Posted by Christina Angelos
(Courtesy of MiLB.com )
Phillies pitching prospect, Eric Pettis was drafted in the 35th round of the 2010 draft out of UC-Irvine. Pettis signed quickly soon after. He began his career in Williamsport as starter, however, was moved into the bullpen. Last season, he split time between Lakewood and Clearwater. He threw in 47 games, compiling a 2.84 ERA in 69.2 innings. He was nice enough to spare some of his busy offseason schedule for an interview.
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in West Hills, CA. It's about twenty miles west of Los Angeles.
Who was your favorite MLB team/player growing up or present? Why?
I never really had a favorite team when I was a kid. But, more recently I started rooting for my home team, the LA Dodgers. I really like their young group of players, especially Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw. Oh, but now the Phillies are my favorite team, of course.
When did you realize that you had the talent to become a professional baseball player?
I'm not sure when I realized I had the talent to become a pro, but I know it has always been my goal since I could remember. Ever since I was little it was my focus and I have just tried to do everything that I can to be my best, and hopefully that's good enough.
Do you have anyone to look up to the most in the Phillies organization?
I really look up to everyone that has made it to the show. I try to take in everything I can from those guys and hopefully be able to translate it to my game. I'm lucky to have the opportunity to be around so many great players and I try to take full advantage of it. There is no detail too small, and anything I can learn from those guys is a positive.
What aspects of your game are you most focused on improving upon this year?
I know this might sound cliche, but I'm working on everything. There is always something to improve in every aspect of the game. So, I think if you focus on one thing and really devote a lot of time to it, you'll just be neglecting something else. So, every time I train, I try my best to concentrate on improving everything everyday.
What kinds of things do you do off the field to prepare you to succeed on it?
Especially for a pitcher, I think the off the field stuff is just as important as the on the field stuff. Because, we can only throw so much. We only have so many bullets before we break down. Everything else becomes that much more critical. So, I really try to keep my body in good shape. I get in the weight room as much as I can to keep my body strong. And I focus on eating the right things to give my body the best nutrition possible.
What is the best moment so far?
My favorite moment in professional baseball so far has to be participating in the Major League spring training games last year. I was fortunate enough to sit in the bullpen as an extra arm during four of the Phillies spring games. And, while I didn't actually get to throw in any of them, it was a great experience. Just being able to interact with the guys that are where I want to be was special. And, I think it prepared me for when I do get there. It allowed me to get some of the first-time jitters out of the way. So, hopefully when I do have to perform at that level, it will feel a bit more normal than it would have otherwise.
If you were to debut in Major League today, which batter you do or do not want to face?
I'd love to face anyone, really. Everyone at that level is there for a reason and it would be awesome to have that challenge. But, if I had to answer, I'd say Mike Moustakas of the Royals. We had many battles in high school and it would be fun to rekindle the rivalry a bit.
Who's your favorite teammate in the minor leagues right now?
Oh man, you're putting me on the spot. I really enjoyed being a part of the bullpen in Clearwater this year. It was a great group to be around. Friend, Esposito, Loop, Whatcott, you could pick any of those guys and you wouldn't go wrong.
What's one thing that that no fan knows about you?
I'd say one thing that no fan knows is that I'm a foodie. Probably 90% of the time at home when I watch TV, it's the Food Network, or Top Chef, or Bizarre Foods, really anything that has to do with food. I love to go to all the best chef's restaurants and I'm down to eat anything. Food is such a big part of our lives and I'm always interested in learning more about it.
One last question, What have you been doing during offseason? Anything special?
This offseason I've been working on a really big project. I'm really excited about it and if you stay tuned to my twitter (@eric_pettis) and my blog (ericpettis.com), I'll be revealing more info about it closer to spring training.
Now, a quick favorite game:
Food: It changes, but right now it's Pork Tocino Burrito from the White Rabbit Cafe, a Philippino fusion place 20 min from my house
Movie: Anything with Will Smith
Sports to watch: Clippers Basketball
Artist: If Michael Jackson and Kanye had a baby, he or she would be my favorite
Song: Bohemian Rhapsody
Thank you again to Eric Pettis for giving us his time in answering our questions. Don’t forget to check out his blog and tweet him once in a while.