SoxProspects News

August 11, 2009 at 7:28 PM

Q&A with Eammon Portice


Eammon Portice signed a professional contract with the Red Sox in 2007 after being drafted in the eleventh round out of High Point University. After pitching in Lowell’s bullpen in 2007 and splitting 2008 between Greenville’s bullpen and rotation, Portice impressed during the Fall Instructional League, earning the opportunity to pitch in the Arizona Fall League as a replacement for Clay Buchholz. This season, Eammon has posted an impressive strike-out rate while generating ground balls at a good clip and limiting free passes as a mainstay of the Salem rotation. Recently, Eammon answered a couple questions from SoxProspects.com’s Aaron Schwam.

Aaron Schwam: What are your developmental goals for this season? Have you set them for yourself and/or have the Red Sox laid them out for you?
Eammon Portice: My developmental goals for this year are to be more consistent and improve my breaking ball. These goals were set by the Red Sox and myself at the beginning of the year.

AS: How you would describe your arsenal, and which pitch do you feel is your best?
EP: My primary pitch is a sinker. We ended up scrapping my curveball and going with a slider this year, which feels more natural and comfortable. I also throw a change-up and a split finger. My split finger is my out pitch – it’s more of a swing-and-miss pitch. However, I believe my best pitch is my fastball. If I place it in the right spot I should get the groundballs and results that I am looking for.

AS: How would you describe your approach on the mound?
EP: My approach is to get ahead of hitters with my fastball and get them swinging. Then, as the game goes on, I can use my secondary pitches to try and strike hitters out. I see myself primarily as a ground ball pitcher and that is what I try to get.

AS: You are 24 and pitching well in the Carolina league. Does it ever get frustrating waiting for a promotion?
EP: It does get frustrating in a way, but where is there to go? There are so many prospects in this organization that you just have to bide your time and just worry about yourself.

AS: Many scouting reports project you as likely to make the majors as a reliever. How do you feel about that and how do you feel about relieving in general?
EP: Relieving versus starting, it doesn’t really matter what I’m doing as long as I’m pitching. I've done both in pro ball so far, and if that’s how I can make it to the Majors, then it’s fine with me.

AS: Has any member of the organization made a positive impression on you and helped you get better?
EP: I think I have learned a lot from everyone I have run into since becoming a professional. One member of the organization or another has helped me with my mechanics, timing or a new grip on a pitch. Individually, I don’t think I could single one person out, but I definitely have received help along the way.

AS: Eammon is a unique name. Is there a story about how your parents decided on that name?
EP: It's an Irish name and it was a runner in the Olympics. (Ed.’s Note: Irish runner Eamonn Coghlan was a three-time Olympian and former World Champion.) My mom and dad saw the guy on TV and really liked his name and so when I was born they decided to give me the name with a different spelling.

AS: Who is Eammon Portice? What do you like to do off the field?
EP: I am an avid fisherman off the field. In spring training I think I fish more than I actually play baseball. I also like to play XBox and just hang out while off the field. At home, I’m big into hanging out with my fiancĂ©, Christina, and the rest of my family. I've been told I’m not a very serious guy and am always looking for a laugh, so that’s about me in a nutshell.

 
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