Interview with Houston Astros prospects Michael Freeman
On this week’s Talking Stros, we were joined by Houston Astros’ prospects Michael Freeman and Justin Ferrell. When we had J.J. Cooper and Jim Callis on to talk Astros prospects, both of them mentioned Freeman as a player to watch in 2016. A starter in college as a senior, Freeman pitched out of the bullpen in his professional baseball debut between three minor league teams in 2016. The Astros appear to view Freeman as a fast-tracked bullpen arm.
As a 6’8” former closer who pitches from a sidearm slot has an excellent chance of making the Astros 25-man roster at some point during the 2016 season as a situational lefty. How ready is he, we will see how he does in Double-A and/or Triple-A to start off the 2016 season. If you want a little more information, I wrote about Freeman here: Houston Astros Sleeper: LHP Micheal Freeman.
You may listen to the podcast version of the show below or read on for the rest of the post for the interview.
Talking Stros: You lowered your arm slot, is it more side armed or are you coming submarine?
Freeman: I throw at a low three-quarter, it’s just a tick above a true sidearm motion.
Talking Stros: Being a left-handed pitcher who is 6’8″ with that motion has to be deceiving to a hitter. What side of the rubber do you pitch on?
Freeman: I pitch on the first base side, ideally, I’m pitching from their backside of the mound. I just try to make the ball move as much as possible, it just happens. I find something that works, you stick with it long enough, it works.
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Talking Stros: A lot of people are rooting for you, even if it is as a situational left-hander, are you looking at that as a role?
Freeman: I’m just looking to have a career, no matter the role or how long, just to get to play minor league baseball is an honor to me. Hopefully, I keep getting guys out and create a future for myself.
Talking Stros: After you were drafted, you were moved quickly through three levels of the minor leagues, what was that like?
Freeman: It was pretty crazy, moving around, it’s a good thing, you don’t get a chance to get comfortable, but it’s cool to meet all the players in the system, though. There is a lot of talent in the lower levels with experiences different than my own, and I’ve learned a lot from the players and coaches as well. Good learning opportunity for me to see how other people get themselves ready and what makes the guys tick, then tweak my game a little to improve.
Talking Stros: You pitched at Oklahoma state, pretty good baseball conference, you were the Big-12 Pitcher of the Year, is that correct?
Freeman: Yes, (Were you closing games last year?) No, I was a starter, I started my senior year.
Talking Stros: Have the Astros talked to you at all about whether you are a starter or a reliever?
Freeman: I’m not sure as of right now, I relieved out of the pen all year in the minors last season. I will see how things go, not sure where I fit into the mold this season, but like I said earlier, I’m looking forward to a major league career, no matter the role.
Talking Stros: Assuming you start at least in Double-A, the Astros have shown they are not afraid to pull players straight from Double-A when needed. You are definitely someone fans need to keep an eye on. Speaking of which, when you are not trying to eat healthy, what is your go-to food?
Freeman: Not sure if you can combine these, but Brownies and ice cream. Maybe chocolate and peanut butter.
Talking Stros: Do you see yourself as a setup guy like Tony Sipp or more like what Brandon described earlier as a situational lefty?
Freeman: I don’t want to give you the generic answer, but whatever I can do to get the opportunity to pitch in the big leagues or just continue my minor league career. I would be more than overjoyed to do either.
Talking Stros: I saw on Twitter that you got married this offseason, is she ready to become a baseball wife?
Freeman: The wedding was awesome, it was in November, the weather was really dicey, and we had an outdoor wedding, it rained two days before and the day after, but stayed pretty for us. With the family and friends there, it couldn’t have been a more perfect day for us. With the baseball wife, with the travel, we will have to cross that bridge when we get there. Right now she is finishing up school, but in May, she will meet me wherever I am. We have been together since I was in junior college, so we are excited to see what the future holds for the Houston Astros. I’m lucky to have her.
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Talking Stros: What was it like being drafted by the Astros and where were you when you were drafted?
Freeman: I was at my parents house, I had my now wife there, my parents, and some of my other family members, as well as a few of my good friends. It was exciting, especially being a fifth-year senior, things work differently in those situations. It was really surprising, I really did not have an idea what would happen, it was awesome just to get drafted.
Talking Stros: What type of pitches do you throw?
Freeman: I throw a two-seam fastball which is pretty much a sinker, I throw a sweeping slider, and I throw a change-up. I throw my fastball 85-87, I’m not a power pitcher by any means.
Talking Stros: When I saw the picture of you, it reminded me of a left-handed Pat Neshek. What are three things Astros fans should know about you?
Freeman: One, my relationship with the Lord. Two, I’m really rooted with my family, we are close, and they support me and help me. Third, I just love playing baseball and continuing to progress in life as well as baseball.
Listen to the rest of the interview below where Freeman talks OSU Cowboy baseball along with Justin Ferrell.
Thanks to Michael Freeman for joining us at @TalkingStros to talk Houston Astros baseball and your future. We wish you and Delaney luck in your future in life and baseball. You can follow Michael on Twitter at
@MikeTheFreeMan. Listen to Talking Stros next week as we are joined Jayne Hansen of What the Heck Bobby Heck.