by John Gray, Lowell Spinners
Brandon Workman was selected by the Red Sox in the second round of this years amateur draft. Considered one of the top college arms in the country, Workman fell in the draft due to his bonus expectations. A vital cog in the Texas Longhorns rotation, Workman is a physical presence on the mound, standing 6-5, 225. An impressive 2009 season which included a no-hitter of Penn State and a trip to the College World Series put Workman on the radar screen as one of the top college pitchers in the country. No stranger to New England thanks to his two stints with the Cape Cod League Wareham Gateman, Workman will begin his professional career next season but for the time being sat down with me to answer a few questions.
Can you describe to us how draft day went for you? Did you know that the Red Sox were going to take you? The signing process was reportedly down to the wire, were you ever worried about not signing?
I really had no indication the Red Sox were going to take me. I was sitting around watching the draft on television with no idea where I was going to end up, so when I got the call from them it was really exciting to be taken by such a historic franchise. I never worried about signing, I figured it would work it’s way out in the end even if negotiations went down to the wire. I ended up being where I wanted to be so it worked out for the best.
You were originally drafted in 2007 by the Phillies, did you ever consider signing back then?
I kicked around the idea of signing, I’ve always wanted to play professional baseball but it really came down to them not being able to offer me what I was looking for in order to pass up going to Texas.
Can you give us a bit of a self scouting report, what pitches do you feature?
Nothing too out of the ordinary, I have a fastball, changeup, curveball and cutter. I suppose you could say I throw with a 3/4th’s delivery and that I’m at my best when I have solid control of all four of my pitches.
There’s been talk that you might profile as a reliever down the line, do you prefer starting or relieving?
I absolutely envision myself as a starter, all my preparation has been to get out there on the mound and go deep into ball games. I am not opposed to relieving by any means, especially if that is what will get me to the majors faster.
How hard was it to pass up your senior year at Texas? Can you describe what it was like playing for the Longhorns?
Definitely not an easy choice, we had a great team down there every year I was there and they are going to have a really good squad again this year. With them being in the mix for a national championship it made the decision that much harder, ultimately I am very happy to be a part of the Red Sox organization.
If you had to pick a favorite baseball moment during your career what would it be and why?
Going to Omaha for the College World Series in my sophomore year. We came in second to LSU, Ranaudo’s team, but it was the most exciting baseball experience I have ever been a part of. Coming that close and not being able to finish it off was frustrating but we had a great year and it was awesome to being able to play in that type of playoff atmosphere.
You pitched for the Wareham Gateman of the Cape Cod League in 2008 and 2009, pitching in the Cape League All Star game both years. What was it like pitching in the Cape?
It’s a different baseball experience than down in Texas for sure but I had a ton of fun. I met a lot of great people, plenty who I am still friends with, and enjoyed living with my host families. An all around great experience both years and being selected for the All-Star game was an honor because there are so many great players that go to the Cape. It gave me a taste of the passion that New England fans have for the game so I’m looking forward to seeing that on a larger scale.
You played football during high school, with Texas being such a huge football state did you ever consider playing football during college?
Not really, it was an easy decision (baseball over football) because I was always better at baseball. Pitching was always really where I stood out so it was what I wanted to end up doing. The Longhorns have a great football team, not sure I could have cracked it even if I wanted to.
When you were growing up did you have a favorite team and player?
I grew up in North Texas so I was always a Texas Rangers fan. I couldn’t really tell you a favorite player, I just followed the Rangers since they were my home team.
Lastly, has the team told you what your plans are for the immediate future?
I really don’t think you will see me on the mound this year. I am really just here to get acclimated to pro ball and start preparing myself for the fall and spring.