Posted by Mack Ade at 2:00 PM
I met with the Savannah Sand Gnats’ 2014 opening day pitcher, RHP Robert Gsellman. Gsellman is another of the premier crop of High School seniors that the Mets drafted in 2011. This one, was a 13th round pick out of Hawthorne (CA) High School and was immediately assigned to the GCL Mets (7-G, 1-ST, 0-0, 4.15) after he signed. He shrugged off the ‘grind’ drag and put up impressive numbers in 2011 for Kingsport (11-G, 5-ST, 1-3, 3.92, 1.37), but it was 2013 in Brooklyn where he really began to get his game in shape (12-G, 12-ST, 3-3, 2.06, 1.01).
Gsellman did finish last year in Savannah, where the jump in levels created a drop in effectiveness (K9 – 8.23 in Brooklyn; 4.33 in Savannah… BB9 – 1.54 in Brooklyn; 1.86 in Savannah). Still, his five Class A starts created a 3.72-ERA and led to him starting opening day yesterday.
Robert and I talked on the field after lunch this past Tuesday.
Mack – Robert, thanks for talking to me today. First of all, the same question I asked Chris (Flexen). How do you feel about being in such a pitcher rich organization which could lead to you being traded to accomplish your goals in this game?
Gsellman – It’s part of the process. I’m here to seize the opportunity and you never know what can happen… trades… injuries. I’m not worried. I’m young and I have a long way to go.
M – You weren’t picked until the 13th round in 2011. At what point in the draft did you start worrying you weren’t going to hear your name called out?
G – I had no worries. I try not to worry about things like that. Whatever happens, happens.
M – You pitched well here in Savannah last year; however, your K9 did go down and you BB9 went up from low-A. Did you find the jump from Brooklyn a whole new ballgame?
G – No, but I worked hard last year with Marc Valdez (this year’s pitching coach) on some things.
M – On the same subject, what did you do in the off-season to help improve these numbers?
G – I worked on flexibility, on getting stronger, and my focus.
M – Scouts told me that your breaking ball needs some consistentcy. Will we see more of that pitch this year?
G – I did recognize the problem with that pitch and I also worked on it during the off-season.
At this point, the interview just sort of ended. Gsellman is a man of few words and, though I found him to be a very nice person, he was very guarded and what we call in the industry a ‘hard interview’.
I hope he brings this same business-like approach to the mound this year.