Today I was lucky enough to get the chance to interview Brian Flynn, a recently acquired Marlins starting pitcher who currently pitches for AA Jacksonville. Flynn was drafted last season by the Detroit Tigers in the seventh round and has been a top prospect since he began playing pro ball. He was traded to the Marlins last month with Jacob Turner and Rob Brantly in exchange for Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez. I’d like to take the chance to thank Brian Flynn for doing the interiew and I wish him luck in his career, though with his skills he may not even need it. Please follow him on Twitter @TheBFlynn and enjoy!
Niklas Jarvinen: Being a southpaw pitcher is considered unique and special by most baseball fans and scouts. Are you a natural Left Handed Pitcher or was it something you were taught? Has anybody ever made a big deal out of you making a lefty?
Brian Flynn: I am actually completely right handed. When I was three I picked out a ninja turtle baseball glove in KMart. On the way home my parents realized it was left handed, they decided I could just play that way. Solid decision.
NJ: You signed with the Tigers last season after the drafted you in the seventh round. What would you say your year in the Tigers organization like? Did you have a favorite pitching coach in the organization?
BF: My year with the Tigers was amazing. They are a class act organization and they did nothing but help my career progress. Both pitching coaches I had in the organization contributed to making me the pitcher I am now.
NJ: On July 23rd, 2012 you were traded by the Tigers to the Marlins in a deal that involved Jacob Turner, Rob Brantly, Anibal Sanchez, and Omar Infante. Can you take us through this experience?
BF: Being traded was a very surreal experience. I actually found about the deal on Twitter. My teammates in Erie started congratulating me and after the manager had heard it leaked and everything was official he called me into office to give me the news. It was an exciting unforgettable day.
NJ: What are your thoughts on the Marlins and the direction they’re headed in?
BF: It is an exciting time to be a Marlin. The new ballpark, uniforms, and faces have brought new energy to the franchise.
NJ: So you have been flying quickly through the Tigers and Marlins systems since you were drafted just last year. You are already in AA. Do you feel like you are flying up through the minors?
BF: It’s definitely been a fun ride to this point. The Tigers gave me great opportunities out of the gate and I just did my best to perform and improve as a pitcher the best I could. I am thankful for both organizations allowing me to continue to grow and challenge myself.
NJ: Also while on the minor league subject, What is life like in the minors for you?
BF: It is very simple and straight forward. Travel and play baseball. I am a very easy going person and I wouldn’t trade this life for anything.
NJ: Out of all the cities and teams you’ve been on since being drafted which team and city has been your favorite to this point?
BF: I’ve got to say my current team in Jacksonville. This has been my first extended taste of AA ball and it is a blast. Good crowds, nice city, and really competitive baseball. It’s fun showing up to the field here every day.
NJ: What was it like at Wichita State? There have been a lot of baseball players drafted from the school in the past few seasons.
BF: Playing at WSU was great. The coaching staff did a good job preparing us for baseball not only at the college level but beyond. It’s also fun to keep up with the guys that are playing in pro ball as well.
NJ: Before attending Wichita State you were drafted by the Red Sox, looking back how do you feel about that and choosing to go to college before starting a professional pitching career?
BF: I think looking back it was 100% the right decision. I have hit the ground running in pro ball and I think that is all because of the development I experienced in college. Both on the field and off.
NJ: So you’re 6’8 and a lefty, do you consider the fact that you are much taller than most hitters as an advantage?
BF: Using my leverage and pounding the bottom of the strike zone is something that I work hard on. The angle I create is something that is vital to my success as a pitcher.
NJ: How many scouts did you talk to before being drafted and did you ever feel any pressure from them watching your games?
BF: I think any player that is drafted has to get used to interacting with scouts. I spoke to many before the draft but when it comes down to it no one can predict how the draft will turn out. Playing in front of scouts is something I think guys thrive on and enjoy doing. The only pressure comes from within.
NJ: The transition from college to pro baseball seems to have been an easy one for you as far as stats and pitching goes ,Is the transition easy? Like a “I’m just going to go out and pitch good” attitude?
BF: The attitude is the same yes. No matter what the level pitchers must work fast, throw strikes, and change speeds. The major difference in pro ball is that mistakes get hit harder and further. Eliminating the mistakes has been the key for me moving forward.
Three Quick Questions: NJ: Favorite MLB Player and Team As a Kid (There are no teams in Oklahoma so I’m guessing Texas?):
BF: Favorite player: Randy Johnson Team: New York Yankees
NJ: Your Favorite Baseball Stat? (Like a stat you like to measure your pitching by)
BF: ERA and walks. Really working on limiting my walks year to year
NJ: Who is your favorite Comedian?
BF: Jeff Dunham