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Top Prospect Alert Interview - Brett Myers

By Paul Gierhart

The following interview has been a whole season in the making.  I think the length of time it took to complete it, speaks a seasons worth of innings about the source.

With their #1 pick, the Phillies drafted Brett Myers straight out of Englewood (FL) High School in 1999.  Myers brings his former amateur boxing mentality and toughness to the mound.  Though his mindset and all out effort might leave one to wonder if his future is as a closer, Myers said, “I see myself as a starter.  This is what the Phillies are grooming me to become”.

And what about that boxing background?  Did Myers ever consider pro boxing? “No way!” exclaimed Myers.  Like any good pitcher he didn’t like getting hit.  “Boxing was a sport I was involved with because my father worked in the industry,” explained Myers, “Boxing did keep me in shape”. 

Many have compared Myers to Curt Schilling, because he displays a similar workhorse capability.  Myers tries not to make comparisons between other pitchers and himself.  “I try to stay within myself and hopefully develop a name in that sense”.  Myers went on to say, “ There are other pitchers who influence me, such as Nolan Ryan and Curt Schilling…both are recognized for excellent work habits and their competitiveness, not to mention both are big, strong right handed pitchers”.

Myers claims he becomes stronger and more polished as the season went on in 2000 by learning from his mistakes.  Myers reasoned, “Things became a little easier after I learned to make adjustments…plus, I love to compete!”

At the beginning of  the 2001 season, Myers was rated with the best fastball in the Phillies system, consistently at 92-93 mph and as high as 96.  His hard breaking curveball was already becoming a second plus pitch in putting hitters away and during the off-season he was working with a change-up and two-seam fastball.  Myers explained his biggest adjustment to the pro game was a need to throw strikes and locate pitches as opposed to focusing on blowing people away with his fastball.

Where does Myers see his pitching career in a year?  “Hopefully I will be pitching in the Major Leagues…If not, then in 2003” says Myers.  And who can doubt his 13-4 record, over 156 innings and 130 strikeouts to 43 walks in his 2001 campaign with (AA) Reading?

Now, the question all you autograph collectors want to ask…what is Myers thoughts on autograph request in person and via mail?  “I enjoy giving autographs for children and fans that are excited to have my signature, but sometimes autograph seekers get out of hand, especially the ones who seek my autograph numerous times for the sole purpose to capitalize monetarily”, answered Myers.

As a kid, Myers set a goal to make a career in Major League Baseball as a player.  “I have dedicated most of my life to achieving this goal and my family is very supportive and they are always there for me”, explained Myers. Outside of baseball, Myers has an interest in golf and cars.

BRETT MYERS, rhp, Reading (AA)

Age: 20
B-T: R-R
Ht: 6’-4”
Wt: 215 lbs
Signed by:  Miguel Machado

EDUCATION: 1999 graduate of Englewood (FL) HS...OBTAINED: Phillies 1st round pick (12th overall) in June, 1999 draft…1999: Senior year was 8-2 with 0.80 ERA; in 78 innings he allowed 25 hits, walked 34 and struck out 131… Made pro debut with Gulf Coast Phillies (R)…Recorded 1st win 8/7 vs GCL Yankees…Opposing batters hit just .177 against him…Named Phillies’ 3rd-best prospect by Baseball America…Florida Instructional League…2000: Spent entire season with Piedmont (A)…Ranked 2nd in South Atlantic League in innings (175.1), tied-3rd in wins (13)…Led team in starts (27) and strikeouts (140)…Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Week, 5/22-28…Threw 1st pro SHO 5/22 at Columbus…Pitched at least 6 innings in 22 of 27 starts…8-2, 2.94 ERA in 13 road games…Struck out season-high 12 batters 8/7 at Charleston, SC (8.0 IP, 1 ER)…Was 0-1, 1.08 ERA in 1 playoff start (8.1 IP, 5 H, 3 BB, SO)…Rated 7th-best prospect in SAL and 2nd-best in Phillies organization by Baseball America.


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