The Astros have some big time pitching prospects in Mark Appel, Lance McCullers, Josh Hader, and Vincent Velasquez. The little-known pitcher who has risen through the minor leagues is Brady Rodgers. You may have heard his name before, he was the other guy who did a road trip to Florida with Mark Appel before spring training. They took turns driving and answering questions on Twitter. Rodgers is 1-2/ 8.02 ERA so far in AAA.
Feb 26, 2015; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Houston Astros pitcher Brady Rodgers poses for a picture during photo day at Osceola County Stadium Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
CTH: You and Mark Appel drove to spring training and Tweeted the whole trip. Who’s idea was the road trip? You or Appel?
Rodgers: A little bit of both. Mark and I were talking about how we were getting to Florida and both of us said we were driving so I asked if he wanted to ride together in my truck and he said yeah! So we were counting down the days when we found out we were driving together.
CTH: Besides driving to spring training with Mark Appel, which Astros prospects do you work out or train with in the offseason?
Rodgers: Well I’m very fortunate to be from Houston and live there in the offseason, so I have access to Minute Maid, which is awesome. This is because I get to workout with a lot of the big league guys (Altuve, Grossman, Gonzalez, Oberholtzer, etc.) And seeing those guys get it in the offseason really pushes me too!
CTH: What was one thing you took away from participating with the Astros during spring training?
Rodgers: Just experience, getting to see how much work those guys put in each day. Getting to the stadium at 5:30 AM and doing extra work to get better.
CTH: What is the biggest difference in pitching in Fresno versus your one start in Oklahoma City and Corpus Christi?
Rodgers: There isn’t a huge difference, being in the dry air might be the only difference. Breaking pitches seem to not move as much but other than that, I’d say they’re similar, all three are great ballparks.
CTH: What pitches do you throw, and what’s your go-to pitch to retire a batter?
Rodgers: I have a two seam and four seam fastball, curveball, slider and change-up. My slider has been pretty good this year with strikeouts, so I’d say my slider.
CTH: What qualities do you have that will make you a great starting pitcher in the majors?
Rodgers: I feel like my work ethic, and mentality will carry me through to the majors. It would be awesome to be a “Great” starting pitcher, but I’m just trying to make it first.
CTH: What are three things Astros fans need to know about Brady Rodgers?
Rodgers: I’m a pretty outgoing guy. I like to interact with fans, outside the stadium especially. I love helping out in the community during the season whether it’s going to a children’s hospital or other venues that allow us to be around town spending time with the fans.
CTH: What do you think you need to work on before you get the call to the big leagues?
Rodgers: There’s a handful of things that I can work on. Being more consistent with my pitches (location, movement), reading swings and also developing my change up. It could be a huge pitch for me down the road, and most big league hitters can hit average fastballs. If you look at the good pitchers in the MLB, most of them have excellent change ups.
Thanks for answering our questions Brady! You can find him on Twitter @Rodg_20.
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