Twitter is an excellent tool to assist people in keeping up with friends, family, and others that they may not have an opportunity to interact with otherwise. Accordingly, the site has created a revolution in allowing sports fans to keep up with their favorite athletes. Not only do many professional baseball players now have accounts, but they offer a glimpse into their day to day lives and personalities. Showing the power of online connectivity, I was able to catch up with New York Mets prospect, Jack Leathersich, this past off-season and conducted a Twitter interview, with all answers mandatorily being 140 characters or less.
Leathersich, a left-handed reliever from Beverly, Massachusetts, was taken by the New York Mets in the 5th round of the 2011 MLB Draft. He enjoyed an outstanding career at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, which included being named the Northeast-10 Freshman of the year in 2009 as a starter. By 2011, his junior year, he had transitioned to the bullpen, posting an impressive 1.62 ERA and a school record 126 strikeouts, while placing 2nd nationally in strikeouts per nine innings at 12.74.
Throwing his fastball in the low to mid 90’s has earned Leathersich the nickname of “the Rocket,” but he also has an excellent breaking ball and a developing changeup. His professional debut in 2011 was brief, yet dominant. In 12.2 innings, spanning 9 games for the Brooklyn Cyclones, he had a miniscule 0.71 ERA and 26 strikeouts, punching out over half the batters he faced. Dominating the New York Penn League competition like he did was a great indicator of the polish he already has. Many talent evaluators believe that he will mature into a reliable major league reliever, but he will need more time in the minors to hone his skills.
Leathersich will likely spend this season in A-ball. Pitching has been an annual weak spot for the Mets, so they will strive to cultivate a prospect like Leathersich as quickly as possible into a player they can use at the big league level. In addition to our interview, you can follow his season and interact with him on Twitter. Expect big things from the Rocket as he heads into his first full professional season.
Jack Leathersich Interview:
Who was your favorite team and player growing up?: Red Sox fan. Tom Glavine was my favorite.
How did you first find out the Mets were interested in you?: Got a call from head scout to tell me they had picked me.
Did you do anything to celebrate signing with New York?: Plan to buy an Audi A6.
How bad is travel in the minor leagues?: Bus rides aren’t bad. We just watch movies.
What type of pitches do you throw?: I throw fastball, slurve, and change.