Astros Future Interview: Brock Dykxhoorn
The Houston Astros minor league system is deep. The Astros have quality players throughout all levels, which has led to great seasons for most of the minor league affiliates. Everyone knows about the top guys but depth is what builds a strong system. Prefacing this, I will start by saying 6’8″ pitchers don’t grow on trees. The Houston Astros have found one though who is pitching for the Quad Cities River Bandits this season. His name is Brock Dykxhoorn.
Brock Dykxhoorn, RHP (DOB: 07/02/94)
Brock was drafted by the Astros in the 6th round of the 2014 draft after attending Central Arizona College. Brock was also born and raised in Canada. He stands at 6’8″ and listed at 250 lbs. He got his start in professional ball with the Greeneville Astros posting a 4.31 ERA in 31.1 IP, 8 BB/36 K as a 19-year old. This season he has pitched in full season Quad Cities and posted the following line:
2015 Stats: 8-5, 3.88 ERA, 109 IP, 100 H, 26 BB, 94 K, 2.1 BB/9, 7.8 K/9, 3.42 FIP
**NOTE: This interview was conducted July/2015**
Let’s get to the interview!!
Astros Future (AF): You were drafted out of high school in the 20th round. What led to you not signing with the Reds?
Brock Dykxhoorn (BD): “When I was drafted out of high school by the Reds I was extremely honored and excited about the opportunity. However, when I stepped back and looked at where my career was at, I didn’t think that I was ready for professional baseball at that point. I am glad that I had the opportunity to experience two years of college and I definitely grew and matured as a baseball player over those two years.”
AF: Can you describe the feeling of being drafted by the Astros? What was that experience like for you and your family?
BD: “When I was drafted to the Astros in 2014 I was extremely excited. I knew that the Astros had a great history with their draft picks and their minor league system to develop players. That is a huge factor for me knowing that I will have some of the best coaches and player development staff around me throughout my career. My family and I were thrilled the day I got drafted and we were overwhelmed with support and congratulations from friends and family.”
AF: Did you have any prior knowledge that the Astros had interest in drafting you?
BD: “I knew that the Astros were one of the many teams that were interested in me during college, but I wasn’t sure exactly where they had me slotted in their plans going into the draft.”
AF: What superstitions do you have if any, pregame or during game?
BD: “I don’t have any pregame routines but during the game I do the exact same warmup routine between every inning that I pitch. I throw the same 8 pitches in the same sequence and before the inning I stretch my legs before I walk up to the rubber for the first batter.”
AF: You were able to represent Canada in the Pan Am Games. How was that experience?
BD: “The Pan Am Games were an unbelievable experience for me. It was an honor to represent my country especially with the tournament being in Toronto. It was great learning from some MLB veterans and older players who have been around for longer than I have and have some great knowledge.”
AF: Can you describe your pitching style and your repertoire?
BD: “I believe my pitching style is controlled and strategic. I like to think ahead of the hitter and read swings to plan the next pitch. My three pitches include a fastball, changeup, and slider. I use my fastball a lot to get ahead of hitters and get early outs. I like to use my changeup when I need a soft groundballs particularly in double play situations or with power hitters at the plate. My slider I use later in counts for strikeouts or early in counts on hitters that are aggressive to get bad swings and early strikes.”
AF: Standing at 6’8″ you could be considered an imposing figure. Do you use your height to your advantage while pitching?
BD: “I don’t purposely use my size to gain an advantage, but I definitely don’t try to look smaller on the mound. I like to stand tall and let the hitter know that I am confident and ready for the at bat. I like to be on the rubber and staring down to the catcher before the hitter is ready to try and make him uncomfortable. I have been told from teammates and friends on other teams that I do look intimidating on the mound so I guess it has worked for me.”
AF: Do you try to model yourself after any professional pitcher?
BD: “I grew up loving to watch Roy Halladay pitch and that is probably who I tend to look to about pitching in different situations. I love his poise and his confidence on the mound and how he strategically plans his pitching rather than just throwing.”
AF: This season you have been dominant in April/July but had slightly higher ERAs in May/June. Do you know what may have contributed to this?
BD: “I don’t know what has caused that shift throughout the season. I have continued to work hard throughout the season and just had a tough few outings in those middle months of the season. I am happy that I have found my stride again this month and I plan to continue it through to the end of the season and playoffs.”
AF: If there is anything you would like to improve on the field, what would it be? What do you feel is your biggest strength?
BD: “My consistency from outing to outing is what I am focusing on the most right now. I am confident in how my pitches have developed and how I have developed as a pitcher, and now it’s about consistently putting those things together every outing.”
AF: What is something Astros fans should definitely know about you?
BD: “I want Astros fans to know that I am working hard to represent the Astros name and to make a positive impact in Houston in the future to help build a championship team.”
AF: Thank you for your time and good luck the rest of the season!
**Photo Credit: Richard Guill**