a baseball player?

AS: I want to retire as a big leaguer. I want to move up thru the ranks, play in the big leagues, eventually win a World Series championship for the Tigers, and be able to retire as a big leaguer and World Series champion.

TT: Anything you'd like to say to the newest Tiger fans?

AS: I'm just really excited to get in the organization – hopefully I can make it up to Detroit as soon as possible and help the team get a couple of wins. I'm just real excited to be a Tiger.

TigsTown would like to thank Anthony for taking the time to talk to us, and wishes him well as he begins his pro career!

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