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September 8, 2008 at 8:31 AM

Q&A with Bryan Price

The Boston Red Sox selected pitcher Bryan Price from Rice University 45th overall in the supplemental round of this year’s First Player Draft. Pitching at Rice University for the last 3 seasons, Price emerged as a key member of the bullpen this season in the Owl’s run to the College World Series. This summer, Price has been pitching for the Lowell Spinners in the New York-Penn League to begin his professional career. Recently, Price took some time between baseball activities to field some questions and talk some baseball with Chris Mellen of the SoxProspects.com Staff.

Chris Mellen: Bryan, you were a reliever back at Rice and now the Red Sox have converted you to a starting pitcher. Can you talk about what the transition to being a starter has been like?
Bryan Price
: I prepared to be a starter prior to this season for Rice, but ended up in the bullpen so it’s not entirely new. You have to get used to the routine, slow yourself down on the mound, and stuff like that. As a reliever, you can go right at the hitter. As a starter it’s about pacing yourself, monitoring more of what you’re doing, and getting into a rhythm. You have to watch yourself a little more. I wouldn’t say hold back, but more like pacing yourself to go deep into a game.

CM: Since joining the organization what have the Red Sox been stressing while working with you thus far in Lowell?
: They haven’t worked too much to change anything mechanically really since I signed. They want me to go out there and compete on the mound. Get used to pitching every 5 days and being comfortable with the routine. Maybe going into next season we’ll work on mechanics or things like that, but so far they’ve really stressed going out there and getting comfortable with being a starting pitcher.

CM: What’s been the biggest difference between playing at Rice and starting your professional career with the Spinners in the New York-Penn League?
: Well, it’s the same game so that makes it somewhat easier. The biggest difference is the amount of time. There is a lot more time centered on baseball, going through things, and just in general. I’d say the competition is pretty similar as there are a lot of College guys here in the league and good hitters overall. Guys are adjusting to hitting with wood bats and getting comfortable at the plate. There is a huge emphasis on the routine and a lot of time dedicated to baseball.

CM: Can you give us a self scouting report of yourself?
BP: Fastball, slider, and change pitcher. I throw a 2-seam fastball that runs in on right handed batters and a 4-seam fastball. My slider is probably my best pitch and I’ve been throwing my change-up a lot since I got here. Recently, I have been looking to use my slider as more of an out pitch later in the count rather than showing it earlier in the count. More and more I have been getting comfortable throwing my change-up and going for it in any count. It’s been getting a lot better, but still is coming along.

CM: What teammate has impressed you here in Lowell?
BP: Kyle Weiland. He just goes right after hitters and doesn’t hold anything back. His fastball has a lot of movement on it and he attacks hitters with it. He’s done a great job out there on the mound and has been fun to watch.

CM: It’s been a long season of baseball. What are your plans for the off-season?
BP: I’m going to be a hunting guy back in Texas when I get home. Do a lot of hunting this off-season and just relax in general. I’m also participating in the Strength and Conditioning Camp during Fall Instrux. I won’t be throwing as the Sox want certain guys to take a break from throwing after the season ends. We’ll be going through the lifting and running program for the off-season. Instruction on how to train, how to do the exercises, etc. so it should be pretty good and a push in the right direction to get ready for Spring Training.

CM: Most of the time, baseball fans only see the coaches sitting in the dugout or coaching a base. Can you talk about how the Lowell coaches interact on a daily basis and some of the instruction they give?
: They keep things really loose. It’s a long season of ups and downs. They really stress to keep it loose and have a lot of fun out there. This season has been a lot of fun thus far. They are big into letting the players play. Afterwards, they’ll pull you aside to mention things after the game or whatever. They want us to experience and play. It’s all about looking down the road with the Staff. They’ll constantly stress how to get to the Big Leagues and forgetting about the results of the now sometimes. It’s all about doing the things that are going to get you to the Red Sox and a lot of times that means putting the now aside. They’re (The Coaches) really good at putting things into focus.

CM: Did you have a favorite team growing up in Texas? Astros? Rangers?
BP: Actually, I grew up a big Red Sox fan so getting drafted by them was a pretty big thrill for me. I used to watch a lot of ESPN and it always seemed like the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry was on TV. I loved watching those games and became a big Red Sox fan.