Interview With Houston Astros Prospect Mike Foltynewicz

A consensus top 10 prospect in the Astros organization, Mike Foltynewicz was drafted 19th in the first round of the 2010 MLB June Amateur Draft. Foltynewicz took some time out of his offseason to answer some questions about the adjustments he made last seasons and the adjustments he'll be working on this season, plus any superstitions he may or may not have.

The Crawfish Boxes: How long did it take you to learn how to spell your last name and what are the origins of your last name?

Mike Foltynewicz: I don't think it took me a while to spell my name. My mom worked on it with me when I was a little kid, so I don't think it took me a while. I'm polish, German and Italian.

TCB: What is your pitching arsenal now and how has it changed since high school?

Foltynewicz: I have three pitches now, which are fastball(2 seam also), curveball and change up. I had a slider in high school, but in Greeneville they decided just to focus on one breaking ball for now and I was more comfortable with the curve, since I started throwing my slider my senior year of high school.

TCB: What was the biggest adjustment you had to make this year at Lexington?

Foltynewicz: The biggest adjustment I had to make going into Lexington was just to stay mentally focused. I knew it was going to be a long year and the most pitches I'll throw and the most games I'll play in a summer. So I just knew I had to stay focused and work hard everyday to get better.

More answers to our questions after the jump...

TCB: What changes to your approach or pitching strategy has the Astros’ organization encouraged and what do you feel like you need to work on?

Foltynewicz: There wasn't really any changes to my approach, just to slow my motion up a little bit. We've worked a lot with my mechanic and I need to work on controlling my fastball more and keeping my head focused on the target. I also need to work on getting a good feel for my change up. It all is coming together well in the offseason.

TCB: What level of the Astros organization do you expect to finish the year at?

Foltynewicz: I hope to finish up this year in double A. I've worked hard in instructional league and took it all with me into the off season.

TCB: What sort of restrictions are placed on you in terms of pitch counts?

Foltynewicz: Last year in Lexington I was limited to 90 pitches. We'll see what they have in mind this year.

TCB: You’re a northern guy and I am guessing you spent your offseason shoveling snow and laying down salt. How do you prepare for a baseball season in a cold climate?

Foltynewicz: Actually this winter has been a good year. We've only had two snow storms and I only shoveled once so far! But it's hard being in a cold climate, since i can't do much outdoors. But I go to Bo Jackson's sports dome near my town which is a huge help. But it's tough not getting to throw or run outside, but I find ways to get the job done.

TCB: How difficult is it balancing wanting to win a game verse working on something that will get you to the big league level?

Foltynewicz: It's very difficult balancing out those two. My pitching coach this year in Lexington, Dave borkowski, said that we will work on things we need to work on for the four days I dont pitch, but do what you have to do to win on that fifth day. With enough repetition and work it will all come naturally. I work hard at what I need to work at, and that 5th day I try to go out and win.

TCB: What superstitions do you have, if any?

Foltynewicz: I don't don't really have any superstitions, but when I had a good game, I always try to do the same thing the next time I started, like eating the same lunch... Stuff like that... But not really a superstitious guy.

TCB: Thank you for your time Mike and good luck this season.

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