PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Through nine games in AA with the Reading Phillies, right-handed flame throwing closer Ken Giles, 23, has appeared in three. He has pitched 3.1 innings, allowing only one hit and one walk. More impressively, he has struck out nine of the 12 batters he has faced. And even more impressive than that is his average pitch speed of 100 miles per hour.
“I mean, that’s really hard to describe. It’s — I don’t know who to describe it, honestly,” explained Giles on throwing the ball that fast. “Honestly, if I can’t see the ball coming out of my hand, I don’t think anybody can kind of thing. When guys ask me that, what does it feel like, I just kind of reverse it on them, well how does it feel like to throw a perfect change up because I can’t throw a change up kind of thing. So, it’s hard to describe honestly.”
One of the negatives of Giles in his short career has been his command, or lack thereof.
“I mean, I still got to work on it a little bit,” Giles said of his command. “It’s gotten a lot better since last year. I mean, I’ve been working really hard and trying to command that zone and I think I’m finally starting to get the feel of the strike zone, finally.”
Personality wise, like a typical closer, Giles says he changes gears after the sixth inning.
“I’m pretty loose and kind of goofy through probably the first seven innings of the game,” said Giles. “I try to keep my bullpen kind of loose, having a good time. Then once that seventh or eight inning comes along, I’ll flip the switch and it’s all business from then on.”
The Phillies have their own quirky closer, of course, in Jonathan Papelbon. Giles says he spoke with Papelbon during Spring Training and learned from the 2007 World Series champion.
“I talked to him [Jonathan Papelbon] in Spring Training and I learned a lot from him,” said Giles. “Just kind of how he goes about his business, how he prepares for each opportunity. It’s just one of those things, he works really hard and wants to succeed just as much as I do.”
As for when we will see Giles in a Phillies major league uniform? Well, he says he isn’t sure, but knows it’s going to be a lot of fun.
“Right now I’m just taking it one game at a time down here [Reading], doing my work down here,” Giles explained. “When that time comes, it comes. It’s gonna be a blast. I’m excited to try get up there to Philly and experience all those fans over there.”