A Chat With Baltimore Orioles' Pitching Prospect, LHP Nick Vespi: "I Like to Attack Hitters"

Last week, I wrote a piece on a left-handed pitcher in the Baltimore Orioles' organization that had a very good 2016 season, but felt not many O's fans really knew who he was. Lefty starter, Nick Vespi is a guy on the rise in the organization, and he was kind enough to chat with me for an interview recently.


Photo: Jim Donten of www.dontenphotography.com





Vespi, 20 (turns 21 in October), was the Orioles' 18th round selection in the 2015 MLB Draft out of Palm Beach State.

The lefty is listed at 6'3'', 215 pounds and he not only built on a successful 2015 campaign, but vastly improved.

With the GCL Orioles this season, Vespi went 4-1 with a 1.97 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP over 50 1/3 innings pitched while walking just eight and striking out 41. His four wins led the GCL Orioles and his 50 1/3 innings tied for the team lead.

Once the GCL season was over, Vespi ventured north to the O's Short-season A affiliate, the Aberdeen Ironbirds. He appeared in one game where he worked 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief and picked up the win.

Let's get to the interview shall we?!


Baby Birdland: First things first, describe the feeling you had when you got the phone call back in 2015 that the O's had picked you.

It was a surreal moment. My dream finally came true! I found the draft to be very stressful and when I finally received the call, I was relieved.


Baby Birdland: You've had two good years in the organization already, but what things have you as a professional, that has helped you be successful on the mound.

Finding a routine between starts was a key thing of mine, and learning how to pitch to hitters.


Baby Birdland: To kind of tie into the previous question, is there one thing that you learned prior to being a professional that has stuck with you and helped you succeed the way you have thus far as a professional?

I think my work ethic on and off the field, keeping my body in-shape, and really focusing on the things I need to get better at.


Baby Birdland: You got your first taste of Aberdeen this season, how was it making the transition from the GCL to Aberdeen?

Aberdeen was a lot of fun! Pitching in front of all the fans, in a nice stadium was a great experience! I think the only transition I had to make was mentally. Just keeping myself together and not try and do too much. Just pitch my game!


Baby Birdland: For Orioles' fans that may not be familiar with you and your pitching style, can you describe your pitching style and what you consider your best pitch to be?

I'm a pitcher that likes to throw a lot of strikes. I like to attack hitters and get ahead in the count. My best pitch is fastball inside on the plate.


Baby Birdland: Has there been a current Oriole (or former Oriole) that has given you any advice on playing in the Baltimore organization?

I always pick the brains from the older guys that have been in the organization for a while. They all pretty much tell me the same thing... Show up everyday and work hard, be a Professional and try to perfect everything you do. You control your own path.


Baby Birdland: Last one for you, I always like to end on a non-baseball question, who is your favorite NFL team, and who do you think wins this year's Super Bowl?

I am a Giants fan, I think its to early to tell who's going to win the super bowl, so I'm going to go with my Giants!
I would like to thank Nick for taking the time to chat with me for a bit and I look forward to seeing Vespi up north next year, whether with Low-A Delmarva or if he begins the year with the Short-season A Aberdeen.



                                                                                                                                                       
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Comments

  1. Hey Nick, this is your grandpa Bob's brother in law Steve Reid from SoCal. Sounds like you're on the right track in your quest to make the Bigs. Best of luck! There's a lot of us pulling for you that you don't even know about!

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