Lefty reliever Cody Forsythe is one of four Lakewood BlueClaws that has been selected to represent the team in the Class A South Atlantic League All-Star Game coming up next week.
Last year’s 25th round draft selection by the Phillies quickly showed he could compete in the professional ranks after signing last year. With the Gulf Coast League Phillies, he sported a 3-0 record with two saves and a 2.38 ERA in 18 relief appearances. He also pitched a scoreless frame for Clearwater in a lone appearance last year.
This season, as the BlueClaws’ closer, the 23-year-old Kentucky native has posted a 3-2 record with nine saves and a 2.63 ERA. Additionally, he’s struck out 25 batters and walked six in 27 1/3 innings pitched.
Forsythe will be joined by J.P. Crawford, Willians Astudillo and Samuel Hiciano when the Northern Division All-Stars take on the Southern Division All-Stars in the 55th annual event in Hickory, NC on Tuesday, June 17th.
Recently, I spoke with Cody about his All-Star nod, his draft experience last year and more. Read ahead for that full interview.
-You’ve been honored as an All-Star here in the Sally League this year. Congratulations on that. What does this honor mean to you?
It’s a great honor to be selected as one of the best players in this league. It’s a pretty good league, top to bottom. I’m just excited that (in) my first full season I got this type of honor and going there with three other guys on the team is pretty special.
-You mentioned getting honored along with your teammates. Some guys will have to go to the game as their club’s lone representative. What’s the best part of going with some of your teammates?
It’s always a great honor, I think, whether you’re by yourself or with teammates, but getting to go there with some guys that you’ve been playing with and battling with all year and just compete with everyday, you’ll have a little bit of comfort when you get there. You’re not alone. I don’t think it makes too much difference it’s just nice to know that you’ve got great players around you and a few of them get to play with you.
-You’ve posted some really solid stats since turning pro. Has the adjustment to the minor leagues been easier than you thought it might be?
I think the transition is tough. The transition from high school to college, Division 1, is actually pretty tough and it’s a similar jump going from college to professional baseball. My whole college career I pretty much started, so coming out of the bullpen was a new challenge. You know, throwing one inning at a time instead of throwing six to nine innings is a challenge, but I like the difference and I’m starting to really feel comfortable out of the bullpen and things are starting to click for me.
-What was your draft experience like last year? How did you track it and how did you learn you were drafted?
I thought the draft was one of the crowning moments of my life. You know, it was a huge moment. I was excited. Got to share it with my family and some of my friends. But, yeah, I was just waiting for day three. I knew it was going to be day three. I didn’t know where or when, but when it did happen, I was excited. I started getting a bunch of calls and text messages and Twitter updates and all that stuff, which is always cool. But, it kind of hit me quick like that and I was excited once I got the call from my scout and I just thought about playing ball the next day. I was on a plane the next day, down in Florida, getting ready for the season.
-Was it a surprise when the Phillies selected you? Were there other teams on your radar?
I didn’t have any clue who it was going to be. I had a couple teams in mind. The Phillies weren’t necessarily one of them. I had done some stuff for them and talked to them a little bit, but not too much. So any team it was going to be, it was going to be a little bit of a shock. You know, I’m excited to be here. It’s a great organization and I’m just looking forward to the future.
-What is your pitch repertoire like and what do you consider your out pitch?
I just throw a fastball, slider, change up. Slider’s probably my out pitch at this point. But, I use it all quite a bit. Throw them all for strikes, when I can and just try to mix it up early in the count, late in the count, any time.
-Who were some player you looked up to prior to turning pro?
I always liked watching Randy Johnson. I don’t know that I throw too much like him, but I just liked the way he competed everyday and when Schilling was making his postseason runs there, I just liked the way he pitched, so I just tried to compete like he did every day. He’s just a gamer. So, I go out there and do my best.