Q & A With Kansas City Royals Pitcher Everett Teaford

By Jeremy Sickel

Everett Teaford has been a pitcher in the Kansas City Royals organization since being drafted out of Georgia Southern in the twelfth round of the 2006 MLB June Amateur Draft.  On May 17th of this year he made his Major League debut and I was lucky enough to catch the game with his family.  Upon the start up of Pop Fly Boys, I always had in my mind that the link him and I share (his uncle married my aunt) would allow us to have him be our first player Q&A.  So without further adieu.

  Q: I was in the suite at Kauffman Stadium with your family and friends the night you made your Major League debut and the emotions were running high up there to say the least.  I can only imagine what you were going through.  Can you describe those feelings for us?

  A: It was an experience of a life time.  I have never been so nervous out on a baseball field before in my life.  It was almost like an out of body experience to where I couldn’t really feel my pitching mechanics to make adjustments on my pitches, but overall it was an experience I will never forget.

  Q: When you gave up the home run the very next inning, which yielded the very first blemish of your career, were you more frustrated with yourself or relieved that it was out of the way and you could finally settle down and relax?

  A: I was more disappointed.  I knew eventually if I stayed up in KC long enough I would give up a home run but would have preferred it would have been a little bit down the road.  With that being said I used it more as a learning tool that I had to make adjustments faster and get ahead of hitters more consistently in the Major Leagues.

  Q: Give me your thoughts on being a part of the youth movement that has finally made its way to the Parent Club with the likes of Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Danny Duffy and Johnny Giavotella among others?

  A: All the guys you just named are tremendous players, and will be in Kansas City for a long time.  The talent in Kansas City and in our farm system is second to none in my opinion and we just need game experience before the wins start rolling in.

  Q: Compare the food spreads you were accustomed to in the Minors to what you get here inKansas City.

  A: The food in Major League clubhouses is unbeatable.  After spending a long time in the Minor Leagues I am very thankful of the little things the Major Leagues has to offer.  Kansas City has some great clubhouse guys in the Minor League system that do an incredible job with their limited funds, but it’s tough to compete with what the ML has to offer.

  Q: Every ball player with aspirations of making it to the Bigs had an idol growing up, mine was Ken Griffey Jr., who was/is yours and why?

  A: My favorite pitcher growing up I would say was Tom Glavine.  He pitched for my hometown team, the Braves, and was also left-handed which seemed like a perfect fit.  My favorite position player growing up was Andruw Jones and ironically he was on deck to hit for the Yankees when I was removed from the game.

Q: Give me one guy that you would want to face in a game changing situation and strike him out… and what would that out pitch be?

A: That is a tough question, there are so many great hitters in the ML that I don’t think I can pick one.  As far as the pitch goes it would definitely be a fastball.  There is something more satisfying about throwing a fastball by a guy.

Q: What is the biggest difference in facing hitters in the Minors compared to the Majors?

A: The biggest difference really is the little things get magnified way more.  If you fall behind, can’t locate your off-speed, can’t work both sides of the plate, it is going to be more of a struggle.  In the Minor Leagues you can get away with only doing maybe one or two of those things, but in the big leagues to be consistent, you have to do all three.

Q: The game of baseball is filled with them…do you have any crazy superstitions that you practice? If so, what is the significance of them?

A: I really don’t have any.  I did when I was a starter but when I got moved to the bullpen there really isn’t time for superstitions.  Because of my bullpen experiences I don’t have any more.

Q: Where were you when you got the call on draft day?  When you got the call to the Majors? And compare the emotions you had with both events.

A: When I got drafted I was at home in Alpharetta, Ga.  The draft was a little disappointing to be honest.  I didn’t feel like I was a first rounder but based on my Cape Cod League stats and my year at Georgia Southern I felt the 12th round didn’t really represent my talent.  I guess they more so draft kids based on size and velocity.  When I got the word about going to KC we were in Colorado Springs playing the Rockies AAA team.  I basically had two emotions.  Inside I was in shock and in complete panic mode, but outside I didn’t want to seem that excited.  I was very fortunate that Dayton (Moore – Royals GM) and Ned (Yost – Royals Manager) chose to call me up because
a lot of guys in our bullpen could have been deserving of the selection.

Q: When did you realize you had what it takes to make it to “The Show”?

A: I don’t know if it’s modesty, my drive, or maybe being too hard on myself but I still feel as though I have A LOT to work on before I consider myself to have what it takes to MAKE it in “the show”.  I feel like I did a lot of good things this past year and learned what it takes to be successful in the big leagues, but I still know I have a lot in my game that I need to work on.  With that being said I do feel as though I made progress this past season and am on the right track.

Q: Crystal ball time – Who wins the World Series this year?

A: Phillies, good pitching always beats good hitting.

PFBs want to thank Everett Teaford for taking time out to answer these questions for us.

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