Andrew Edwards is a Royals minor league reliever who was drafted this past season in the 19th round of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft. He just completed his first season in the Royals system, splitting his time between the Burlington Royals and the Wilmington Blue Rocks. Edwards was kind enough to agree to answer a few questions for us prior to heading off to his first Spring Training as a member of the Royals organization, touching on his first season in the minors and his goals for this season. For a more in depth profile for Edwards, click here.
Dave Hill: What was it like transitioning from college to professional baseball? What were the biggest challenges you faced during that switch?
Andrew Edwards: The biggest transition from college to professional was the speed of the game. I played in a Top 5 college baseball conference and the game was still faster. Another transition believe it or not the wood bats. They were a big transition, a good one though in my opinion, being a pitcher.
DH: The Royals had you skip Lexington and promoted you to the Wilmington Blue Rocks by the end of the year. What was the biggest difference between the two levels?
AE: The jump was a welcomed surprise. Being born and raised three hours from Lexington, it would’ve been a great stop in my career. My family and friends are in driving distance but in the end I was happy to tell them I wouldn’t be playing in Lexington, given the fact I moved up to a higher level.
DH: Last season, you generated groundballs at a 60.3% rate. What has been the key to that success? Is this something you have always been able to do, or was it a skill that you learned as you progressed as a pitcher?
AE: I used to be a more over the top arm slot pitcher. My freshman year in Junior College my coach suggested that I try a lower arm slot. So he dropped my arm to a more mid-low 3/4 arm slot. My velocity and movement (sinking action) on my pitches increased. I stuck it with it and I feel like it has worked out great for me. So in truth it was by chance that I started producing more and more ground balls.
DH: This is going to be your first Spring Training as a member of the Royals organization. Did you approach this offseason differently than you did in college, or did your training regiment remain the same?
AE: I did approach this offseason very differently. When you are at school during the offseason you are still around your coaches 5-6 days a week. Staying on top of your form is much easier when you have them monitoring you the entire time. Now, I’m on my own and I have to get it done myself. It was a “good” adjustment, I have now became a self-coach in a sense. As the training regiment goes. I approached it fairly the same weights, cardio and other various baseball specific workouts. I’m having to train to become a reliever for the season instead of a starter which I was at school last year.
DH: What are you looking to work on in Spring Training, and what are your goals for this season?
AE: I’m hoping to take in as much information as I can in the month that I’m there. As a pitcher I’m always looking to increase velocity, accuracy, and improve on my pitching as a whole. My season goals for this season would be goals of any ball player. Help the team get wins, because if you’re not winning the season is going to be long and miserable. If I had to say personal goals put up great numbers, hopefully get a chance to get a crack at the next level, and further myself in my baseball career.
Our thanks to Andrew Edwards for taking the time to answer these questions for us before he heads off to Spring Training. We wish him all the best this season and his career as he goes forward in the Royals system.