Prospect Chat: Drew Storen

The Nationals righthanders answered readers' questions





Moderator: Nationals righthander Drew Storen will answer questions beginning at 7 p.m. ET.

    Nick (Crofton, MD): What would you say is your greatest attribute on the mound? Which current or former closer would you compare your game to?

Drew Storen: I would say I love to compete. I dont like giving into the hitter and I hate walking guys. I can't really compare myself too much to any other guys but I definitely look up to Papelbon, KRod, and Rivera for how they get the job done.

    Mark (Chicago): What area(s) of your game do you feel you need to improve before you are ready for the majors?

Drew Storen: Just working on locating each fastball down in the zone, and not missing up with it if I do miss.

    Mark (Chicago): Do you feel that you would benefit from working as a starter in the minors to help develop your pitches more before becoming a reliever in the majors?

Drew Storen: I wouldnt mind starting but I dont think it would help me. A big part of adjusting to proball is throwing each day and learning a routine to go through each and everyday in order to throw your best and being a reliever in the minors allows you to do that.

    Mark (Chicago): Who makes it to the majors first you or Stephen Strasburg?

Drew Storen: Haha who knows, as long as I get there at some point that's all I am concerned about. All I know is when Stras does make it, it will be a lot of fun to watch.

    Joe Birenz (New Jersey): a question for drew storen - what are your most memorable experiences? are they pitching or hitting accomplishments? please specify. thank you.

Drew Storen: Definitely pitching in the Super Regionals at Fullerton. Winning those games and clinching Omaha was something I will never forget.

    Mark (Chicago): What is your best pitch?

Drew Storen: Tough to say "my best" but my out pitch is usually one of my breaking balls, depends on the day.

    Jacob W (Tacoma, WA): Do you think that you have an opportunity to earn a job in the bullpen going into this spring training?

Drew Storen: I hope so, I am not too caught up on that. I am really just worrying about being successful and getting better during spring training and the rest will take care of itself.

    CB Reid (Pekin, IL): Who was your favorite player growing up?

Drew Storen: Ken Griffey, Jr

    Treyvon Bridges (Southaven, MS): Hello. I'm 11. What should I do to have better control when I pitch? And what can I do to get my fastball going faster?

Drew Storen: First of all, dont worry about velocity, throwing and growing (no rhyme intended) will aid in that. I was always the smallest kid so I learned to control the ball in the zone and then fortunately I tacked on some velocity. I do a lot of flat ground work to a catcher squatting down. It isnt as hard on the arm because you dont have the decline of the mound and you can still work on being on top of the ball.

    Brendan (Carmel, IN): Drew, Greetings from the Indianapolis area. I was wondering what is your preference on starting vs. relieving/closing? I know you were a closer at Stanford; would you like to continue that in professional baseball or try to become a starter? Thanks!

Drew Storen: I dont mind either, but closing/late inning relief is a lot of fun and something I would like to continue doing.

    andy (new jersey): Drew...im a big fan. i thought the NATS got a steal. A dominant closer of the near future. What are you personal goals this year/.

Drew Storen: I just want to be an impact guy wherever they put me. If I do get a chance to throw in the big leagues, I want to make sure I am a guy who isnt just there for a cup of coffee, but someone who is going to help us win.

    Dr Bill (Dresden, Maine): Drew, you come from a long lineage of Stanford pitchers and I have drafted you for all my Fantasy teams...Do you think that playing at Stanford, against top tier college talent, is equivalent to a two or so years in the minor leagues? Do you feel ready to be in the Big Show this season as a closer for the Nats?

Drew Storen: I would say it can be, depending on what you get out of your own experience. For me, Stanford helped me prepare for proball and I do feel like I can be an impact guy in the big leagues, regardless of whether I am the closer or middle relief.

    Dr Bill (Dresden, Maine): When it's 3 and 2 and bases loaded and two out, which pitch do you have confidence in to throw a strike?

Drew Storen: I have just as much confidence to throw either breaking ball as my fastball. That is crucial for me.

    Dr Bill (Dresden, Maine): From a mechanics perspective, what is the one part of your pitching motion that you need to work on, or, at least, be aware of?

Drew Storen: I have to be aware of my front side. If my mechanics are erratic, it stems from my front side flying open.

    Dr Bill (Dresden, Maine): Stats show that the most runs are scored in the FIRST inning in HS and college ball; this is attributed to a lack of proper warm-up. What is your warm-up routine when you are told to get ready to come into the game?

Drew Storen: When I am told I need to get throwing, that is the very end of my warm up. A big thing I learned in college was to "Warm up to throw, don't throw to warm up". I do a lot of other things to ready myself to throw so by the time I do throw off the hill, I only need about 10 pitches.

    Mark (Fargo, ND): What role do you want on the 2010 Nationals roster? Will you be disappointed if you don't make the big league club? Do you feel the signing of Capps eliminates your chance of being the closer this year?

Drew Storen: Like I said earlier, I just want to be an impact guy out of the pen. Whether that is setting up, long relief, or closing it doesnt matter. I don't worry about the signing of other guys, it doesnt change what I need to do and it's great to be around them. I have spent a lot of time with Capps and I have learned a lot from him. He is a great guy to have around and I am not getting caught up in worrying about my chances of being in the big leagues.

    Dave M. (Kentucky): Hopefully you'll get a shot at closing at some point this year. What are your expectations and what are some things you hope to improve on going into camp?

Drew Storen: I don't have concrete expectations, just wanted to get better and adjust to the better hitters I will face. As I mentioned earlier, I want to make sure and work on getting my fastball down in the zone and pitching to contact.

    Joe (Michigan): Drew you enjoyed a very nice season in 2009. You seemed to improve each time you moved up a level. Your strikeouts to walk ratio was very impressive, 37 - 2 at both Hagerstown and Potomac, but at Harrisburg the numbers fell noticeable to 12 - 6. Why was that?

Drew Storen: The hitters are better and more patient, they work counts deeper. In the lower levels, the hitters are much more aggressive.

    Joseph (Fort Worth, TX): Thanks for the chat Drew. You had a tremendous pro debut, and I was wondering if you felt like it made it easier or more difficult joining the Nats during the Strasburg Circus?

Drew Storen: It didn't affect anything on the field for me. But it has made it a lot of fun because of the attention he has drawn to our organization. There is a lot of excitement brewing because of him, and for good reason.

    Sean (Calgary, Alberta): Have you ever tried to invent a pitch? If so, what would you name it?

Drew Storen: I haven't really tried, and I have no idea what I would call it, so I am open for suggestions if you have any!

    Sean (Calgary, Alberta): Who is your favorite major league pitcher to watch? Which batter would scare you the most if you had to face him today?

Drew Storen: I love watching Papelbon, KRod, Rivera, and Brian Wilson. I get real fired up watching them. I wouldn't be scared to face any guy, I would be excited to see how my stuff matches up with them. I'd love to face any of the big guys you see in the game today, but it would be a childhood dream to face Ken Griffey Jr.

    Jeff (Sydney): What hitters in the PAC 10 did you respect the most?

Drew Storen: There were a lot, but Ike Davis, Brett Wallace, David Cooper, and Brett Jackson were all guys I look back and think about what a tough out they were to get.

    steve (naperville,il): Drew,i was wondering what [the big chair, (Mark Patrick)] is doing now, I miss him on mlb-xm.What did you think of the afl vs. your previuos minor league experiences. I personally think the AFL is great viewing, but am interested what players think of the league.

Drew Storen: He's on WNDE in Indianapolis in the afternoons. The AFL was great and the competition is tough to beat. The talent down there was top notch and something that really helped me.

    Tom C (South Riding, VA): Does all the Stephen Strasburg get, help or hurt you; as your pretty much being ignore in your first big league camp?

Drew Storen: I think it only helps me, the attention he brings to our organization benefits us all. I think I am lucky to be here and around all of it!

    Jay (South Riding, VA): As a Nats season ticket holder I hope to see you on Half Street in the near future. Do you think the Nats have any hopes of making you a starter down the road and will Tyler Clippard now eat hot dogs every time he pitches now for good luck?

Drew Storen: I do think Clip may down more hot dogs after his hole in one the other day, but I don't know if I will ever be a starter, it is not something that has been discussed.

    Newman (NC): Do ever feeling slighted in the attention Strasburg receives, considering you're a Top 10 draft pick yourself?

Drew Storen: Not at all, I am not that good, he is, and I am just glad he is on my team.

    Matt (Jacksonville): Whats your stance on signing autographs for people? Some guys will sign 10 cards for a fan, some like a Stephen Strasburg for instance will sign one if the fan is lucky.

Drew Storen: It is a personal preference and each guy is different. I don't mind signing multiple things, just as long as I feel I am not being taken advantage of.

    Frank (Boston): How did playing in the Cape Cod league improve your game most?

Drew Storen: Learning to pitch to wood bats and handling playing everyday. It was a great experience that definitely helped me.

    big nats fan (Alexandria, VA): I understand you're a bobblehead collector. How excited would you be to have a Nats Bobblehead night with your bobblehead?

Drew Storen: I'd be real fired up, I believe the Potomac Nats will be making one of me this year, hopefully they follow through!

    Ed Chigliak (New Jersey): Have you prepared yourself for the fact that your arbitration clock might have more of an impact on where you start the season than your performance this Spring?

Drew Storen: Haven't really thought about it, that isn't something in my control so I don't worry about it

    Anna (VA): Who are some players in the MLB today that you really look up to, not necessarily for their playing ability, but for their attitude?

Drew Storen: I love Rivera's approach on the hill. He doesnt let anything affect him even in the toughest spots.

    Zane (Columbus): Being from Brownsburg, did you know Ohio State walk-on/phenom Mark Titus very well back in the day?

Drew Storen: Absolutely, we played high school basketball together.

    Dave Gershman (White Plains, NY): Who are you most excited to play with when you make it to the Majors?

Drew Storen: I am just hoping I get the chance to throw to Pudge, that would be very cool

    Marcus (Fairfax): Hey Drew can't wait to see you close for the Nats...What should Nats fans expect from Derek Norris this year?

Drew Storen: Tough to say, it will be fun to see what he does in big league camp this year. He is a great hitter and will be a lot of fun to watch.

    Chad (Phoenix, AZ): I was able to meet you at the AZ Fall League. You seem to really enjoy the fans. What is your opinion on adults and getting autographs? Most players just assume we are getting autographs to sell. What is your outlook on this topic. I saw you sign a stack of 8x10's for one guy, do you mind?

Drew Storen: No I dont mind at all, just as long as I dont feel like I am getting taken advantage of.

    Ed Chigliak (New Jersey): Has anyone else on the Nationals' roster impressed you in the first few days of Spring Training?

Drew Storen: A lot of guys have, the group of guys down here are going to be key in turning the team around this year.

    Dave (New York): What do you think is your put-away pitch, assuming you are a closer?

Drew Storen: Either of my breaking balls, just depends on the day.

    Anna (Virginia): The National's fan base leaves something to be desired. Do you think you, as a young hot prospect can play a role in bringing more fans to DC?

Drew Storen: I'd love to, but I know that I have a long way to go before that. Guys like Ryan Zimmerman have already done a great job in expanding the DC fan base

    Sean (VA): If you don't end up pitching in the Majors this year, will you be disappointed?

Drew Storen: I would be disappointed to not accomplish my goal, but I still would be in a great spot regardless so I would be upset with myself if anything.

    Charles B (Las Vegas NV): You got the chance to play in the prestigious PAC 10 confernce. Do you feel playing in such a great league helped you as a player and who was the best player and pitcher ( reliever or starter ) you played against?

Drew Storen: It helped a lot, the competition was top notch and a lot of fun to play against. It's tough to say who was the best, there were a lot of good guys that I played with and against. It's tough to say just one.

    Dave (New York): What was your favorite team growing up?

Drew Storen: Seattle Mariners, because of Griffey and guys like Jay Buhner.

    Mezz (Brisbane, Australia): Drew, keen to know what your warm up music is going to be this year if you make the big team? Or do you plan to put it to a vote on twitter?

Drew Storen: I have a few in mind, may go to a twitter vote. Right now it is between "Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress" by the Hollies or "Behind the Mask" by Anarchy Club

    Zane (Columbus): Favorite NBA team?

Drew Storen: Used to be the Pacers back in the days of Reggie Miller, now I am not a big NBA guy.

    nattaboy58 (jacksonville): You're wearing the best number there is this spring. Why'd you choose 58?

Drew Storen: I actually didn't pick it, just what was assigned to me, but I can work with it.

    Joe (Michigan): Drew Leo Mazzone does not like to see a young pitcher converted into a closer in college or A ball. He says the most important thing a pitcher can do to improve pitchers is accumulate a lot of innings. He doesn't think 50 or 60 innings a year is going to cut it. Is there any chance the Nat's have you start in the minors while trying to make it to the big leagues? Which I am sure will be soon.

Drew Storen: I don't think so, I think they are happy with how I am developing. The idea of starting hasn't been something that has been discussed.

    Anna (Virginia): With all the awesome attention you're getting, how do you stay grounded?

Drew Storen: I guess it is just how I am, I never want to be someone that lets their success change who they are. That is something my parents made sure and taught me at a young age.

    Zane (Columbus): Best movie you've seen in the last year?

Drew Storen: The Dark Knight, I know it was out more than a year ago, but I have seen it a lot in the last year.

    Zane (Columbus): If baseball hadn't worked out for you what would you have ended up doing?

Drew Storen: I would have gone into Industrial/Product Design, which is what I studied at Stanford.

    Paul Kelly (Boston): Who are the players you are looking to to provide you with advice and guidance entering your MLB career?

Drew Storen: Any of my teammates, there is always something to learn from guys regardless of how long they have been playing.

    Zane (Columbus): Thanks for all the answers Drew. Good luck this year

Drew Storen: You got it, it was a lot of fun being on here talking to you all.