Exclusive Interview With Kevin Slowey

Here is an exclusive interview with current Fort Myers starting pitcher Kevin Slowey. Slowey was recently named Florida State League Pitcher of the Week, and is currently off to a hot start to the 2006 season. A top prospect in the Twins' organization, Slowey talks about what it is like being honored by the FSL, what it is like being on a great pitching staff, who is going to have breakout years, and much more.

TwinCitiesDugout.com: How have you made the adjustment to pitching in the Florida State League?

Kevin Slowey: Obviously anytime you start in a new league, or for a new team, it takes a while to recognize and adapt to the changes. . The biggest difference that I have noticed here in the Florida State League is the increased discipline that the hitters seem to posses. In the Midwest League, the majority of batters would swing at a ball 1-2 inches off the plate, whereas here hitters rarely swing at pitches that far out of the zone. So I guess the biggest adjustment that I have made is in learning to live in the strike zone, and forcing contact as opposed to avoiding it.

TwinCitiesDugout.com: Is it easier for you having guys like Anthony Swarzak and Matt Garza in the rotation with you?

Kevin Slowey: Without a doubt. Having great pitchers on the staff ahead of you in the rotation helps a ton. We really feed off of each other's starts and challenge ourselves to keep up with each others stats. The good natured competition seems to really keep each one of us at our best.

TwinCitiesDugout.com: To what do you credit your early season success?

Kevin Slowey: I feel like my success so far in the season is a result of a few things. For one, pitchers always seem to have an advantage at the beginning of the year. Two, I am pitching in front of a very good defensive team that allows me to really pound the zone and let my teammates do the work behind me. Finally, the friendly competition between starters seems to keep everyone sharp.

TwinCitiesDugout.com: Do you feel you would be ready if they promoted you to Double-A New Britain?

Kevin Slowey: I would like to think I would be able to hold my own in AA, but having never pitched there, i cant really be sure. Also, moving up or down in the organization is one of those things that the individual player has very little control over. There are so many outside factors that influence roster changes, all I can really do is keep going out there, keep giving my team chance to win, and see what happens.

TwinCitiesDugout.com: What does winning something like winning Florida State League Pitcher of the Week honors mean to you?

Kevin Slowey: Obviously, its a honor anytime you win any type of award. Especially here in the Florida State League, with so many good pitchers on each team. It is nice to be recognized for your accomplishments, even if its only a week's worth of accomplishments.

TwinCitiesDugout.com:You have allowed very few walks this season. Being one of the best control pitchers in the organization, do you feel your control is better this year?

Kevin Slowey: I don not feel that it is particularly better. I just feel very confident in my team behind me, so that as long as I keep pounding the strike zone, they will be making the defensive plays.

TwinCitiesDugout.com:What is your main goal for the 2006 season?

Kevin Slowey: My main goal for the 2006 season is to continue to do well, and give myself every opportunity to continue to move up within the organization. Since this will be my first full season in Minor League Baseball, I am just trying to keep improving and get accustomed to the daily grind of playing a full slate of games.

TwinCitiesDugout: Who do you feel pitcher-wise is going to surprise people this season?

Kevin Slowey: Kyle Aselton and Tim Lahey tie for this one. Kyle got some exposure last year, but he always seems to get lost in the shuffle of high round picks. His stuff is pretty dirty, and he really competes well. As for Lahey, he is becoming more and more of a pitcher each time out there, and the 91-95 mph sinker sort of helps out.

TwinCitiesDugout.com: Which hitter do you feel will do the same?

Kevin Slowey: This year's breakout hitter is Garret Guzman. He was out all of last year as a result of a car accident. I feel that he has a great left-handed swing and uses the whole field at the plate.

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