August 7, 2007

Jeff Manship Interview

Jeff Manship was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 14th round of the 2006 draft out of Notre Dame. He is the highest rated pitcher to come out of Notre Dame, and most likely the reason he fell in the draft (as he was projected to be the 13th overall pick in the 2003 draft by BaseballAmerica.com) is because he had Tommy John surgery before his Freshman season at Notre Dame.

He started the 2007 season in Low-A Beloit. For the Snappers he and posted a 7-1 record with a 1.51 ERA with 77 strikeouts in just 77.2 innings.

He was promoted to Advanced-A Ft. Myers on June 25th and has continued his success with a 5-3 record a 2.45 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 47.2 innings for the Miracle.

He is moving up on a lot of "top prospect" boards, and Twins fans should be looking forward to watching him have a very successful career within the Twins Organziation.

Enjoy.
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Josh's Thoughts: Growing up in Texas, what team did you follow when you were growing up? Who was your favorite player?
Jeff Manship: I never really had a specific team that I would always follow when I was young. The Astros were the closest team to San Antonio so I followed them the most. I also enjoyed watching the Mariners with Ken Griffey Jr, Alex Rodriguez, Jay Buhner, Randy Johnson and Edgar Martinez. My favorite player growing up was Ken Griffey Jr.


Josh's Thoughts: (Sorry in advance if this is a difficult subject to talk about). You had Tommy John surgery in College, what exactly was wrong with your forearm? What was the hardest part about rehab? And does a player need to stick to a strict program while recovering?
Jeff Manship: I first felt discomfort in my elbow while playing for Team USA in the summer after my senior year of high school. We were playing in a tournament in Curacao, Netherland Antilles and in the 4th inning of a game against Venezuela, I injured my arm. I threw a fastball and immediately my whole forearm and elbow tightened up. I followed with 3 more pitches and they all felt the same so I pulled myself out of the game. I never heard the infamous "pop" of my ligament tearing so I did not believe any serious damage had occured. I ended up having Tommy John surgery in Febuary of my freshman year.

The hardest part about the rehab was how monotonous it got. The pain was never too severe. The only discomfort I felt was in the early stages when trying to stretch my elbow out and remove the scar tissue

If you want to recover it is wise to strictly follow the program. I was determined to come back 100% so I made sure to do everything correctly. I was also informed that I could possibly come back throwing harder so that provided extra incentive to work harder.


Josh's Thoughts: Who has influenced you the most in your career?

Jeff Manship: My father has been my biggest influence both on and off the field. He taught me how to pitch when I was 10 and has continued to provide helpful advice. In addition, my pitching coach in High School and former professional pitcher, Ben Van Ryan, was a very influential coach in my life. My brother, Matt, was very important. He has served as a role model throughout my life and continues to be a person that I greatly admire.


Josh's Thoughts: You went to Notre Dame, what were your best memories while playing for such a great program?
Jeff Manship: The tradition of the school is amazing. Hearing the fight song before every game was great. I always loved everyone on the team. We were very close-knit and that helped us to be successful.


Josh's Thoughts: At Notre Dame, what was your major?
Jeff Manship: Economics with a minor in Computer Applications.

Josh's Thoughts: What has been the most difficult part of pro baseball? Best part?
Jeff Manship: The most difficult part is the repetiveness. Playing everyday and
having few off days can be tough. The best part about professional baseball is the independence. If I want to succeed I have to be willing to put in the time and effort. In pro ball, I am handled as an adult with my own responsibilities.


Josh's Thoughts: If you weren't playing baseball, what other profession would you want to be?

Jeff Manship: I have no idea what my profession would be if I was not playing baseball. I actually have not put a huge amount of thought into it yet. Hopefully baseball will carry me a long way and provide a great career.


Josh's Thoughts: What do you like to do in your free time?

Jeff Manship: I play video games, swim and fish in my off time.


Josh's Thoughts: What is your favorite style of music? Favorite Artist?
Jeff Manship: Most people are shocked when they find out my favorite music is heavy metal. I don't have a band that I favor more than another, but I enjoy listening to Rage Against the Machine, Slipknot, and Korn.


Josh's Thoughts: What is your favorite movie? Favorite Actor/Actress?

Jeff Manship: My favorite movie is Saving Private Ryan. My favorite actor is Denzel Washington.


Josh's Thoughts: What kind of pitcher would you consider yourself as?

Jeff Manship: I guess I would consider myself as a power pitcher. I throw a 2 and 4 seam fastball, curveball, slider and change-up.


Josh's Thoughts: What pitch would you consider as your strikeout pitch?

Jeff Manship: My slider.


Josh's Thoughts: What is your greatest baseball moment?

Jeff Manship: Pitching to Ken Griffey Jr. during Spring Training this year.


Josh's Thoughts: What do you think you will need to work on between now and before you arrive in Minnesota?

Jeff Manship: Developing my change-up and throwing to contact more often rather than trying to strike everyone out.


Josh's Thoughts: What has been the biggest adjustment from playing in the Midweest League with Beloit, to playing in the Florida State League with Ft. Myers?

Jeff Manship: The hitters are obviously better so when you miss a spot it gets harder more often. The heat is also a huge change.


Josh's Thoughts: What advice would you give a young baseball player that hopes to make it into pro baseball someday?

Jeff Manship: Continue to work hard toward your goals. As a pitcher make sure to throw strikes and get ahead of hitters.


Josh's Thoughts: Thank you for answering some questions. I know you have a busy schedule and I hope you the best for the rest of the season and the rest of your career as well.


This interview can also be seen at TwinCitiesDugout.com (it's part 1 of 2).

3 comments:

maxwell said...

Great interview Josh! My favorite question was "What do you think you will need to work on between now and before you arrive in Minnesota?". The most surprising answer for me was when he said his K Out pitch was his slider. I thought he was going to say his curveball. I can't wait to see him pitch in person. Good work!

Josh's Thoughts said...

Thanks Max! That was my favorite question/answer as well.

It shows that he's more mature and knows that he has to use his off-speed pitches as well to force grounders and popups instead of striking out everyone.

Matt Garza could learn something from him. That's for sure.

It was surprising to me too because I have heard that his curveball is the best in the system. But if he can have a great curveball off of a hard slider, that's even better!

Anonymous said...

Great interview, I loved the questions and Jeff Manship gave thoughtful answers.

You are really put a lot of work into the site, hopefully the traffic continues to increase.

Jeff P