Keeping up with the Astros Prospects: RHP Keegan Yuhl

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Keegan Yuhl Interview

CTH: What did you think of your first professional experience last year with Greenville and Quad Cities?

Yuhl: It was something new, playing in the lower levels of the minors is different than college ball in some ways.

CTH: You were drafted in the 35th round out of Concordia University in 2014, where were you when you found out you were drafted?

Yuhl: I got a phone call in the middle of a movie theater, I jumped over three sets of seats to run out of the theater. It was exciting.

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CTH: I have to ask, what movie were you watching?

Yuhl: The Edge of Tomorrow.

CTH: Did your agents give you an idea of where you would be drafted?

Yuhl: I had no clue where, and if I would be drafted, the scout for the Astros told me that they were interested.

CTH: In two professional seasons, you have an ERA of 2.00 or less. What can you attribute your success to?

Yuhl: I’ve worked really hard on my timing on the mound, locating my fastball consistently, and work on further developing my offspeed pitches.

CTH: You started off in the bullpen, when did you move to the rotation? How was the decision made?

Yuhl: The decision is made for you, especially with the piggyback system we use to get a chance to start more pitchers. When I was with Greenville last season, I was in the rotation, but I was moved to the bullpen in Quad Cities. I started off 2015 in QC, so I was in the bullpen again. Around the All-star game, the JetHawks’ coach moved me into the rotation as part of a tandem system.

CTH: Which role do you prefer?

Yuhl: I would prefer the rotation, it takes some time to adjust pitching in the bullpen or in the rotation. Either way, my job is to become more durable and properly locate the fastball. I have four pitches that should lend to a good starting pitcher.

CTH: What is your most embarrassing moment on the baseball field?

Yuhl: I lost a bet, and I had to wear spandex during a practice.

CTH: Give us an idea of your pitching repertoire.

Yuhl: I throw a four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, slider, and a split-changeup.

CTH: What do you need to work on to get yourself big league ready in the next two–three years?

Yuhl: I need to keep on working on my offspeed, it can be really good to average, just need to work on consistency. I don’t miss the plate too often.

CTH: You have given up five runs in the past 35 innings, what has this period been like for you?

Yuhl: I haven’t made that big a deal about it, I try to keep my nose to the ground and stay humble. Some of my teammates joke about it from time to time, but I take my pitching one pitch at a time.

CTH: Which start do you remember the best?

Yuhl: It was actually in college, I had a complete game no-hitter. It was a really awesome experience. I struck out twelve hitters in that game, I think I threw 115 pitches to complete the game. I didn’t realize until the sixth inning what was going on. It was a special moment because throwing a no-hitter is one of the hardest things to do. That experience was almost better than when I was drafted.

CTH: Give me three things that Astros fans need to know about Keegan Yuhl.

Yuhl: I love movies, I am a movie buff and spend my spare time watching them. I have visited 9-10 different countries. My best friend was already an Astro; his name is Joe Musgrove. We have been friends forever, so it was cool that he got traded to the Astros, and then I was drafted by them. I am looking forward to playing with him.

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Thanks, Keegan Yuhl, for taking the time to speak to me and answer some questions while I was at, the noisy Children’s Museum. I got a quote from Musgrove about Yuhl, take a look below.

CTH: Hey Joe. I just interviewed your bestie, Keegan. You got anything to say about him for me to add?

Musgrove: Ha yea he’s a good dude. Known him a while and he has grown a lot in the past year! His dedication to proving that he belongs is quite impressive. The guy throws a lot of strikes and isn’t afraid to challenge guys. He and I come from the same ‘backyard’. We live and breathe pitching in the offseason. We take pride in our work and have a similar mentality.

You can follow Joe Musgrove at @musgrove23Stros and Yuhl has yet to discover the brilliance of Twitter. You can read Musgrove’s interview here: Keeping Up with the Astros Prospects: (RHP) Joe Musgrove.