Astros Minor League Player of the Year Delino DeShields and Pitcher of the Year Mike Foltynewicz have agreed to participate in a series of mini-interviews throughout the season. I caught up with DeShields a couple of weeks ago. Now it's Folty's turn.
WTH: 2012 was a great breakthrough season for you culminating in being named as the Astros minor league Pitcher of the Year. What are some of the special memories you'll have of this season when you look back on it years from now?
MF: Going down [to Houston] to get the Pitcher of the Year award meant a lot to me. It will be in my memories forever because there were a lot of great players in the organization that had great years. Just to be a part of that meant my hard work and my dedication is paying off. There are a lot of good players in the organization so I'm really proud of that.
[Another great memory] is going down to Charleston for the All-Star game, just going down there with all the guys. I got pretty close to them going down there and having a good time, and just playing in that All-Star game meant a lot to me. It was a lot of fun, and getting to know the other players on the other teams was pretty cool.
It was awesome getting close with teammates during the year ... [Matt] Duffy, [Nick] Tropeano, [Nate] Pettus, [Brandon] Meredith, [Zach] Johnson and all those guys ... they kind of took me under their wings. It was fun hanging out with those guys.
I had a ton of confidence and it's a ton of fun when you are winning and having a good year. I guess you can say it was just a special year.
WTH: What have you been doing in the off-season to prepare for the upcoming season?
MF: The off-season has been going well. I've been working out 4-5 times a week and I have been throwing the past three weeks or so. I'm just working hard like I always do, hitting the gym, running and throwing to prepare myself for the upcoming year. And trust me, I'm working hard.
WTH: What have you been doing in the off-season for fun?
MF: For fun in the off-season? Well, I love to golf, so I tried to get as much in when I got home from the season. I golfed for a good month or two when I got home in September, and actually got to hit the links once in January! But other than that, I'm just trying to spend time with my friends and family before I have to take off for spring training.
WTH: What do you hope to accomplish in Spring Training?
MF: I hope to accomplish a lot during spring training ... try to clean up my mechanics and focus on commanding my fastball, get more confidence in my change up and tighten up my curveball. I just want to continue where I left off last year in spring training and hopefully I prove some people wrong on where I deserve to be this year.