Q & A with Cyclones Grady Hinchman
by: Patrick Hickey, Jr. | Senior Writer - NY Sports Day | Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Holding a 3.34 ERA and striking out 47 batters in only 35 innings of work last season, Cyclones middle-reliever Grady “Bulldog” Hinchman was a force to be reckoned with and was one of the key players on a Brooklyn team that made the playoffs. Looking back on his 2006 season, Hinchman sat down with NYSportsday.

NYSD: Which position player on the Cyclones team do you think has the highest ceiling and why? What do you like about his game and what do you think he needs to work on the most in order to develop into a big leaguer?

Hinchman: “Dustin Martin. He’s got the raw talent and all he has to do is learn finer parts of the game like the mental aspect. He knows it well, but once he becomes a veteran he’ll know it even better.”

NYSD: Which pitcher do you think has the highest big league upside and why?

Hinchman: “Jake Ruckle. He’s got that innovative windup. That’s something that might revolutionize the windup for pitchers. If he doesn’t make it, his style will make it for sure.”

NYSD: Who do you think is the biggest sleeper prospect, position prospect or pitcher? Who do you think will fly under the radar, doesn't get the attention he deserves, but will become a quality big leaguer?

Hinchman: “John Schemmel. Day in and day out he goes out there and gets it done. He doesn’t do anything flashy; he just does everything right.”

NYSD: What do you need to work on the most to be ready for this season?

Hinchman: “I want to work on my changeup. I have a so-so one now and I only use it when I have to. Coming out of the bullpen, if you have two pitches that are good you can usually have some success, if I three, it would be even more valuable.”

NYSD: What would you say is your biggest strength as a ball player? What do you bring to the field and to your team?

Hinchman: “Throwing as hard I do and being small and left handed.”

NYSD: What did you think of your season last year?

Hinchman: “It was pretty good, I’d have liked to get my ERA under 2.00, but I finished the year out strong and get some appearances late in the season and helped us make the playoffs.”

NYSD: Tells us about your repertoire; what kind of pitches do you throw? What is your strikeout pitch? Which pitch needs the most work? Is there a pitch you'd like to develop?

Hinchman: “If I can get ahead, I can use my curveball pretty much in any count. I use my curveball to get some swings and misses, especially in clutch situations where I need a strikeout. I can’t get my curve ball over, I just use my fastball to extend the strike zone.”

NYSD: To give our fans a better idea of the type of player you are, who would you compare your game to at the Major League level and why?

Hinchman: “Billy Wagner. We’re both small guys and we overcompensate by throwing hard. He’s got a good slider and I got a good curveball.”