Q&A with Rangers 17th Rd Pick Anthony Haase
It's difficult to argue with the success that right-hander Anthony Haase had in his sophomore campaign at Cochise College. Playing against some of the nation's top junior college talent––including College of Southern Nevada and Central Arizona College––Haase posted a 13-2 record with a 1.62 earned-run average in 100 innings. He surrendered just 63 hits while walking 18 and striking out 100. Overall, the tall New Mexico native improved across the board from his freshman year at Cochise. In 2009, Haase was 3-4 with a 2.78 ERA. He logged 55 frames, giving up 34 hits, walking 33, and striking out 64. As the 20-year-old mentions below, his improvement this season was all about developing command. That was evident from the numbers, as he practically cut his walks in half despite doubling his innings total. Haase was originally drafted by Tampa Bay in the 38th round out of high school, and he has already signed with the Rangers, saying he was ready to end the process and start his professional career. His collegiate coach––Todd Inglehart––told the Sierra Vista Herald that Haase is "the most competitive player he's ever coached." Haase has a three-pitch mix, including a sinking fastball, a breaking ball, and a changeup. As Inglehart mentions in the linked story, he believes Haase will have to improve his secondary stuff in professional baseball, but he also thinks the pitcher has the raw stuff and intangibles to succeed. Lone Star Dugout caught up with the 17th round pick, who will likely begin his pro career with the rookie-level Arizona Rangers. Jason Cole: What were your thoughts on getting drafted in the 17th round by the Rangers? Anthony Haase: At first I was a little disappointed––just kind of waiting out the day. But after it was all said and done, it's a great chance and a great opportunity. That's all I need, and that's all it's going to take to get me to the big leagues. Cole: Who was the area scout with the Rangers that saw you out there? Haase: Andy Pratt. I wasn't too familiar with him, to be honest with you. But I guess things worked out that way. I didn't have much contact with the Rangers during the season. Cole: This was your sophomore season at Cochise College in Arizona. How did you feel about it? Haase: I think I had a big turnaround from my freshman year with command of all my pitches. I think that helped out a lot in the record, obviously, and in my overall performance. Coach [Todd] Inglehart down there is one of the best coaches in the nation, I think. He's doing some good things and he helped me out a lot. He got me to where I am today. Cole: Tell me a little bit about you on the mound––what kind of pitcher are you and what do you have in your repertoire? Haase: I've got a two-seam fastball, a curveball, and a changeup. I've always considered myself a power guy, but now with the shift to pro ball, I'm more of a sinkerballer, I guess. I've tried to come along with the curveball and changeup to complement the fastball. I think I have a good shot for the future. Cole: Growing up near Albuquerque and going to college in Arizona, have you ever really had a favorite Major League team? Did you follow the Rangers much? Haase: Fantasy-wise, yeah. I grew up a Braves fan, but the Rangers were close by, so I watched a lot of games. Cole: You didn't sign with a four-year school and you've already signed with the Rangers. What was your thought process behind that? Haase: It was my third year with this thing and I was ready to go. It was a done deal. Cole: How much are you looking forward to getting into pro ball and getting your career underway? Haase: This has been my dream since I was a little kid. It's finally going to happen, so I'm excited and can't wait. Cole: Is there anything that you really want to work on or develop as you get into pro ball this summer? Haase: I just want to continue to work with command. Obviously command is one of the biggest things about pitching. I think I have all the tools, but I just need to work on command. I have a competitiveness to get out there and win, so that's all that matters.