I recently sat down with Marlins prized pitching prospect Austin Brice and conducted a quick interview with him. To give you a bit of an idea of who Brice is, he most likely ranks among the top 15 prospects and is said to have some of the highest upside of anybody in the organization. He’s a righty with pretty good stuff and lots of arm strength. Expect to hear Brice’s name considerably more as he progresses through the Marlins organization. But until then, the pitcher talks about that very subject and his expectations leading up to his potential Major League promotion.
1) Can you talk a little bit about who you are as a pitcher? What you throw, your approach on the mound, etc.
One word: “DOMINATION.” I’m coming at you with everything I have no matter who you are. I throw a fastball, curveball, and change-up. Last year, I really learned how to use my change-up, and use it well. But I’m mostly learning how to be more consistent. But hey, who isn’t?
2) What some of your biggest and best experiences of pitching in the Marlins organization?
Well, with this year being my first full season the stories will be few. However, I would have to say the biggest day of my career was when Brian Chattin called me mid-September after the GCL Playoffs and said, “hey Austin, it is my pleasure to be able to tell you that you have won Minor League Pitcher of the month for August. I was just shocked and didn’t know what to do with myself. All those years of hard work and sweat was what paid off in the end. Also, I threw with Josh Johnson one day when he was on a rehab assignment. In my list of stories that would probably rank as one of the cooler things that I have done.
3) What are some of the biggest things you’re working on to improve yourself going forward and especially this coming season?
Last year I arrived at Spring Training way too big and muscular. This isn’t to sound macho or anything, but it’s the truth. I wasn’t flexible, couldn’t really finish my pitches and my stamina lacked because of it. Hence, my nickname this year was “Briceps.” To fix myself up, I worked very hard on my legs and stayed away from all upper body work. I also took many yoga classes to help with my flexibility. I would say my main goal for the remaining part of the off-season is to stay flexible. With this being only my second full season, I’m still trying to find that perfect recipe for success.
4) You were in the GCL last year. Who were some of your teammates that stood out as especially good prospects?
Wow. Well, I can’t say that anyone really stood out since there were so many of us. The GCL team was stacked with talent though. It was such a good feeling to be on that mound knowing that pretty much every play was going to get made. That basically sums it up and is the ultimate complement I can give. The nine guys on the field were all stars and so were the other nine that were left out of the lineup that day. Same goes to the pitching staff. I had no worries about having a bad day on the bump because I knew that the guy coming in after me was going to be lights out.
5) How can we describe Austin Brice five years from now?
Hopefully it will be a headline on ESPN. A good headline of course. But to sum it up in ten letters: DOMINATION!
6) What’s it like pitching in the Marlins organization?
When I got drafted by the Marlins I was somewhat confused. I had no idea they were really even looking at me. But I think God definitely was looking out for me — he put me in a place of ultimate success. I love this team and really could not imagine not donning Marlin uniform for the rest of my career. From the Front Office to the field, everybody knows you by name, number and what you did yesterday. So you best know they are there for you throughout your whole journey to the majors.