A Few Minutes With Jack McGeary

I was fortunate enough to grab a couple of minutes with Nationals left-handed  prospect Jack McGeary to speak with him about his decision to focus on a full season of professional baseball in 2009.

“School is going well. I’m in a good spot academically,” McGeary replied when I asked what drove his decision. “After the way I finished up last year, I felt the results were encouraging,” he continued. The 20-year lefthander made twelve starts for the GCL Nationals in 2008, finishing 22 with a 4.07 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in 59 2/3 innings of work. He led the Gulf Coast League with 64 strikeouts.

He arrived in Viera today and will join his teammates in full workouts beginning tomorrow. “The Nationals are a good organization to be in,” McGeary stated, “They are doing a good job developing pitchers.”

While he would welcome the challenge of full-season baseball (i.e. Hagerstown or Potomac), he mentioned his primary focus in 2009 is getting through a full season (April to September). “I want to see improvements throughout the year,” McGeary said, “I cannot control where they are going to put me. All I can do is pitch to my abilities.”

I inquired if this spring was any different than his first one back in 2008. “Definitely,” he replied, “My first spring was a little unique. I was only there for three or four weeks and I had to take in as much as I could and bring it back to school with me.” He added, “This year I am prepared and know what to expect.” When I asked about anything he is working on specifically as he pitcher, he responded that command was something he wanted to work on, emphasizing that he needed to be more consistent as he developed as a professional.

But spring training is going to initially be about more than just baseball. McGeary brought his exams and final papers with him from Stanford and is going  to get to spend the next week balancing his homework with everyday workouts.

He has completed 100 of the 180 units necessary for graduation and given he can take a maximum of 20 units per quarter, he envisions finishing up his degree in four quarters.

  1. #1 by Positively Half St. - March 13th, 2009 at 15:29

    You have to be impressed with a kid with that kind of focus. I hope he can bring that to the game, as well. If baseball doesn’t work out, a degree from Stanford will certainly be an excellent backup plan.

  2. #2 by Jeff E. - March 13th, 2009 at 16:27

    overpayment for a RELIEF prospect???

  3. #3 by joNAThan - March 13th, 2009 at 18:02

    Kudos to Jack, he should have a degree in 2010 sometime (or 11′ at the latest).

    Who says he is a reliever Jeff?

    Brian, are you in Florida?

  4. #4 by Dick - March 14th, 2009 at 13:25

    Brian, are you in Florida?

    I saw Smoker throw yesterday. He had a bullpen session and threw only at 50% effort. He looked great! Every pitch on the knees. He seemed thrilled, too.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we could hit on a couple of lefties from the 2007 draft? I’m pretty sure our hopes lie with the high school lefties we drafted, not the college one!

  5. #5 by Brian Oliver - March 14th, 2009 at 15:09

    No, not in FL, Spoke with McGeary on the phone

    Good news about Smoker

  6. #6 by Nats fan in NJ - March 14th, 2009 at 20:18

    Very interesting about McGeary. Nice news about Smoker too. Add in this years #1 pick and it is understandable why some folks (myself included) are excited about our pitching prospects. I just keep repeating to myself: patience…

  7. #7 by Gavin B - March 15th, 2009 at 13:02


    You wrote: “I was fortunate enough to grab a couple of minutes with Nationals left-handed relief prospect Jack McGeary “

    What’s up with the “relief” reference?

  8. #8 by Brian Oliver - March 15th, 2009 at 13:04

    mistake on my part

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