The battle for the fifth spot in the 2010 St. Louis Cardinals rotation is underway.
2010 MLB Draft Q&A: Cameron Bedrosian
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Kevin Levine-Flandrup: Just to start things off, are you still 6'0", 195 lbs?
Cameron Bedrosian: No, sir, I'm 6'1", 215 lbs now. I've been hitting the weights hard in the offseason to get ready for this season, and when it gets to be the offseason I get after it. The biggest part for me are my legs – that's my trunk, my strength.
Kevin Levine-Flandrup: Do you play any other sports besides baseball?
Cameron Bedrosian: No, sir. I played football when I was little, decided to hang it up when I got to middle school because there were a lot of kids with knees and other injuries, so I didn't want to get hurt. I kind of saw that I had a future in baseball, or at least was going to try and pursue one, and after talking to my parents about it we decided there was no need to try and risk the injury.
Kevin Levine-Flandrup: When was it that you knew that you were pretty good at baseball?
Cameron Bedrosian: When I first thought I might have some potential I was a 9th grader, and I started pitching for the Varsity team at East Coweta. That year I went, I believe, 7-1 and did well, and then my sophomore year I did really well, ended up going from 88-89 MPH, maybe touching 91 MPH my freshman year to hitting 94 MPH not even midway through my sophomore season. I started thinking about it then, I started getting a little more attention from people, I pitched in the summer and did really, really well at the East Coast Pro Showcase, and that's when I kind of realized that I had a future in this.
Kevin Levine-Flandrup: Do you remember the first time you hit 90 MPH?
Cameron Bedrosian: I don't actually! The first time I can remember me hitting in the 90s was that 94 MPH. I was pitching against our crosstown rivals, Newnan High School, my sophomore year, and it was in between the 3rd and 4th inning when I had walked behind our dugout and gone to the concession stand to get a Gatorade really quick. A kid from upstairs walked up to me and said, "man, you're throwing really good tonight," and I said, "I appreciate it," and then he said, "yeah, you touched 94 three or four times." I was just blown away, and I remember that vividly. Like I said, I don't remember when I hit 90 MPH, I don't think anyone ever told me, but when I hit that 94 it kind of surprised me.
Kevin Levine-Flandrup: What drew you to LSU?
Cameron Bedrosian: Well, I was looking at Auburn, Georgia, and LSU, ended up taking a trip out to LSU last minute, and as soon as I stepped off the plane I fell in love with everything there. The coaches, the players, the facilities, the way they train, I mean it's just a hard-nosed, gettin' after it, want to win mentality and that's what I like. They're a very disciplined team and the coaches were great, so I guess you can say when I got there it just fit perfectly.
Kevin Levine-Flandrup: How much have you thought about the draft?
Cameron Bedrosian: I try not to look forward to it – it's exciting, I know it's coming up, but I'm just taking it one day at a time and looking forward to my first start right now. It'll be here before I know it, and when that time comes I'll start looking at it. Right now I'm just playing for my high school and enjoying my senior year.
Kevin Levine-Flandrup: What's the image you get when you dream about playing professionally?
Cameron Bedrosian: Starting under the lights…I don't know…I want to be one of those pitchers that you will remember; that kids watch on TV and say, "wow, that's a dominating pitcher." That's my mentality and what I'm going after – to be a guy that's remembered in the Major Leagues; a guy that dominated hitters.
Kevin Levine-Flandrup: How many teams have you heard from?
Cameron Bedrosian: I think it's all 30. I believe now I've gotten at least contact from all 30, I think I'm missing only two teams now that haven't had a home visit.
Kevin Levine-Flandrup: Any contact from the Yankees?
Cameron Bedrosian: They have, yes sir – Darryl Monroe is my area scout. He's come here, I've talked with him, and he was actually a coach at East Coast Pro Showcase. He's a really great guy.
Kevin Levine-Flandrup: I talk to a lot of guys each year with baseball connections. This year so far Kevin Gausman and Deshun Dixon's brothers have been in the minors, and Dylan Covey's dad was drafted by the Mets, but you have them all beat – your dad won a Cy Young Award. How has it helped you having a dad who not only played professional baseball, but played the same position you do?
Cameron Bedrosian: No doubt, it's helped. Basically everything I've got, everything that I have right now, and everything I am going for is because of him. He's taught me since I was a little kid and I really couldn't ask for a better coach. Just the fact that he's been around the game so long, he knows the little parts about it, and he's been able to teach me them is why I have the success I do now. A lot of people aren't able to learn them until they're at a higher level, so it's just a blessing that I've had him as a father and as a coach.
Kevin Levine-Flandrup: And has it hurt you in any way? Have there been any additional pressures?
Cameron Bedrosian: You know what, I know that in some cases for some kids there would be, but with him there aren't. He's always supporting me in whatever I do; win, lose, fail, succeed - whatever I do he stands behind me 100%. So for me, no, there's no pressure. I just go out there and get to play a great game, and he's right along with me.
Kevin Levine-Flandrup: As a pitcher tell me about your arsenal.
Cameron Bedrosian: First of all I have my four-seam, I'd say regularly it's 92-94 MPH, I can touch maybe 95, 96, possibly 97 MPH. It has a little sink to it when I throw it, and I'm coming not true over-the-top, but a little higher than three quarters. I have a two-seam that I've been working on this fall that's really good, it has some sink and tail to it, I'm not sure how fast it is, Kevin, but it's probably 90-92 MPH – not quite as fast as the four-seam, but its got that movement so you don't have to throw it as hard. I have a slider that I throw from different armslots…you know my dad threw a slider when he played, so he taught me how to throw it, and with a slider you can use different armslots, different grips, and put more break to it so it's almost a twelve-to-eight slide to it, or have it be almost like a Mariano Riverra cutter where it's hard and just has a fast cut to it. I'm not really sure about how hard I throw that one either, but I'd guess somewhere around 83-85 MPH. I throw a curveball that's a power-curve, a twelve-to-six or twelve-to-seven break, and that's probably low 80s. Lastly I have a circle-change which I've been working on a lot this fall, and it's really developed very well. Its got tail to it and its got a lot of sink to it, and we had the first intersquad today for my high school, I threw it, and it went really well.
Kevin Levine-Flandrup: How much have you been throwing over the winter? With the weight we were talking about you gaining earlier, have you noticed any difference in your velocity or stamina?
Cameron Bedrosian: Well I usually start my throwing at the end of November and build up through February, but this year I started a little earlier, probably at the end of October, and was throwing bullpens by the end of November and into December. So I haven't been throwing for a long time, but I've been getting my arm a little more tuned up for this year. For me it takes about four to six weeks for my arm to get into shape once I'm full-crank, and this year I started a little earlier, so this year I'm already around 90% right now. I have noticed the difference, because most of it is in my legs, and I was doing a lot of squats, power cleans, stuff like that. I worked with an Olympic trainer and he had me working on a lot of lower body explosive movements, and I have noticed that it's given me strength. It's this early and I already feel great, my body feels good, my legs feel good, and today I was 92, 93, 94 MPH – and I've still got a little ways to go.
Kevin Levine-Flandrup: What is your personality on the field?
Cameron Bedrosian: I'm joking around the whole time. A lot of kids get tense, you know, get fired up for the game, but I'm joking around right before the game starts because I like to keep my guys loose. Crack some jokes, play around a little bit, but once I cross over that chalk line I get in my zone which is a quick pace and gettin' after it mentality. Once I get off that field again I sit down and zone out for the rest of the game until I'm out – then I'm back on the sidelines cheering for my guys.
Kevin Levine-Flandrup: Being from Georgia, is it safe to assume you are a Braves fan and love Chipper Jones?
Cameron Bedrosian: [laughs] Actually, Kevin, I'm not a huge Braves fan. A lot of people are, and I know it's surprising with me being from Georgia, but I've always just been a fan of the game, I've never really had one team as my favorite. My dad did play for them, yes, but it's not a big thing for me, I'm just a normal person who likes to watch the game. Chipper's a great guy – I've had the pleasure of meeting him a few times and talking to him, but I guess I've never been really big on position players because I'm a pitcher [laughs]. I kind of…I don't like giving hitters respect! If I'm going to like someone it's going to be a pitcher.
Kevin Levine-Flandrup: So on that note, who are the pitchers that you look up to in terms of their stuff or the way they play?
Cameron Bedrosian: I hate to say this to you, but Jon Lester [laughs]. He actually lives around here in Sharpsburg, which is about 15 minutes from me. The place I throw at during the fall and summer is in Peachtree City, and he throws up there sometimes, and he's a really good guy. Getting to watch him go through his mechanics is really great. Even though he's left-handed I try to mimic him right-handed. He's kind of a guy that I look up to, and a guy that is really nice, he'll talk to you, and I get to pick his brain every once in a while.
Kevin Levine-Flandrup: What's the biggest thing you've taken away from those conversations?
Cameron Bedrosian: One thing that's really stood out from him is what I was talking about earlier – don't give hitters respect; let my fastball go. Sometimes I'll get into wanting to throw my curve a little too much, throw my change a bit, basically try to be a little too pretty about it, you know what I mean? He told me to just throw my fastball, let it go, don't give them that respect where you change your approach, and just let your stuff work it.
Kevin Levine-Flandrup: If you could pay $100 and magically get to throw any pitcher's stuff for an hour, who would be getting that C-note?
Cameron Bedrosian: Mariano Rivera, without a doubt. I've seen him pitch, that ball…that cutter, it's just…all those pitches are just so dirty! He's so calm about it, you know? That's one guy that I'd love to just sit down and pick his brain. He's a guy that I'd just sit and watch, see his mechanics, just sit and look at him throw.
Kevin Levine-Flandrup: If you could steal any pitch from any other pitcher in your draft class, whose would it be and why?
Cameron Bedrosian: A pitch that stood out to everyone was from Jameson Taillon, the kid's got a dirty curveball – just a hammer. I know it's nice being 6'6", getting that leverage - I wish I had the privilege of being 6'6"! But that curve – it's a dirty one.
Kevin Levine-Flandrup: Have you ever heard scouts say you remind them of another player?
Cameron Bedrosian: My dad says that I remind him of Roger Clemens sometimes. I've got that strong lower half, I'm power and quick to the plate. Also Josh Beckett a little bit, not in the build, but in the approach.
Kevin Levine-Flandrup: What's the biggest thing you want to focus on going into this season?
Cameron Bedrosian: I guess my overall goal is to just have fun this year. Live out my senior year, let it all out on the field, have fun with my teammates, and hopefully win a state championship and get that ring.
Kevin Levine-Flandrup: What do you like to do off the field?
Cameron Bedrosian: I am a southern kid and I love to hunt and fish.
Kevin Levine-Flandrup: What is the biggest thing you have ever bagged?
Cameron Bedrosian: I'm actually a duck hunter. There's not a ton in Georgia, but me and my dad and brothers all travel a lot to go hunt, and we actually took a trip out to Arkansas recently, so that was a lot of fun. We do deer hunt a little bit around here, and I've shot an eight-point, but there's a twelve-point that lives on my property and I've never got to shoot him. That's one of those guys you see once, don't get the shot, and then never see him again [laughs].
Kevin Levine-Flandrup: What's the hardest thing you've ever had to do?
Cameron Bedrosian: Hmm…I don't know…[long pause]…can I tell you what the easiest thing for me was? My brother Cody had leukemia when he was seven or eight, and I was a little kid, I vaguely remember it, but that was the easiest decision of my life – I gave him my bone marrow. It ended up saving his life, and he's doing well today. The doctor said the chance of me having a carbon copy match were so long, and it's kind of a big thing for me because I got to save my older brother's life, and how many kids get to say that, you know? I guess that story fits into what you're looking for when you ask "what's the hardest thing you've ever done," but it really wasn't hard – it was easy.
Kevin Levine-Flandrup: Finally, what's this whole process like for you?
Cameron Bedrosian: You know, sometimes it can be overwhelming with scouts, and people talking about it, but I just try to take it one day at a time. I try not to think of myself as anything but an ordinary kid, and just try to have fun, like I said. When I'm on the field I might be a "good pitcher" or something like that, but I don't like to see it like that. I like to be a normal kid, and when it's time to do those things on the field, I'll get them done.
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