2012 Draft: Interview Arizona Wildcats staff ace Kurt Heyer
Continue Reading - Pages: 1 2
Kurt Heyer is a junior, right-handed pitcher for the Arizona Wildcats known for his supreme control, durability and advanced mound presence. He has been one of the top college pitchers in the country this season, going 9-2 with a 2.28 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 85 K/15 BB over 102.2 innings for the 17th-ranked team in the nation. He was recently named to the watch list for the Golden Spikes Award, given out annually to the top collegiate player in the country, and has been the team’s Friday night starter since day one of his freshman season. Kurt was also just named the PAC-12 Pitcher of the Week. I recently had a chance to bounce some questions off one of the top prospects for the upcoming MLB amateur draft to be held on June 4-6. I would like to thank Kurt for his time and wish him the best of luck in the draft!
You were a highly touted prospect coming out of Edison High School in California, racking up an impressive list of awards along the way. Why was Arizona the right choice for you, and how has college ball prepared you for the big leagues?
Coming out of high school, there were a few programs looking at me. My first official visit was to Arizona, and coach Andy Lopez said I could have a huge impact right from the start. And to be honest, not many programs were going to let me start on Fridays as a freshman. And I guess it was a pretty good decision!
For those not familiar with your game, tell us about your style of pitching and repertoire.
People say I have an unconventional or unorthodox windup, but it’s not intentional. I know I don’t have a very overpowering fastball, but I try changing speeds with it to disrupt the hitter’s timing and keep him off-balance. I try to create a lot of deception with my pitches, go in-and-out with my fastball. My main goal is to stay aggressive with the hitters.
Which pitch have you worked on most over the past year?
I would say my slider. When I came in as a freshman, it wasn’t a dominant “out” pitch, it was more of a show pitch. I developed a curveball the summer after my sophomore year on my coaches’ suggestion, and this season, I’ve really worked on developing the slider, and I can say it’s an “out” pitch now.
You are known for having a slightly unorthodox delivery with a mid-to-low arm slot, almost sidearm. How did you pick it up and how do you use it to your advantage?
I’m not really sure how it happened. I’ve had multiple pitching coaches show me different slots and I kind of molded everything I learned into something of my own. I was over-the-top in high school, and then dropped down and it created a lot of deception.
Pitchers who can go deep into games are always a hot commodity and something every team covets. As a sophomore last season, you averaged almost seven innings per start. This season, you are up to almost eight per start, including five complete games. What have you done to build your stamina over the years to become such a workhorse pitcher?
That’s definitely something I take pride in. I’ve worked hard in the weight room, especially my lower half. I’ve also managed my pitch counts better, which has allowed me to go deeper in games. We’re also in the part of the season where I want to go deep and give my team the best chance to win. Every game is crucial, and we’re chasing Oregon in the PAC-12.
Tell me what it means to be on the watch list for the 2012 Golden Spikes Award, given out annually to the top college player in the country?
It’s unbelievable. I’m happy to be considered. The last Arizona player to be on the watch list was back in 2004, and Terry Francona was the only Wildcat to win. Really, I’m honored and hopefully in a couple of weeks, I’m still in the running.
You were named the Friday night starter from day one your freshman season. Having been the ace of the pitching staff for one of the top programs in the country your entire career says a lot about your abilities and leadership. How do you see that carrying over to the next level?
Share and Enjoy
Continue Reading - Pages: 1 2