Q and A – CL/SP – Ryan Fraser

10-5-10 interview:

Mack: – Hey folks, today we’re talking with the 16th round draft pick in the last draft, closer Ryan Fraser. Hey Ryan, thanks for participating. Ryan, you were the 16th round pick by the Mets in the last draft. I ask this of all the guys… take us back and tell us what that day was like for you….

Fraser: – I am down in Ft. Myers, working on my craft. it feels good to be back in the sunshine state again. Not too many people know that I was born up Interstate 75 in Bradenton. I was eight when we moved to Tennessee, but I still have family that lives down here. They are excited to watch me play having played up north all year.
Draft day was a great experience. I knew that I was gonna get a chance but I had no idea what round or team would decide to take a chance on me. My dad and I had the draft pulled up on the Internet but I tried to stay away from it. Being a college senior, I didn’t want to see my name slip towards the later rounds. My girlfriend and I were in and out of the pool, just enjoying life. When my name was called by the Mets in the 16 round, my dad, who had been following it like a hawk, started freaking out and going crazy. My girlfriend and I were in the living room watching TV. I thought my dad was joking until I saw my name on the computer screen. Then I got the call from Erwin Bryant, who liked me enough to draft me that high. That day was truly eventful and one that I will never forget.
Mack: – So, you sign, and the Tennessee boy winds up in Coney island eating eight dollar hot dogs… what was that all about… ?

Fraser: – Its weird that would send me all the way up to Brooklyn instead of placing me on the Kingsport club. I know my parents would have rather me play there because it would have been a lot easier for them to come watch. I guess Erwin liked me enough to send me up to the higher level, that and Wally needed another back end pitcher. I’m glad that I was a good fit to play there. NYC was a completely different atmosphere from anything that I have ever experienced. I believe playing in front of so many fans every night is about the closest you can get to playing at Citi Field than any other of the Mets affiliates, or at least that’s what I have heard. I had a blast and couldn’t ask for a better summer.
Mack: – Ryan, I can’t tell you how much it helps to play in front a crowd like that early in one’s career.
Anyway, all you go and do is pitch in 26 games, go 3-3, 1.44, strike out 39 in 31.1 innings, and become the top closer prospect in the organization. Ryan, how far back do you go as a closer?

Fraser: – Well, to be honest, this summer was the first time that I have pitched in that role. I was always a starter or middle reliever. I only closed one game at Memphis this year. We snapped a 13 game losing streak to our rival Ole Miss. I liked being a closer up in Brooklyn, but the rumor is that they might turn me back into a starter next year, so we will see.

Mack: – I hope that happens. Right now, the system is a little short on power starters (just wrote about that, and you, earlier today…). Let’s bring everyone up to date with what you’re throwing and the mph range you played with this season.

Fraser: – I don’t throw anything special. I have three pitches: fastball, slider, and change-up. I think I can get my fastball up to 95, slider about 79-81, and my change-up is a bit stiff around 83.

Mack: – I’d say a 95mph heater is something special… Ryan, that’s about it for now. Thanks for the time spent.
10-5-10: – 2011 Forecast: – Fraser seems to be a very confident young man who has the world ahead of him. It will be interesting to see how the Mets handle him in the Intruction League this month. This would be a good time to stretch him out if they have plans to return him to a starting role next season. Where would he start? It’s pretty crowded from Lucy to Brooklyn, so who the heck knows? My guess, if he’s a starter: a return to Brooklyn. If a closer: Lucy.


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