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Reader Q&A with Storen

Apr 2, 2010, 1:00 AM EST

As part of my fundraising campaign to cover spring training, I offered readers who contributed at least $60 the opportunity to submit a question to a member of the Nationals. Manager Jim Riggleman and four players (Ryan Zimmerman, Nyjer Morgan, John Lannan and Drew Storen) were gracious enough to participate. Readers were randomly paired up with one of those five gentlemen, and I conducted the interviews over the last week.

Here is the fourth installment of the Reader Q&A, featuring rookie reliever Drew Storen. (Note: Some of the questions were submitted before Storen was demoted to minor-league camp. The interview took place after the demotion.) …

Craig Stevens (Washington): To those of us who will never play, what's the big difference between pro camp and other camps?
Drew Storen: In college, it was a lot different, because you just play a lot of intrasquad [games]. There's not really a spring training in college. So this is kind of a new experience for me. College is just a lot of games. There's not necessarily this big preparation for the season. But spring training is good. You really practice the little things, and I think that's the biggest thing I've noticed: How much better I've gotten with doing those little things, like covering first and throwing to first base on a PFP [pitchers' fielding practice]. That's the big difference.

Graham Armstrong (Alexandria, Va.): Do you have any idea what your number will be — or what you want it to be — when you reach the big leagues?
Drew Storen: I have no idea what it's going to be. I really don't think too much about my numbers. I would love to bring back my college number, 26, at some point. That would be kind of cool. But I really don't care. As long as it's not in the 90s, it's fine with me. I always joke and say I need a skinnier number, because it makes me look bigger because there's more free jersey space. I've got 58 right now and it makes me look pretty skinny because you've got two prettyRead more »

  1. Grandstander - Apr 2, 2010 at 2:15 AM

    ::swoon::I LOVE this kid! Judging from the way our pen has looked over March, I think we'll be seeing him before May's done.

  2. 320R2S15 - Apr 2, 2010 at 10:34 AM

    Wow, we see the future.Mark, what is the deal with the other kid that Stan sent to Stanford, I can't remember his name.

  3. Brian - Apr 2, 2010 at 11:23 AM

    @320R2S215 – Jack McGeary. He was in minor league camp. Guessing he'll be in Hagerstown or Potomac to start 2010

  4. Mr. Doggett - Apr 2, 2010 at 11:31 AM

    They've obviously done a good job putting together a group of guys who are at least somewhat level-headed. It's so refreshing to hear stuff like that after watching the lousy Redskins all year.

  5. Mark Zuckerman - Apr 2, 2010 at 11:54 AM

    You are indeed referring to Jack McGeary, who was taken in the sixth round in the 2007 draft yet given a $1.8 million signing bonus. The Nats also agreed to pay for his education at Stanford, allowing McGeary to be a full-time student during the offseason. He's almost finished with that arrangement, has two more quarters to complete before getting his degree. As for his baseball career, he's trying to bounce back after a rough 2009 (went a combined 2-12 with a 5.54 ERA at short-season Class A Vermont and low-Class A Hagerstown). But he just turned 21, so he's still young.

  6. Anonymous - Apr 2, 2010 at 12:51 PM

    2-12 with a 5.54 era!? My God. Another Bowden project. Thats 1.8 million right in the fireplace

  7. Anonymous - Apr 2, 2010 at 12:54 PM

    Yeah, and there's another Bowden guy who got his lunch last year. Smoker is his name. I think Josh Smoker. Last time I checked on him last year he was in shellshock mode

  8. Anonymous - Apr 2, 2010 at 12:59 PM

    nice kid, I met him at a cookout before a game once which was thrown by house parents. I didn't even know who he was till he left to get ready for the game. Very polite, didn't have that ere of arrogance like so many young recently became millioner ballplayers have. he has his head screwed on right, I hope he reaches his dream.

  9. Anonymous - Apr 2, 2010 at 12:59 PM

    Sorry Josh, after further review you weren't that bad. 4-2 with a 3.38 era. Perhaps you and McGeary will be in Potomac this year where I can check you out

  10. Anonymous - Apr 2, 2010 at 1:04 PM

    To the last two Anons: please read the SI baseball preview issue article on Roy Halladay, and when he was demoted from the big leagues all the way down to A-ball when he was 22. I'm not saying Smoker or McGeary (or Gibson, etc) are going to blossom into superstars. I'm just saying there is NEVER a reason to write off a talented pitcher until he's at least 26 or 27. (See also: Grienke, Zach)NatinBeantown

  11. Anonymous - Apr 2, 2010 at 1:31 PM

    You are right. Especially if they have live arms. ERA's can be badly inflated by walks. McGeary averaged almost a walk an inning, way to much. Smoker had very good walk/inning ratio. If I am not mistaken one of these guys had arm surgery. Maybe Smoker. Both kids are big lefthanders, always a plus.

  12. DCLance - Apr 2, 2010 at 1:45 PM

    Yeah, the Flores move from 3 to 26 was a dagger for someone whose wife got him a Nationals Storen 26 t-shirt from for Christmas (though if Flores can come back and be as good as he was before the injury I'll take the wasted t-shirt). I'm totally on board with Mr. Doggett…I've only missed 4 Redskins home games in the last 23 years, and they have just worn me out. I'm so hyped for the Nationals with players like Storen, Strasburg, Zim, Zimnn, ect., etc. It is going to be a fun couple of years here.

  13. natsfan1a - Apr 2, 2010 at 2:10 PM

    The SI baseball preview is (and has been) on my "to buy" list, Beantown.Speaking of Storen, I see that the P-Nats will be featuring his bobblehead later this year. Wonder whether he had input on the design (he's an artistic guy, right?).

  14. Anonymous - Apr 2, 2010 at 2:22 PM

    You hear the Nats crowing about how Zim did the draft "the right way" all the time, but Drew doesn't get a peep from the front office.Mark – Any idea why Mike and Stan aren't singing Drew's praises for signing the day after the draft and jumping right into pro ball?

  15. Mark Zuckerman - Apr 2, 2010 at 7:50 PM

    Anon: I've heard plenty of praise from the Nats front office about how Storen signed right away and got into the pipeline. I suppose it would have been more of a gesture on their part to include him on the Opening Day roster, but there's also some logic to having him spend a little time in the minors first.

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