5 Tweets with Chad Pierce
Welcome to this offseason's final installment of "5 Tweets With..." This one is a favorite because this future Brewer is from our great state of Wisconsin, growing up in Fond du Lac. Of course, this means I wonít have to ask my customary question if he enjoyed Wisconsin cheese during his time here; I know the answer this time.
Chad Pierce attended Fond du Lac High School where, like many of the guys I talk with, he ripped the cover off the ball in the batter's box and shut batters down from the mound. Chad hit .362 as a senior, .322 as a junior and OVER .500 as a sophomore. He also managed to post a 1.89 ERA as a senior, and as a junior his 1.03 ERA helped him win his first district player of the year award.
Chad left Wisconsin to play college ball at the University of Arkansas, where he was a two-time SEC all-academic honoree. After two years in Fayetteville Chad returned to the land of cheese and enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He pitched two seasons for the Panthers. In 2010 he was selected to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Team and to the Horizon League Academic All-League baseball team in 2010-11. In 2011 he earned the men's Panther Senior Athlete Award, given to the UWM senior who has the best combined academic, athletic and community excellence.
As a junior Chad posted a 7-5 record with a 4.03 ERA. His 16 starts set a team record and led the league. As a senior he posted a 6-4 record with a 3.21 ERA, and opposing batters hit a measly .236 against him. He made eight starts in Horizon League play, finishing 5-0 -- including two, nine-inning no-decisions.
The Brewers selected Chad in the 38th round of the 2011 MLB draft. He played for the rookie-league team in Helena, Mont., in 2011 and got bumped up to the class-A Appleton Timberrattlers of the Midwest League in 2012. Chad pitched in 27 games last season (12 starts) and finished with a 7-5 record, along with two saves.
Chad is focused on being a big-league starter and, like all these guys, is busy working out and prepping for minor-league spring training. When I tweeted him to see if he would be down for answering a few questions, his reply was "he would be honored." It continues to amaze me how willing these guys are to share their time with me, and it is truly I who is honored. Anyway, with no further babbling, enjoy "5 Tweets With..." Chad Pierce:
TT: Based on the pic you just tweeted, I assume you come home for the offseason?
CP: Sure do. Iím lucky enough to be able to workout with the team down at UWM and able to throw bullpens to the catchers and be able to use the weight room.
TT: Thatís nice, indeed! Please tell me the Brewers were your team growing up?
CP: Of course. Iíve always been telling people how lucky I am to play in the Brewers' organization. Grew up rooting for the Brewers and attending games at County Stadium and then Miller Park. I always pictured myself in a Brewers uniform and I am lucky that I was given that opportunity.
TT: Looks like you did as well in the classroom as the field. If not baseball, what would life be for you now?
CP: Iíve always said I either wanted to teach and coach or play pro baseball. I finished my degree in education, 1-8 grade with minors in math and social studies. So Iíd probably say either teaching or coaching college baseball. I find the more I learn in this game the more I want to coach and teach the game to others. Hopefully Iíll be able to continue my career playing baseball for a while.
CP: Since Iím in MKE, not many other guys are close to the area. Eric Semmelhack, also lives up here, so we see each other around often. Most of the guys head home for the offseason or head to some sunny areas while I stick it out in the cold Midwest . Wouldnít take it any other way. Basically, just been working out with a couple other guys that went to UWM and are playing professionally in other organizations.
TT: Cool. When youíre on the road do you brag to people about how good our cheese is in Wisconsin? :)
CP: Thatís actually pretty funny, because thatís usually the first thing everyone thinks of. Most of the guys went crazy over the cheese curds up here. In lots of peoples eyes, cheese is the only good thing to come from Wisconsin.
TT: Haha. Tommy and Seth were both big fans! So what pitches do you throw?
CP: Pretty conventional. FB, curveball and change-up. Would say my best pitch is my change-up. Iím working on a cutter to give me another pitch. Most of the coaches view that my arm slot and the way I throw would really help if I had a cutter.
TT: Is your ultimate goal to start games?
CP: I want to start. Itís always an honor to have a coach/team/organization have trust in you to cover most of the innings in a game. But in the end, whatever the organization feels best, I will do that. I just feel that I can stick as a starter if they keep giving me the opportunity.
TT: Sounds like you know what you want and how to get it! Well my John Deere is calling my name, so Iím gonna let you go! I REALLY appreciate your time. Good luck this year and beyond! We will be following along on Peace & Glove!
CP: Sounds good. Thank you!