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SoxProspects News

April 9, 2008 at 8:05 PM

Q&A with Chris Province

Greenville righty Chris Province agreed to kick off the 2008 Q&A season by taking some questions from SoxProspects.com. Province, 23, was selected in the fourth round of the 2008 draft out of SE Louisiana, and spent the 2008 season coming out of the bullpen in Lowell and Greenville. He thoroughly impressed the Sox brass this spring, and was slated as Greenville’s opening day starter. In his first start, Province went 5 scoreless innings, giving up only 2 hits, striking out 3, and walking none. Special thanks to Chris for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions.

SP: How long have you been pitching? Did you have a lot of success at the high school level?
Province: I have been pitching since I was 9 years old. In high school I played multiple positions, including third base and pitcher. I did not have a lot of success in high school pitching until my senior year when my velocity increased and I really began to learn how to pitch.

SP: Looks like you put up some solid numbers at SE Louisiana, but didn't absolutely dominate. How would you sum up your college career?
Province: Again, somewhat like high school. I did not have all of the tools in my primary years at SE Louisiana. I began to learn how to approach hitters. In the middle of my junior year I began throwing a two-seam fastball. That’s when I began to see success. Although I’m a ground ball pitcher, metal bats don’t always compliment it very well. I also didn’t develop a slider until the second half of my senior season.

SP: During the scouting process, did you have a lot of contact with the Red Sox? What are your general thoughts on the scouting/signing process?
: The Louisiana Red Sox scout, Danny Watkins, watched me throw early in my senior year and I believe multiple times after that. I’m sure the cross-checkers came out also. I did a pre-draft workout at Fenway the day before the draft. Thought it was great to be able to showcase my stuff in front of everyone and have it fresh in their minds on draft day. I think the draft is a pretty stressful day. Especially being a senior sign, and knowing this is your last shot.

SP: You got to see some decent time on the mound between Lowell and Greenville last season. Anything about your first pro season that really opened your eyes?
: Not as much in Lowell, but in the South Atlantic League last year I began to notice how hitters made the adjustments to good pitches and were much more patient than in the NY-Penn League. They have much more bat control than other hitters that I have faced before.

SP: What areas did the organization focus your development on this past off-season? How do you think you've improved in those areas?
Province: During the instructional league I worked on throwing my change up for strikes and using it as a strikeout pitch. I also worked on my conditioning during the off-season. I lost 25 pounds and came to spring training in great shape.

SP: When did you find out that you'd be in the starting rotation this season? Is your approach a lot different as a starter? Any preference between starting and relieving?
Province: I was informed that I would start during spring training. I think the mental approach is the same, but my physical approach is slightly different. Not as much of a max effort approach. There is a lot different than starting and relieving. Daily preparation is much different and four days off is a lot different than two.

SP: We ask it every interview - give us a self-scouting report on Chris Province.
: Ha, don't let it leak. Sinking fastball. Change up with split finger action. Average slider with good movement at times. Pounds the zone and makes the hitter put the ball in play.

SP: What teammate has impressed you the most so far this spring?
: Che-Hsuan Lin has an unbelievable amount of range in the outfield. Balls that are hit out there that you think they are getting down, Lin glides right under and gets to them. Looks like he is on roller skates gliding around the outfield.

SP: What are your goals for the 2008 season?
Province: My goals for 2008 is basically attack hitters and let them get themselves out. Continue to throw change-up well. Become consistent with my slider. Everything else will take care of itself.