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Get To Know Connor Grey, RHP A+ Visalia Rawhide

Wesley Baier interviews Connor Grey, RHP for the A+ level Visalia Rawhide

Connor Grey pitching for the Visalia Rawhide
@aaronprophotography via instagram

Connor Grey was born on May 6th, 1994 in Frewsburg, New York. The youngest of four boys, Connor’s father is a retired shipping manager, and his mother is a school teacher. His two stepbrothers and brother played sports together growing up.Connor graduated from Frewsburg Central High School, and then went on to attend university at St. Bonaventure in the Town of Allegany, New York. I contacted Connor Grey via Instagram @Connorgrey12, and he agreed to conduct an informal interview with me. I have edited the interview for clarity and readability.

Wesley Baier: What pitches do you throw?

Connor Grey: I throw a fastball, curveball, slider, and change up.

Wesley Baier: What do you do to prepare yourself for a start. What’s a typical game day look like for Connor Grey?

Connor Grey: Usually like to sleep in till 10:30, then eat breakfast, then hang-out at the house until 3 hours before game time. Then I will usually pick something up to eat on my way to the ball park. Then around an hour and a half before game time I’ll start my routine of getting ready by stretching out and getting mentally familiar with the scouting report. Then around 30 minutes until game time I’ll start my throwing before the game.

Wesley Baier: You had some awesome weeks (3 times pitcher of the week, and pitcher a perfect game) and no doubt some disappointing weeks. How do you restore yourself after a disappointing week?

Connor Grey: You can’t think about your last outing because every outing is a clean slate. Baseball is a game where if you dwell on the past, it will make the game tougher.

Wesley Baier: What goes into your preparation between the end of your previous start to the beginning of the next start?

Connor Grey: I’ll see what wasn’t working in the previous start, and then watch video of the last start to see if I see something. Then I’ll work on that in my bullpen mostly and just keep working on everything else at the same time but focus on that.

Wesley Baier: Is your pitching style similar to another pitcher? What pitcher is most like how you see your future self?

Connor Grey: I think my style of pitching is similar to Kyle Hendricks since he’s not gonna overpower you, but he’s gonna beat you moving the ball around.

Wesley Baier: Recently Zack Godley said the best advice he had received was, “All hitters are the same no matter where you are at. Just attack, go at people, throw strikes, so you are going to be better off than if you try to be nitpicking and nibble around people.” do you that was wise advice or wrong headed advice?

Connor Grey: Yeah I agree with that. They are all good hitters. It’s professional baseball, so if you can get ahead of the hitters, it makes them hit your pitch, and you are in control of the game.

Wesley Baier: Baseball is a superstitious sport, so do you have any weird pregame rituals, weird ticks or habits on the mound or in the batter’s box? Good luck charms?

Connor Grey: The only thing I do every time out is say my prayer before the game, and then jump over the foul line every time I go out to the mound for every inning.

Wesley Baier: How did your time at St Bonaventure influence the way you play the game today?

Connor Grey: I would say it helped me understand the art of pitching more since I am not a guy who can overpower you with their stuff so I learned how to pitch.

Wesley Baier: Who were your sports idols growing up? What pitcher do you admire most that’s currently playing in the Major Leagues?

Connor Grey: My favorite baseball player was Jorge Posada since I was a Yankee fan growing up. I was a catcher and a pitcher growing up so he was my favorite player. My favorite basketball player is Kobe Bryant. I liked how competitive he was and every time he stepper on the court he wanted to win. There’s so many good pitchers in the big leagues, but I like watching Max Scherzer.

Wesley Baier: Who would you say has influenced your career as a pitcher the most?

Connor Grey: I’d say my brother Kyle has influenced me the most. He was my first throwing partner. He’s taught me all my grips for the most part, starting with my curveball that he taught me when I was ten. Then when I went to college he was working with me on my slider, and just always competing against him.

Wesley Baier: What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Connor Grey: Play everyday like it’s your last day because you never know when it’s to end and that I was blessed to be able to play this game for my job when there are millions of people who want to do the same, so don’t take it for granted.

Wesley Baier: When going home to Frewsburg, what’s the one play you gotta eat?

Connor Grey: The Frewsburger, they have this pizza called a chicken gold, and it’s my favorite thing to eat.

Wesley Baier What’s your favorite food?

Connor Grey: Favorite food is probably BBQ chicken.

Wesley Baier: Favorite Movie? Television show?

Connor Grey: Favorite movie is ‘Billy Madison’, and tv show is ‘How I Met Your Mother’

Wesley Baier: Do you have a genre of music in particular that your really like? Is there an artist/band that gets you pumped up to pitch? If you became a closer, what would be your closer music?

Connor Grey: I listen to all types of music and not really one particular genre right now. My walkout song right now is public service announcement by Jay Z

Wesley Baier: What do you do between starts when you’re not pitching?

Connor Grey: I usually play video games with my friends from back home, and watch more baseball or any other sport?

Wesley Baier: What video games are you and playing now and on what?

Connor Grey: Call of Duty ww2 and a little Fortnite on PS4

At that point I ended the interview and thanked Connor Grey for participating. You can follow Connor Grey on Instagram @connorgrey12. You can check out Connor’s stats on Baseball-Reference, Fangraphs, and Baseballcube for his college statistics.

You can follow me on instagram @CWesleybaier