Pittsburgh Pirates Minors: Interview with Ike Schlabach
In the final interview of our offseason Prospect Interviews, we talk to a Pittsburgh Pirates prospect who was drafted out of Texas back in 2015.
In 2015, the Pittsburgh Pirates only took two high school players inside the top 20 rounds. The first was third base prospect Ke’Bryan Hayes who they took in the Competitive Balance A round. The other was pitching prospect Ike Schlabach who was taken in the 19th round out of Timber Creek, Texas.
Schlabach is a lefty pitcher who stands at 6’5” and weighs 185 pounds. So far in his 4 seasons of action in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, Schlabach has been used as a starter and a reliever. In total, he has thrown 230.2 innings and has an ERA of 3.86 across those innings. He is a “pitch to contact” type pitcher who has averaged a solid 46.8% groundball rate over his 4 seasons. Schlabach was nice enough to take time out of his Spring agenda to interview with us:
1. The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted you in the 19th round of the 2015 Draft out of high school. What made you decide to sign college baseball with the organization instead of playing baseball in college?
"– For me, it was all about getting the opportunity to play professional baseball. I also wanted to get in the system early to make sure I developed properly."
2. What was the first thing you noticed about the Pittsburgh Pirates organization and in general about professional baseball?
"– I noticed right away that there was talent everywhere. I came from dominating in high school to being just like everybody else and it was quite humbling."
3. Looking at your stats you had a tough first season and a half in the organization. However, your last two seasons have been very good. What has led to that improvement?
"– Learning to control my body, my delivery, and my mindset has led to better control and command of the baseball. When I started to figure that out, it made my life on the mound a lot easier."
4. What kind of pitcher do you consider yourself to be?
"– I consider myself to be a starting pitcher who produces weak contact outs."
5. What are some things you have worked on this Spring in trying to get better for the 2019 season and beyond?
"– My mindset is what I’m really practicing on. I think my mechanics and consistency in my delivery has gotten exponentially better, so I’m working on controlling my emotions when things don’t go my way on the mound."
6. What do you consider to be your best pitch and why?
"– 2 seam Fastball. My 2 seam fastball is my go-to weak contact pitch when I need a quick out or a double play. It tends to sink and run which ultimately gets ground ball outs."
7. If there is one thing that you would like Pittsburgh Pirates fans to know about you what would it be?
"– I’m a nerd when it comes to Marvel and DC comics and I’m a big gamer guy. During my free time, I’m usually playing some kind of game on either the Xbox or PS4. And I haven’t found another baseball player that can beat me at Mario Kart. Undefeated."
Once again thanks to Ike for doing this interview with us. He seems like he is aiming to have a more consistent year and polish up his mechanics. Make sure to follow Ike on twitter @isaacschlabach. We hope to catch up with Ike a once the season starts and he gets a few appearances.