Mack - We’re talking to a flame-thrower today! Texas State RHP Kyle Finnegan has agreed to spend a few minutes with us and I thank hi for that. Morning Kyle. ‘Tossing’ yet?
Kyle - Hey Mack! Thanks for having me. No tossing' yet, the coaching staff thought that it would be best for me to get some solid rest after a long season and summer. The plan is to start my throwing program in enough time to get ready for our fall scrimmage vs. UT. So for now I'm just in the weight room trying to get stronger!
Mack – My standard first question to everyone: take us back to that first day someone put either a glove, bat, or ball in your hands and take us through the steps that got you here today.
Kyle - Ha Ha I can’t remember the days when I did not have a ball in my hand! I think my love for the game came from my Dad; he played pro ball as a pitcher and is one of the main reasons I am where I am today. We spent countless hours throughout my childhood working on mechanics in the backyard, throwing bullpens, and taking BP (hitting never really worked out ha ha). I was kind of a late bloomer and high school, so once my size increased so did my velocity. It’s been really exciting watching all the years of hard work have results. To this day, my Dad still catches my bullpens while I'm home over Christmas break!
Mack – Don’t you go breaking Dad’s hand now. Kyle, I’m curious. You’re hitting 97 now so what are you concentrating on… more velo, movement, hitting the corners, or pounding the zone?
Kyle - I'd say that my main focus lately has been total pitch ability, I worked on improving my change-up this summer and I'm excited to use it this spring. I'm working towards being able to throw four quality pitches to any location in any count. I've always been confident in my fastball, and I want to have that same confidence in the rest of my pitches (slider, change up, curveball). I've also made great strides in the mental side of the game, I've learned to focus on throwing one quality pitch at a time and focus more on the process than the outcome.
Mack – The ‘one quality pitch at a time’ is the spot on approach. I used to tell pitchers to focus even further and create a mental ‘two on, two out’ scenario that demanded perfection. Let’s turn the page and talk about Texas State. A nice 32-24 record last year, but a disappointing final playoff series. Was there a particular reason you didn’t pitch in any of those three games?
Kyle - The plan was for us to breeze through Stephen F. Austin and then have me start against Southeastern Louisiana in the night game that would've hopefully taken us to the championship game. The coaches and I thought that was the best plan because I matched up best against Southeastern, unfortunately that plan didn't work out and we were eliminated before I got a chance to throw. It was a horrible feeling and it has been one of my main motivations this off season. It was not fun watching a team with so much potential get eliminated and not get an at-large bid. We have a great group of guys this year and we're all extremely excited to work towards our new goals and take Texas State University to new limits!
Mack – This one is for the scouts out there reading this. Take us through your current repertoire and anything you want to share with us that you have working new for the season?
Kyle - Currently I'm throwing a two and four seam fastball to both sides of the plate mixed with a straight change up. I usually throw the slider for a potential strike out, and the curve ball to try and get ahead with the breaker. I've been working hard on increasing the velo gap between my fastball and change-up to try and keep the hitters off balance as well.
Mack – I’ve covered everything I wanted to cover at this point. I’m going to post this next week,
hopefully with a YouTube video of you pitching (I’ll get my granddaughter to help me post it J. I’ll check back with you during the season and see how things are progressing.