The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted Nick Kingham in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, continuing their trend of taking prep pitchers in the middle rounds. Kingham was rated the #186 prospect in the draft by Baseball America, and has a commitment to Oregon, which means he will likely command an over-slot bonus. Pirates Prospects recently had a chance to interview Nick on being drafted, his history of pitching, and how the negotiations with the Pirates are going. Here is what Nick had to say:
1. How long have you been pitching? At what point did you start getting attention from scouts and realize that you had the potential be drafted by a Major League team?
I have been pitching since I was about 6 or 7 years old, but I also played first base my whole life since I was taller than everyone else. I first started getting attention from pro scouts after the Area Code Games in Long Beach, California. I was on the four corners team and we were the Reds.
2. Before the draft, what did you hear about where you might go, and what teams were in contact with you?
I heard talk from a lot of people saying where I would go from late in the supplemental round to the 6th round. So I guess I was taken pretty much right in the middle of the two. The main teams that were on me I would say were the Dodgers, Angels, Brewers, Nationals, Cardinals, and obviously the Pirates.
3. What have you been doing since your high school season ended to stay in pitching shape?
I have been playing on Team Vegas in the CCL (California Collegiate League) so that has been keeping me in pretty good pitching form.
4. What is your current arsenal of pitches and what speeds do you typically sit at?
I throw the usual fastball, curveball, changeup. My fastball usually sits 90-92 and can reach 94-95. My change is typically 77-79 and curve is around 82.
5. Have the Pirates talked you about dropping one of your current pitches or working on adding another type of pitch?
No they haven’t mentioned anything like that yet. They said if I sign they want me to get the guys out with the stuff that I already have, then maybe add something else to it.
6. What pitcher do you try to model your game after?
I’m a big fan of Josh Beckett so I try and compare myself to him.
7. What is your personal timeline to get to the majors?
I am hoping to get to the majors in 2-3 years. By then I’ll be stronger and be a lot smarter and know actually how to pitch instead of just throwing the ball.
8. You recently visited Pittsburgh, how did the trip go?
It went great! We saw a couple games, met the GM and some of the players and staff, took a tour of the clubhouse, weight room, and locker room. It was a great experience to get out there and it is definately something to work towards.
9. How would you classify the negotiations, and do you have any meetings set up with the team anytime soon?
Well the negotiations are confidential so I can’t say much about that, but I talk to the Pirate scout at least a couple times a week.
10. Between your commitment to Oregon and signing with the Pirates, which way are you currently leaning?
I am actually not leaning more one way or the other. I’m in a great situation so whatever happens is going to be great.
11. Last year, Zach Von Rosenberg and Colton Cain mentioned that being able to pitch together was one of the reasons they both signed. Is there any draft pick from the 2010 draft class that you would like to be teammates with on the Pirates? If this person signed, would it influence your decision to sign?
I don’t really know any of the Pirates draft picks in the 2010 draft but I do know someone that is in the organization. He went to my high school a couple years ago so that has a little influence but it’s more like a bonus knowing someone in the same organization.
12. Is that person Marc Baca, 2005 graduate from Sierra Valley?
Yes it is Marc.
13. Have you and Marc spoken since you were drafted by the Pirates?
Yes we’ve talked since I got drafted. He has been helpful about questions I had about the lifestyle and living arrangements and everything.