Chez Angeloni was an unheralded un-drafted free agent who signed with the Red Sox immediately following the 2009 draft. Working as a starter for division III Johns Hopkins University, he compiled an 18-7 career record while winning the Most Outstanding Player award for the 2008 Division III College World Series. In the first game of the series, Angeloni threw a complete game eight strikeout performance to hand Trinity its lone loss of the season. Chez split his 2009 professional season between the GCL Red Sox and the Lowell Spinners, becoming a key member of the Lowell bullpen during their playoff run. Angeloni took some to answer some questions with the Spinners Blog.
You were signed as an un-drafted free agent, can you tell us what the process was like in signing with the Red Sox, and was there any interest in you by any teams during the draft?
It was pretty sweet, I got a phone call one day that they had a spot open in Fort Myers. I was like seriously, I’m going to play for the Red Sox? I just flew down there, got my stuff together and got started. In terms of interest before the draft, there wasn’t a whole lot, a few times took some looks, I didn’t know what to expect. In the end, this is a dream come true, it’s better than I could have imagined.
You were a starter at John’s Hopkins, but this season you have come out of the Spinners bullpen, which role do you prefer?
I prefer starting because I have done it my entire baseball career before getting here. However, I just want to do whatever it is that helps the team win and gets me innings. If that means that I am in the bullpen, then that’s where I will be and work my hardest at.
Can you tell us a bit about the pitches you feature?
I throw a sinker, a cut fastball, a slider, a changeup and a four-seam fastball.
Your team at John’s Hopkins had a lot of success, including making it to the college world series, what was your most memorable moment in college?
Two years ago in the CWS we faced Trinity, which is interesting because I am played with a few of those guys here in Lowell (DiBenedetto, Killeen, Bayer). Unfortunately, we ended up losing to Trinity but it was a great experience that I am sure will help me down the line in similar playoff type of situations.
Even though you spent a short time in Lowell this season, what stood out to you most about playing here?
This is a great place to play, everybody is happy to be here, the fans are just amazing. The personnel that works with us here on a day to day basis is just world class, they really put us in the best position to be better each and every day.
If you could attribute your success to one thing what would it be?
My success comes when I throw strike one. Getting ahead of the hitter is probably the most important way to be successful as a pitcher. Another thing that makes me successful is getting my sinker down in the zone and inducing ground balls. When I can do both things, I am going to have a good day.
You were named most outstanding player of the college world series in 2008, how did you feel about that honor?
At first I didn’t want to think about it since we had lost the World Series, winning as a team is much better than any award I could be given. I was disappointed, but after some time I realized what a great honor it was and I was very happy to have received it. I think it really served as a motivational tool for me to make it back to the CWS this year.
What is something about Chez Angeloni that most people don’t know?
I’ve got some serious hops, I can dunk a basketball no problem.