In an effort to continue giving everyone that visits Rising Apple some unique content to read this year, we’ve recently started reaching out to some Mets players for potential interviews. Earlier this week, Danny Abriano had the opportunity to chat with Mets pitching prospect, Michael Fulmer, and I was fortunate enough to catch Jeremy Hefner for a few moments yesterday before he gets real busy trying to win himself a spot on the Mets roster this Spring. Just this week, I talked about how he would be a viable option in the ‘pen as the longman or swingman if Terry Collins needs a spot start, so I was pretty pumped to be able to chat with him for a bit.
After five seasons in the minors for the San Diego Padres, he reached the Big Leagues in 2012, splitting his season and getting significant time with both the Mets and Triple-A Buffalo. He appeared in 10 games (9 starts) for the Bisons, putting together an impressive 5-2 record, 2.77 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and 1.5 BB/9 in 61.2 innings pitched. His role in Majors was split evenly, appearing in 26 games (13 starts), racking of 93.2 innings pitched while posting a 4-7 record, 5.09 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 1.7 BB/9, and 62 strikeouts. Enough of me chatting, though. Here’s the interview:
Matt Musico, Rising Apple- 2012 was your first taste of the Big Leagues, was it everything you imagined it would be?
Jeremy Hefner- Everything and more. Especially getting to play in New York was very special. The contrast between growing up in a small town where you know everyone.. To this huge city where you know no one. I had a blast and hope to have a better year as a team and personally.
M.M.- Which appearance did you feel was your most dominant last season?
J.H.- I don’t think I was ever dominating last year, but to answer your question probably the Pittsburgh game. I didn’t record an out against Philly the start before and it wore heavy on me for those 4 days. So I don’t know if it was the most dominating statistic-wise but it was the most memorable for me because of circumstances surrounding that particular start.
M.M.- Did you get to do anything fun during the off-season?
J.H.- Not in terms of vacations or cruises, but I think my wife and kids are a lot of fun. Getting to hang out with them during the off-season is always a blast.
M.M.- Being a native of Oklahoma, which MLB team did you root for growing up?
J.H.- I didn’t root for the teams you would think of geographically. Rangers, Cards, and Royals. I had guys I cheered for on different teams.
M.M.- Do you have any hobbies outside of baseball?
J.H.- Love to golf.
M.M.- Any personal goals for the upcoming season?
J.H.- Obviously to make the team out of spring training is the first goal. Secondly, just to be consistent. I felt like last year was a bit of a roller coaster in terms of good/bad games. Lastly, to be a quality person to my teammates foremost, as well as the fans.
M.M.- What’s the best piece of baseball advice you’ve ever received?
J.H.- It may sound cliche but to be a good teammate. Regardless of skill level, and sport really, if you are a good teammate you can help make the game fun. Ultimately that’s what it’s about. Baseball in particular is a grind. I think with a lot of teams there is a direct correlation between playing championship baseball and having great team chemistry. So being positive, in all areas of life not just sport, is a good piece of advice.
A special thanks to Jeremy for taking the time to answer some questions. We’ll be pulling for you to make the team out of camp! Be sure to give him a follow on Twitter: @jeremy_hefner53.