TwinCitiesDugout.com: Tell our fans about your arsenal of pitches.
Jarrad Eacott: I like to think I have four pitches. I have a fastball which I mix up between two-seam and four seam, a circle changup, which has to be my favorite pitch, a curveball which still needs a bit of work, and a slider which I use quite a fair bit against lefties.
TwinCitiesDugout.com: What pitch would you consider your out-pitch?
Eacott: My out-pitch would have to be my changeup. It gets a fair but of sink going away from right-handers, and I have found it pretty efficient against lefties as well. The changeup is the pitch I feel most comfortable throwing in any count.
TwinCitiesDugout.com: You come from a rich baseball family. Was that instilled in you at a young age?
Eacott: Yes. It is good having a couple of other family members in professional baseball. It is good to talk to them and see how they are, and ask for some advice when I need it. I would say baseball was instilled in my from a young age. My cousin, Adam Morrisey, who is with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim organization, starting playing at the age of 11, and I was only five, and at that point I really was looking up to him. So I decided I would play baseball, and I actually called up my other cousin Mitch Dening, who is with the Boston Red Sox organization, and invited him to join the team I was currently playing with and Mitch and I both took off from then on, and our dream was to play in the big leagues.
TwinCitiesDugout.com:What was it like winning a championship with Elizabethton?
Eacott: It was a great feeling winning the championship after coming so close the year before in the Gulf Coast League. But having been out due to injury for most of the season, it was great to still be a part of the team in any way I could. For a part of the time, I was the first base coach (Eacott laughs). I just wanted to stay amongst it and be a part of the team. I think from the first game onwards everyone kind of knew that we had a pretty special team and that we could go all the way. Everyone got along real well so it was easy to just go out there and know someone had your back.
TwinCitiesDugout.com:You have come out of the pen during your short career. Do you feel you can start as well?
Eacott: Yes. I feel I could start. I have only had one professional start, which was a double-header. To be honest with you, I don't mind where I pitch as long as I get out there on the mound and handle my business. The advantage of coming out of the pen is that you get put into pressure situations which I love to experience. It shows that you can handle yourself in tough situations and the coaches love to see people succeed in those situations so they are confident they can rely on them when it really matters. I feel I could start. I wouldn't mind it, because I would get to throw a few more pitches and a few more innings in a season. Before I signed professionally, I had been a starter my whole life, but I guess they had different plans for me which I don't mind in the slightest. Like I said, as long as I can get out there and pitch.
TwinCitiesDugout.com: How do you prepare yourself to come into a ball game?
Eacott: Coming into a ballgame, I’ve been told by a few of my teammates that I throw way too many in the pen. I don’t know why, but every time I get called up to warm up, I get so anxious I just can’t relax. I think that’s why I throw so many in the pen. But I have no real routine. I just wait for my signal and up I get.
TwinCitiesDugout.com: With the Twins rich pitching history, do you feel like this organization is the right fit for you?
Eacott: Before I even signed with the Twins, I had known that it was a pitching organization. With Rick Knapp, the pitching coordinator who I had met the year before I signed my contract. I was thrilled to be a Twin because in knowing that we had a lot of pitching, I knew that I would be learning a lot of good stuff that would help me become a better pitcher.
TwinCitiesDugout.com:Have any of the veteran pitchers in the farm system helped you out in your development so far?
Eacott: No, I wouldn't say they have yet but hopefully next year at Spring Training they will. I have just not been around the older guys enough.
TwinCitiesDugout.com: What do you feel you need to do to get to the next level?
Eacott: For me personally would be to stay healthy, which I will be working so hard this off-season to make sure I will be healthy to give myself every opportunity to progress my way up the ranks. The worst for me would be to have to sit on the bench again having to watch instead of being able to play.
TwinCitiesDugout.com: What are your goals for 2009?
Eacott: My goals for 2009 would have to be staying healthy and making it to full season A ball. Those are my two main goals. It will be hard to make it to Beloit after having a injured filled season this year, but I will just have to improve a lot by Spring Training and show everyone I'm ready for full season A ball.