This past week, I was lucky enough to have a Q&A interview with New York Mets prospect Jimmy Duff. Drafted in the 20th round of the 2014 MLB draft, Duff had a very impressive season with the St. Lucie Mets. He pitched 18.2 innings, accumulating an ERA of 1.93 to go along with 13 strikeouts and just one walk. Duff will continue to make strides and have a successful 2016 season.
1) What has been your favorite part of the offseason so far?
My favorite part of the offseason has been being able to hangout with friends and family that I did not get to see very much during the season. I was back at Stonehill College this fall working towards finishing my degree, and I got to be back with a lot of old friends there. However, after a few months away from the game, I’m getting antsy to head down to spring training.
2) Explain what it was like being drafted by the New York Mets?
Draft day was a very special day for me and my family. Growing up in New York , getting selected by the Mets was a dream come true for me. I’ve been a die hard Mets fan my entire life, so it has been an amazing experience to be a part of this organization.
3) Is there a baseball player who you look up to?
One of my role models in baseball is former Rockies and Yankees relief pitcher Matt Daley. Matt is the only player to play in the Major Leagues from my high school, and he and I have become good friends since I’ve been drafted. Being a lower round draft pick myself, I find inspiration in the way that he fought his way from being an un-drafted player to an effective major league pitcher. I’ve learned a lot from Matt over the last year.
4) What was your favorite part about playing for the St. Lucie Mets?
My favorite part of playing in St Lucie last season was the coaching. Pitching coach Phil Regan helped me a lot in my development as a pitcher, both mechanically and mentally. He’s a true old timer who has seen it all, and I seemed to learn something new from him everyday.
5) After a very solid 2015 season, what are your goals heading into the upcoming season?
I wouldn’t say I have any specific goals as far as statistics for the coming season, I would just like to continue to grow as a pitcher. I made some great strides in 2015, and I would like to build off of those in 2016.
6) Do you think Opening Day should be a National Holiday?
When I was in high school, I would almost run home after school on Opening Day to catch the end of some games. I always hated having to go to school that day, so yes I think it should be a holiday!
You can follow Jimmy on twitter: @Jduff1522