Brad Keller has been one of the best Rule 5 picks in recent memory. People love to get caught up in how many strikeouts Keller doesn’t record on a daily basis, but they often forget how good Brad Keller really is, ESPECIALLY for a Rule 5 pick:
Dude has been absolute nails for most of his Royals career. When the Royals first drafted Keller in the Rule 5 of December 17, we interviewed Keller and formally introduced him to Kansas City fans:
Q: What are the biggest challenges that you expect to face jumping from AA straight to the Major Leagues?
“Honing in all of my pitches. In A-ball you can get away with a lot of mistakes, but you can’t at AA. So I’ve gotten that experience. I’m just not gonna change much and just go out there and pitch my game.”
After having tons of success in his first two seasons as a big leaguer, Brad Keller, being his same humble self, was kind enough to do another interview with us to talk about his last couple of seasons in a Royals uniform. Here is the entire interview:
Q: You made a relatively huge jump going from AA to the big leagues in 2018. What was the first real, “Man, I’m gonna make it. I can hang with these guys,” moment for you?
I don’t think I have had that moment. I still feel like I got to go out there and prove myself every time out. Our window in this game is so short, and you never want to get complacent so i just want go out there and get better, and ultimately win games for the team!
Q: Favorite BBQ restaurant in KC?
Joes BBQ in the gas station is absolutely the best.
Q: Is there anything unique that you do on days that you start? A superstition or anything like that?
I do have some things I do on start days and probably the most unique would be crossword puzzles. I don’t know why but I guess break a mental sweat before the games.
Q: What were your favorite/least favorite parts about minor league baseball?
Least favorite was the bus rides, but my favorite was the overall grind. I loved it. Being in all these different cities, playing in front of very different crowds with 25 of your best friends was just always a blast to me.
Q: Is there a hitter that you feel like you just can’t get out?
Either Leury Garcia or Jason Kipnis are guys I feel like are tough outs for me. They always seem to put up good ABs, foul a bunch of pitches off and just battle me. But that’s what makes those guys fun cause we gotta get a way to get them out!
Q: You threw a nasty changeup to Kolten Wong last night to K him. How do you feel that the development of that pitch is coming for you?
*Side Note*: It wound up being a backup slider he threw to Wong but we talked about the development of his changeup anyway.
We have changed it to a splitter now and it’s definitely a work in progress, but I’m feeling more confident with it every time out. Just gotta trust when to throw it and continue building off of that.
Q: Favorite golf course in KC?
Shadow Glen in Olathe, KS, is my favorite course.
Q: Does it give you any extra confidence that Ned is willing to let you go deeper into starts than most guys? He seems to be really confident in your ability to work deep into starts.
I mean it’s a great feeling that he relies on me. But I think he feels the same confidence with all our starters. Our job is to get into the 7th and 8th inning. Save the bullpen, keep them fresh down there. I feel like we have done a good job as starters piling on the innings.
Photo Credits: Brian Davidson – Getty Images