Throwing with... Scott Snodgress

April 14, 2010 caught up with sophomore left-handed pitcher Scott Snodgress to chat about balancing academics, pitching preparation, and summer ball in Alaska. The economics major from Yucaipa, CA started the season in the starting rotation and has now been in the bullpen.

Favorite MLB team: Angels
Favorite MLB player or other role model: Cliff Lee
Prefer starting or relieving? Starting
Favorite strikeout pitch? Curve Ball

Best hitting pitcher on the team?
  Stephen Piscotty: He is the only pitcher who plays a position and pitches as well.  Besides him, none of the other pitchers have been given an opportunity to hit.  However, if we sweep a Pac-10 team this year the pitchers will get to take batting practice.  I will get back to you on this if/when this happens.

Favorite freshmen experience: Closing a game against Cal in the 12th inning for a 6-5 Stanford win.

Why did you choose Stanford? 
No other school in the country offers a better combination of academics and athletics.  

Were you drafted out of high school? Why do so many baseball prospects forego a college education to try to make it in the minor leagues at such a young age? 
I was not.  I might have been drafted had I not made it clear to scouts that I wanted to go to school before I began a professional baseball career.  Many baseball prospects forego their college education because it has been a dream for them to play professionally for most of their life and they are given a large sum of money to encourage them to do so.

Most guys on the baseball team take very heavy class loads (18-20 units / quarter) to be in position to graduate in less than 4 years so they can be drafted after their junior year. Are you on this track? How do you handle all those classes with the demanding hours and travel baseball requires?
Yes, I am on this track.  Taking such heavy loads forces you to develop good time management skills.

You had a great summer pitching in the Alaska Summer League, producing a 2.93 ERA over 10 games and being named the fourth-best prospect in the Alaska League by Baseball America. Tell us about your experience in Alaska.

It was one of the greatest experiences of my life.  During the summer in Alaska, the sun is out for more than 20 hours a day.  This allowed us to play games at 7pm without stadium lights and then follow that with fishing, sometimes until 5am, with plenty of light.  I was fortunate to have an extremely generous host family and great teammates that made my experience in Alaska all the more fun. 

Follow-up: How has this past summer’s success helped prepare you for this season?  
It has helped me tremendously.  I was able to pitch several innings over the summer which gave me the experience I needed as well as greater confidence in my abilities.

How has preparation been different for you this year now that you are preparing to start every weekend compared to last year?
There is a lot more time as a starter to think about your next outing, whereas as a reliever you are never really too certain of when you will be pitching next.  In the end, though, the job is still the same—to get outs.

Do you have any superstitions before or during a game?

No, I am not a superstitious person.  However, I have the same approach to get myself mentally prepared before each game.  I like to listen to music, visualize myself pitching in certain situations, and focus on what I need to do to be successful.

Tell us about a typical pitching workout.
Pitchers focus on developing core strength, fast-twitch muscle, and flexibility.  We lift weights but not to the extent that we become overly muscular and lose flexibility.  We also do sprints, medicine ball workouts, long distance runs, and even yoga from time to time.

How has the strong freshman class contributed to the chemistry and expectations of this year’s team?

The freshmen class has and will continue to contribute greatly to our team’s success this year.  They are all very eager to learn and to compete at the college level, which continually challenges the upperclassmen to push themselves as well.  Our team has gelled very well.   We have greater team chemistry than any team I have ever been on.  
--Paul Kornfeld for

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