Prospect Mailbag with Sean Thompson

Left-handed pitcher Sean Thompson has opened up shop. Similar to a Spencer's, it has tons of fluff and little substance. But you will laugh and he may cry. So bring on the questions!

Glad to have ya back. Missed reading your journal entries.

Back in the day, did you take part in the Kids Rodeo in your La Junta? Or were you the clown?

Are you a little mad that your autographed rookie card is only going for two bucks on eBay and shipping costs more than the actual card?

-Andy

Sean Thompson: To be truthfully honest I never actually was in the rodeo as a clown or as a participant. As my dad often said, when we would catch some rodeo on TV while surfin' through the channels, "Why would anyone get sit on top of 5,000 lbs of pissed off animal?" I always agreed, though its not that I'm against it or against those who do. I just feel that I'd much rather just go to L.A. and ignore the crosswalk during a high speed chase.

The card thing, I can't believe that I even have a rookie card to be honest. I mean I never would have thought that I would have to sit down in my FOUR MONTH off-season, and sign thousands of autographs, at a dollar fifty an autograph, and then have them be in packs of cards full of Trevor Hoffman's, and A-Rod, and players such as them. I'm just hoping that in time that rookie card will be worth something. And if it doesn't, it already means so much to me, my friends, and my family, that I have gotten this far.

Talk about the pitching mound and using the rubber to your advantage. Have you toyed with different spots to pitch from and what works? Is there an extra push you get off the mound because of it and do you stand in different spots for different pitches (I won't tell the opposition).

Ray

Sean Thompson: That's a good question. I used to be all the way on the right side of the rubber. Then I had a pitching coach that wanted me to try and go to the left side because I'm a lefty. It didn't really go over well, but then again I was in high school and it was hard to deal without immediate success at a young age like that. Then I got into pro ball and one of my pitching coaches suggested that I get to the left side for lefties, and right side for the righties. It wasn't too bad, but it still didn't go over too well and it caused me to change arm angles and release points so now I'm strictly in the middle for all of my pitches, even in the stretch, I'm directly in the middle.

I love the rubber and the mound when there is a hole because then I can kind of bury my push off toe against it, and get the most explosion. It's a huge part in getting downward angle and power behind your pitches. I hope I answered your questions and if you have anymore that you would like to ask please feel free. Thanks again.

We all have heard that you have a great pickoff move. What is the key to that, besides being a quirky lefty?

Brad

Sean Thompson: Ahhh, the pick. To be honest, I have been working on it since I was 10. When I was younger, actually even now, I walk guys, so it would always help me get out of trouble. Being lefty is def a plus because im staring right at the runner. In my case, I stare at the runner even when lifting my leg to either go to the plate or over to first. Just being lefty isn't a perk in that sense because if you watch TV, play baseball, or know what im talking about, most lefties have a very poor move. I take pride in mine because I consider it as one of my tools. Also, its not always going to get guys, but its going to keep them closer, keep them guessing, and give my catcher a better chance to throw guys out. I would like to go into more detail about my pick, but im not going to because its mine....hahaha....but I will say that deception and many reps have helped me. I hope that helped a little, I know that I didn't give it to you straight, but I don't think I would tell anyone. Thanks for your q and if you have anymore don't be scared to send more.

How many times do you go to the mound thinking I wish I could just nail this kid in the head with the ball? Does it only happen after a homer? Have you ever wished you could hit the kid in the on deck circle?

Gary

Sean Thompson: HAHA, now this is a question I can definitely relate to. To tell you the truth, there have been about 500 guys that I have wanted to plunk since I became a pro baseball player. Now in high school, I can cant on both hands how many people I wouldn't have hit, but the rest ohhhh I wanted to hit them and the ones that really ate at me I did hit them.

See, the one thing that I love about pitching is that you do have that choice, that power, that decision to make, whether or not you or your team was disrespected enough to plunk another hitter. Also, sometimes, hey, throwing four balls around somebody to be safe takes a toll on your arm if you want to get into the later innings, so put him on first with one pitch ya know.

Ok, now the whole head subject, I'm going to go into good detail with you on that. The whole theory or baseball rule is, never aim for the head, you don't want to hurt anyone up there. I'm going to be totally honest with you, there have been many times that guys I just hate have come up to bat, and yes I've thought of hitting them in the head. I never have though on purpose, and I say that because the times I have meant to hit them in the head, I missed. That was in high school though; I never tried in pro ball because I hit their guy in the head, then big problems. Also, I'm in the national league at this present time, I have to hit. Don't need any balls flyin' at my head. The guys on deck, haha, oh yeah, especially when they guy up to bat I want to hit. I get pumped to want to hit them, and then the next guy is in the on deck circle I want to hit him too, sometimes. The big key here is, in pro ball, guys will come out to the mound and try to make you feel that fastball that you just hit them with. So there are different rules and aspects and consequences now, but definitely, I do feel that way.

In fact, just this past year, in Double-A, a hitter came up that I didn't care for. He had snickered a little bit in his last at bat against me when I went up and in to him, so I didn't forget that. I reached back and tried to throw it through his back. Yeah, I threw it behind him. So, anyway, I hope I answered you accordingly and if you have any more questions, keep em coming.

There has always been people who talk about stealing signs and teams that could be doing it. Have you ever accused someone of it or tried to pick up signs for your hitters? Is it taboo or just bad coaching that makes it easy for you to pick up the sign and why not give it to the hitter.

-Beth

Sean Thompson: That's actually a very good question. There had been times during high school baseball games that I would catch several players trying to see what our catcher are signing to me on the mound, or when I was in centerfield. I could see the players stick their arm out, giving different signals for it. Truthfully, in high school I was very intense, and kind of a jerk. When I was on the mound, and I found out that they were trying to steal signs, I plunked the guy up to bat, and I also hit the guy who was the hitter's accomplice. My senior year, my team actually did it and truthfully it was too hard for me to try and see our runner at second base giving the hitter the sign if I was up to bat. So, now, in pro ball, I haven't really seen anything like that at all. I will say that I've heard hitters sometimes wear sunglasses up to the plate and sometimes take a peek at where the catcher is set up to find out location of the upcoming pitch, which also can sometimes give the hitter an idea of what that pitch might be.

Now I'm not going to lie, when I'm in the dugout relaxing on my off days before my next start, I will sometimes stare into the opposing dugout, at a manager, or a pitching coach and try to see if there are any particular patterns. I honestly think that there are scouts or even designated people sometimes that are just there to get that kind of scouting reports, but that's just my opinion. I hope that answered your questions, they were very good ones and feel free to send me another email full of more interesting questions.

I have more questions to answer. I didn't forget about you! Just have to teach some of you some manners and a little patience.

-Sean

Don't forget, you can email Sean by sending Denis an email at: denis@sandiegosports.net

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