WEST CHESTER, Pa. (CBS) – Lefthanded pitcher Frank Gailey was a star at West Chester University, finishing his career as a Golden Ram with an impressive 24-9 record and 242 strikeouts. And that total is still a school record.
That success led to him being drafted in the 23rd round by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2007, and since then all he has done is get a whole lot of people out.
He was recently promoted to AA New Hampshire in the Eastern League, moving a step closer to the big leagues.
Gailey was a starter in college, but he has spent his professional career coming out of the bullpen, which he says was a transition for him.
“For the most part, when I was out of college, I thought, ‘Yeah I can continue to be a starter.’ But I didn’t know that the majority of the pitcher’s that they draft are starters. So when you get to pro ball, they kind of pick and choose, and I just fell back into a reliever role. It was a little tough for me for the first year or two, but then I got comfortable with it and I’m just riding it out right now,” he told KYW Newsradio.
Gailey is actually doing a lot more than that. In 159 career games in the minors, Gailey has a 2.16 ERA. In fact, he has finished two seasons with an ERA below 2.00.
He also averages nearly one strikeout per inning as a pro, but doesn’t necessarily consider himself a “strikeout pitcher.” Rather, he says, his strikeouts are the result of making good pitches.
“Strikeout pitchers to me are power guys. They really like to rear back and they have that ‘plus-plus’ stuff. They throw 95 (miles per hour) and plus,” he notes. “For me, sitting at 90-91, I really think the location does it for me. I don’t really say I overpower guys, but I hit my spots frequently. I don’t like to walk people, and I think that shows as well. And by doing that, it makes them swing the bat. And if I make the right pitch, it usually gets them.”
Hear Matt Leon’s full interview with Frank Gailey in this CBS Philly SportsPod…
And Gailey has enjoyed pinpoint control as a pro, with just 61 walks in 279⅓ career innings. He talks about what else he is throwing to complement his fastball:
“A change-up and breaking ball. And then I throw a split (fingered fastball) here and there. For lefties I’m also dropping down to like a sidearm (motion), kind of give a new look to them.”
It’s all working these days for the 25-year-old Gailey, who says he is happy with his progress as a pro.
“Yeah, I’m very happy,” he says. “Things could be a lot worse. Am I jealous of guys that make it to the big leagues in two years and three years? Of course. But I can only do what I can control, and with the numbers I’m trying to put up and working real hard to put up, I’m happy with that. So I just got to keep doing that.”
Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060