Chicago White Sox: Exclusive interview with prospect Blake Battenfield

Chicago White Sox (Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
Chicago White Sox (Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images) /
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Chicago White Sox, Mariano Rivera
Chicago White Sox (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

Standing out, Pitching style

Q: Obviously the White Sox have a very loaded farm system, with big names such as Dylan Cease and Michael Kopech. How do you plan on differentiating yourself from the rest of the pack?

A: The names that you just mentioned, the Kopech’s, the Cease’s, they all have something about them that is plus. Kopech is a high-velocity guy, he made it to the big leagues so obviously he’s got plus command. Cease is another high velocity guy. I feel like the way I need to forward myself is, because I’m not a guy that’s going to blow you away with my fastball, I have a four-pitch mix, and I feel like what I’m trying to make myself stand out as is someone who can command all four at all times, and with great poise. I want the White Sox to know that no matter what the situation is, I’m going to perform, no matter how big the situation is I’m going to compete no matter what that situation is.

Q: Growing up, who did you model your pitching style after?

A: Growing up I didn’t really focus on pitching a whole lot, until I got into high school. Even then I played basketball, but I played a lot of shortstop growing up, so to say that I modeled my game after one particular person, I don’t know if I could name one. Growing up watching a lot of great pitchers pitch, you just piece things together and make them yours. One guy is Mariano Rivera–you always love watching that guy pitch–he just got inducted into the Hall of Fame, and he had extreme poise, that guy never seemed rattled no matter what was going on, it just never seemed like it was too big, and he could just go out and compete.

Q: Who was the toughest hitter that you faced in college?

A: Two guys: Mark Payton from Texas, and Luken Baker from TCU. Completely different styles of hitting, but both of them I feel like could hit just about anything. If I had to pick one, I would have to say Payton, he was an incredible challenge. Every time he would step to the plate you would say to yourself “ok, how can I get this guy out”, because I think he had some amazing streak like 100+ games reaching base, I think he holds the record for consecutive games reaching base.