RC interviews Luke Hochevar...

Luke Hochevar today was selected by the Royals with the first overall pick in the 2006 MLB Draft. Royals Corner had an opportunity to speak with him this afternoon, and the transcript of our conversation is presented below.

Royals Corner: Luke, first off we'd like to congratulate you on your first overall selection in this year's draft. It must be quite a rush.

Luke Hochevar: Thanks. It's been a very humbling experience.

RC: Luke, what was your reaction when you heard the news today? We're you expecting it...Had you been told that you'd be selected at #1?

LH: Scott [Boras] called me this morning before the draft, and I was beside myself when I heard. I didn’t even know what to say. I feel like I have a great opportunity to pitch for a for a great organization, and I'm excited to get started.

RC: You signed a contract to pitch with the Fort Worth Cats this spring as a showcase. How do you think the level of competition you faced in the independent league compared with what you saw in Division I college ball, and what you expect to see in the minors?

LH: I thought the competition was better due to the fact the guys are older and more experienced. They control the strike zone better and are more disciplined. The competition was more than I was expecting. I will continue to learn and get better in the areas I need to get better in. The people in Fort Worth, the front office, and the coaches were great for giving me the opportunity to pitch.

RC: Luke, can you give our readers an idea of your repertoire? What pitches do you throw at what speeds, and what would you consider your "go-to" pitch?

LH: I'm very comfortable throwing any pitch in any count. I throw a four-seam fastball at 93-95 and a sinker at 91-93. My change is usually around 80-83, and my curveball is normally between 78-81. I also throw a slider at 85-87. I feel like I have the confidence to go to any pitch in any count. My best breaking pitch is my curveball, but my out pitch is my slider. And my bread and butter is my sinking fastball.

RC: What current Major Leaguer would you compare yourself to?

LH: I really admire Roger Clemens, for his work ethic and the way competes. He is the greatest of all-time -- very professional, and he competes his tail off. Greg Maddux is another guy with a great work ethic. He is a bulldog, and a great pitcher.

RC: Do you have any personal timetable for reaching the Major Leagues?

LH: That will be up to the team. I’ll work my butt off give everything I’ve got. After I sign, I’ll bust my tail and help the organization by getting after it.

RC: Have the Royals given you any idea where you'll start once you sign... Double-A perhaps?

LH: That too will be up to the team. There will be further discussion about where I will start. I'm just ready to get going.

RC: Luke, what has been your favorite moment in your baseball career?

LH: Going to the College World Series with Tennessee, and spending time with guys on team. All the guys were great, and I have made lifelong friends. Also, winning the Roger Clemens award and shaking his hand on stage was an honor in itself.

RC: Luke, we've taken up enough of your time, and I'm sure there are other people who want to talk to you today. Thank you for speaking with us, and we can't wait for you to sign and get to business in the minors. Good luck!

LH: Thanks, it was good talking with you.


At 6/06/2006 8:03 PM, Blogger royalsbeliever said...

Are you sure you did that interview? I'm not trying to say anything here, but he was saying the exact same stuff to all of the other media people, and why would he need to answer the same information to you...?

At 6/06/2006 8:18 PM, Anonymous Deep Dixie Blue said...

I don't doubt for a minute that you guys did the interview. It certainly wouldn't be the first time. You guys consistently impress me with the effort you put into this site. I hope you'll soon get paid at least something for all your work.

Way to hustle.

At 6/06/2006 8:38 PM, Blogger royalsbeliever said...

I never said they didn't interview them, I just find it funny that all of what Hochevar says on "their" interview is stuff that he said in a session he had with the media today, actually the exact same stuff.

At 6/06/2006 8:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's a kid who had a sheet from Boras and/or Royals management about what to say.

Haven't you ever seen Bull Durham? Crash telling Meat what to say during interviews on the bus..."I'm just hoping to help the team win"...blah blah blah

At 6/06/2006 8:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's get more info on Jason Taylor that might help explain why we took him so high. Is he really comparable to Justin Upton, or are we doing some major projecting there?

At 6/06/2006 9:11 PM, Anonymous Deep Dixie Blue said...

I just received some info on 10th round pick Nicholas Van Stratten out of Meramec Community College in St.Louis. Straight from the horse's ass, er, mouth:

"Yeah, Nick is a hell of a player, he topped out at 96mph throwin from right field to third base, he's got a cannon, he's the best centerfielder i've seen play and that includes the CF from my high school team who was a starter as a Freshman for the University of Miami. As far as the psychological aspect he's dumb as a stump but is relatively smart when it comes to baseball. He can steal bases and runs a sub 6.6 60 yard dash, he also did better against the better pitchers that we saw, and has tremendous power for his size."

Sounds like a five tool player to me, maybe six if you count arborism.

At 6/06/2006 9:52 PM, Blogger Dave said...

Hey folks, let me give you a schedule for the coming days...

Tomorrow, we'll continue the live draft tracker throughout the end of the draft. When the draft is over, we'll present a report from High Desert by Jon Rosen about Luis Cota and Adam Donachie.

On Thursday, we'll begin to analyze the picks. The Royals have drafted quite well on the first day, so hopefully that continues tomorrow.

At 6/06/2006 11:04 PM, Blogger South Kansas City Guy said...

Great job on the interview guys. Especially the question regarding his pitches. Good to see you guys are getting big enough to nab a talk with the #1 overall draft selection. Props to you and your crew.

At 6/06/2006 11:37 PM, Blogger Max said...

What's up with his use of "bust my tail" every other sentence?

Nice interview. We didn't learn that much except his repertoire, but he sounds pretty excited about coming here, which is nice.

At 6/07/2006 2:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Royalsbeliever. Could you be anymore of a rude, arrogant, prick? Get a life.

By the way, your blog sucks.

At 6/07/2006 1:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

max, my favorite was this answer:

"I’ll work my butt off give everything I’ve got. After I sign, I’ll bust my tail and help the organization by getting after it."

3 clichés in one answer... WOW! A new record. Seriously, though, good interview, RC. I liked the question about the difference in competition in the 3 levels. I'll definately miss your coverage when you join Scout, but you guys deserve it.

At 8/29/2006 6:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get a life nerd. I was just wondering, because that's what he said in all of his other interviews. BTW I did quit that blog because it was stupid and I'm not a geek like you guys and sits there and does reports on crap that can be found already.



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