TigsTown Q&A: NDFA Nolan Moody

Nolan Moody, a four year pitcher for the MSU Spartans, was signed by the Tigers in early July and has started his pro career in the Gulf Coast League.

TigsTown: The blatantly obvious first question here is, how does it feel to get signed and get your career underway with the Detroit Tigers?

Nolan Moody: It's really exciting! I didn't really know if I was going to continue to play after this year or not, and when they called I was just thrilled. Getting down here to Lakeland is even more exciting. It's been great!

TT: Had the Tigers shown some pre-draft interest, and did you feel there was the potential to get drafted, or were you more expecting to hear some things after the draft died down?

NM: I had talked to the Tigers Area Scout a few times, and he had said he liked me, but he obviously couldn't make any promises. At the time of the draft, I was hoping to get picked up but three was no certainty. I thought I had a chance at the time, but it didn't happen, and then they called me two weeks later.

TT: You obviously just got down there, and made your pro debut yesterday. How did it feel to get out there on the mound and get your career underway?

NM: It felt good to get it out of the way. I had some nerves going so its good to get that firs touting out of the way. It didn't go great, but that's alright, now I've got room for improvement.

TT: Have you had a chance since you got down there to talk with guys like Greg Sabat or some of the roving instructors to get a feel for what they're looking for from you?

NM: Their expectation of me is a bullpen role, reliever. In terms of what that is exactly, they haven't gone into too many details, but they just want to get me in games and see what I can do. That's good enough for me. Just let me go out there and pitch, that's all I want to do.

TT: One of your teammates the last two years at Michigan State was Eric Roof, and with him being drafted by the Tigers, have you had a chance to talk with him at all?

NM: I've talked to Eric quite a few times actually. When he heard that I signed, he was as excited as I was. His dad is in the organization, I grew up a Tiger fan, and I think the opportunity to play professional baseball for the team we've always rooted for is a thrill.

TT: Speaking of growing up as a Tiger fan, the Gulf Coast League is one of the few teams in the organization where you walk out there and immediately put on that Old English ‘D.' How did it feel to look down and see that on your chest, or on your hat in the mirror?

NM: That was really cool! When I heard that I was coming here, I had already known that, and I was really excited to get to wear a Tiger uniform right when I get here!

TT: Did you have a favorite Tiger player growing up?

NM: When I was younger it was Travis Fryman. In fact, I was number 24 all throughout college because he was my favorite player when I was little.

TT: While I can try to tell our readers what Coach Boss or the scouts think of your abilities, it's often times interesting to hear the player's thoughts. How would you describe yourself to our readers?

NM: I throw strikes with all my pitches, that's the big thing. I don't throw particularly hard, I'm usually 88-90 or so. I throw a slider and change-up, with the slider probably being the pitch I throw the most. But I will throw all three pitches in any count.

TT: When I did speak to Coach Boss earlier, the one thing he continually mentioned that he loved about you was your competitiveness and fire on the field. What in your up-bringing or baseball career can you attribute that competitiveness to?

NM: I guess I've always had it. I don't really know where it comes from, but it definitely helps. When things don't go my way, I like to think I step it up a bit and take things to a new level. Winning is something that you always want to do, and I always want to compete and try to win.

TT: Have you set some goals for yourself this summer, maybe some goals that might earn you a promotion to Oneonta to pitch to your buddy Eric Roof?

NM: That would be awesome! Any kind of promotion would be great, but right now I have no plans to leave. I just got here, so I just want to worry about pitching well down here. I guess the main goal is that as a free agent there are no guarantees for next year, so to get back for spring training next year is what I'm shooting for right now.

TT: Looking back to your college career a bit, what would you say some of your highlights were from your time at Michigan State?

NM: I think my biggest individual highlight was obviously throwing a no-hitter against Northwestern this year. That was at the first game of our new stadium too, so it was a cool historical thing as well. You can never pick when you are going to throw a no-hitter, but I suppose I picked the right time for lack of a better term. That was really cool from an individual standpoint. As a team, we hadn't made the Big Ten Tournament since I had been there. One of our big goals was to take a step in that direction, and we did that.

TT: A couple of other Spartans are in the organization, with Jeff Gerbe up in Oneonta, and Mark Sorensen in West Michigan. Have you had a chance to speak with them at all and get a feel for their thoughts on the organization?

NM: I have not talked to Jeff since this time last year. Mark, I talk to all the time, and he's doing great. From what I've heard from both of them, they love the Tigers organization. They have had nothing but good things to say about it.

TT: Any last words as we wrap things up?

NM: If I had any final thoughts, it's just how exciting I am that I'm getting a chance to be a part of the organization I always grew up rooting for. It's a really big thrill for me!

TigsTown would like to thank Nolan for taking a few minutes to speak with us about his new career, his time at MSU, and about pitching for the organization he has always loved. We wish him the best of luck in the GCL the rest of this summer, and hope to see him on the field for quite some time.

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