The Pittsburgh Pirates signed left handed pitcher Barrett Phillips as a non-drafted free agent late last year, with Phillips making his debut this year with the GCL Pirates. Phillips, who turned 20 in late June, had a surprising season for a non-drafted free agent, posting a 2.63 ERA in 37.2 innings with a 7.4 K/9 ratio and a 1.9 BB/9 ratio, which combined as one of the best stat lines from the 2010 GCL pitching staff.
Phillips was named one of the biggest surprises, and one of the top ten prospects from the 2010 GCL team in the 2010 GCL Pirates Season Recap. John Dreker of Pirates Prospects recently had a chance to ask Barrett a few questions on signing with the Pirates in 2009, and on his 2010 season with the GCL Pirates.
John: Could you start by letting everyone know how you came about signing with the Pirates organization, and who else was looking at signing you?
Barrett: I signed with the Pirates because of their great history in the game of baseball and my great grandfather also played with the Pirates as a catcher. I also was talking with the Phillies and Braves.
John: What pitches do you throw and at what speeds?
Barrett: I throw a 4-seam fastball (86-91), a circle change (74-77), and a curveball (74-78). I’m hoping to start throwing a 2-seam fastball and 2-seam change up next year.
John: How did you feel your first season went, and what did they have you work on the most during the year? I assume they stressed fastball command to you first?
Barrett: I felt I had a great first season. I learned so much about the game and also becoming a man. They had me work mostly on being professional and getting used to pro ball. They definitely stressed fastball command down in the zone.
John: Describe what a typical day that you’re pitching consists of in the GCL with those early morning/afternoon starts?
Barrett: I started every morning with our throwing program. Then we would do some pitchers fielding practice and team fundamentals. After that we would condition and get ready for the game.
John: What do they have scheduled for you from now until spring training starts now that the GCL season has ended?
Barrett: They have me just working out, getting stronger, and getting ready for the up coming season.