2012 MLB Draft Q & A: Austin Fairchild

Prep LHP Austin Fairchild

Today's 2012 MLB Draft Q & A is with left-handed pitcher Austin Fairchild of St. Thomas H.S. in Houston, Texas. Widely considered one of the top prep southpaws in the draft, Fairchild currently has a commitment to TCU. Inside he discusses his pitching repertoire, how he prepares his body for pitching, what it is like to play for former-MLB star and Astros legend Craig Biggio and much more.

For a complete scouting report (with video) on Fairchild from Scout.com's National Baseball Expert Frankie Piliere, see: 2012 Draft Scouting Report: Austin Fairchild.

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Rays Digest: Can you tell me a little bit about your pitching arsenal? What kinds of pitches do you throw and which ones have been the most successful for you?

Austin Fairchild: My fastball has been clocked as high as 94-95 [mph] but I'm usually a 90-93 guy. Movement plays a very big role with it's success. My slider is my main out pitch, but I will often mix it up with my curveball which has more of a 12-6 break. I have also spent a lot of time working on my changeup between starts this season, but I rarely went to it in a game. I feel like my repertoire is very strong.

Rays Digest: What about your approach on the mound? How do you like to go about attacking hitters?

Austin Fairchild: It depends on the situation, but basically I like to get ahead in the count and then use a mixture of my repertoire to get the guy out.

Rays Digest: You have a college commitment to TCU, but had offers from other schools with elite baseball programs like USC and the University of Texas. What made you decide to go to school there over other schools?

Austin Fairchild: All the schools I visited have great baseball programs with excellent coaches. They all offer a great education and are all on beautiful campuses. It came down to a comfort level I felt with Coach Schlossnagle, Coach Mazey and Coach Vitello.

Rays Digest: What has it been like receiving so much attention from scouts and colleges? How have you been able to balance all of the exposure with just being a normal teenager?

Austin Fairchild: At first it was a little overwhelming, but after a while it became a part of my everyday life.

Rays Digest: How do you prepare your body and arm for pitching? Tell me a little about your workout routine.

Austin Fairchild: After last summer for instance, I rested my arm a couple of months and did strength training and agility drills several times a week. I began throwing a couple of times a week in late-October and gradually reduced my strength training and increased my throwing to where I was long tossing to 300 ft. a couple of times a week and mixed in some shorter distances and flat grounds in between. By mid-December I was working in a 30-40 pitch mound per week.

My in-season routine starts the day after I pitch with stretching (everyday), sprints and some light strength training and core work. Day 2 consists of more running and some light throwing. Day 3 I stretch my throwing out to about 260 ft. and pull it back down and do some flat ground work. Day 4 I throw my pen and run. Day 5 is light throwing. Day 6 stretch, no throwing and Day 7 pitch.

Rays Digest: You have participated and done well in many Perfect Game showcases. How has pitching against other elite high school players helped you mature as a pitcher?

Austin Fairchild: Playing up in age since I was about 11 taught me to be confident and trust my abilities no matter how old or how good the competition was. This prepared me to play up in PG showcases as well.

Rays Digest: What is it like playing for former big leaguer and future Hall-of-Fame player Craig Biggio? What specifically has he helped you with?

Austin Fairchild: What can I say? It's been an awesome experience. He's told me a lot about what it takes to make it to the big leagues and the grind to get there. More importantly, he's taught me the importance of respecting the game and playing the right way, which in the long run goes further than anything, especially when talking about life in general.

Rays Digest: Who are some of the people in your life who have inspired you and helped you mature as a player and a man?

Austin Fairchild: My Dad without a doubt has impacted me the most and Coach Biggio has taught me a lot over the last couple of years.

Rays Digest: What have been some of the highlights of your high school career?

Austin Fairchild: Playing in the PG All-American Classic at Petco last summer and pitching in and helping my team win our State semi-final game twice in the last two years, which put us in the championship game.

Rays Digest: What about hobbies and interests? What kinds of things do you enjoy doing when you aren't playing baseball?

Austin Fairchild: I've been playing a lot of golf since the end of the season. I love it.



John Gregg is Publisher and Senior Editor of Rays Digest. You can follow him on Twitter at @RaysDigest. He can also be reached via e-mail at raysdigest.com@gmail.com.

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