Measurables. It’s a topic that is highly discussed in baseball when analyzing a player’s potential. Scouts love to highlight a stud’s ability to produce a fast 60 time, blow the cover off the ball with a great exit velo, and submit a pop-time below two seconds. Measurables and statistics are the backbone of scouting and recruiting, and have always been a gigantic part of our country’s pastime.
If you are searching across the baseball landscape of Western Pennsylvania you would not have to go very far to find a player who thrives in this category of the game. His name is Josh Spiegel.
Josh is a catcher from Penn Trafford who has not only dominated the WPIAL competition, but also has found incredible success on a national scale. He has recorded a pop time as low as 1.8, hosts an exit velo well above the 90 mph mark, and as catcher is able to run a 6.7, 60.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Josh and talk to him about several different topics. Here is what he had to say.
Q : Let’s start by talking about your team at Penn Trafford this season. So far you guys have gotten off to a solid start in section play, and look like you are on the right track to be one of the top teams in section 2 by years end. What’s the mindset around the team right now, and what are the team’s goals for this season?
J : Yeah, we have played pretty well through the first part of section play. We have some big tests coming up this week, but for our team we are just trying to take it one game at a time and have as much fun as possible while not trying to do too much. Our goals for this year is to win the section title, then make a good run in the playoffs and have a great chance to win a WPIAL championship.
Q : Four of your next five contests come against top 10 teams. What does your team have to do in order to be successful against the tough competition within your section?
J : For our team to have success against the tough competition we have to constantly focus on just grinding out at bats, putting runs up early, throwing strikes and always getting ahead of hitters. A major focus is with making our opponents hit our guys best out pitch, rather than getting a hold of a pitch the hitters are looking for. Our team has to always remain confident in ourselves knowing that we have a great all around team in every aspect of the game.
Q : Shifting the focus over to you personally now. What is your own focus this season? What do you expect from yourself and hope to achieve before you leave Penn Trafford?
J : I just want to focus on staying relaxed. I never want to put too much pressure on myself and I know what I am capable of doing when I am in the right mindset. I want to win a section and wpial championship with my brothers as well. We are a very close team this year, and it would be something special to win it all my last year here with those guys.
Q : There is not too many WPIAL players who have gone to Oklahoma State like you will be this upcoming fall. What was the entire recruiting process was like for you, and what helped you make the decision to commit there?
J : The recruiting process was really great for me. I got the opportunity to visit a lot of amazing places, and meet some great coaches. What ultimately made me choose OSU was their staff. They are some of the best coaches in the country and it felt like home when I was there. I felt it was the best place for me to develop and hopefully make it to the major leagues afterwards.
Q : Speaking of the major leagues, you have been announced as a top prospect by platforms like Perfect Game, MLB Draft Pipeline etc., has there been any sort of insight provided to you about a potential draft position this year? Have you been talking to pro teams about going straight from high school, or do you think you will definitely be a Cowboy in the fall?
J : Yes I have talked to a some teams, and they have sent scouts out to watch me play this year. My first choice is to go to college, but if I do get drafted, I would talk it over with my parents and choose the option that is the best fit for me.
Q : Alright Josh, onto the most important part of this interview, the rapid fire around. You ready?
J : Absolutely! Let’s do it.
Q : If Josh Spiegel was stranded on a deserted island and could only bring one thing what would he bring?
J : Drinkable Water
Q : What future career would you want to be in excluding professional baseball?
J : That’s a tough one but I would love to be a GM one day.
Q : A GM for which team? Of who’s your favorite MLB team?
J : Any team at all, but my favorite are the hometown Pirates.
Q : If you were the Pirates GM would you have traded Cutch?
J : Looking at it now I think it was good for him, and the team, but I probably would have let him stay and maybe done it at the trade deadline.
Q : Switching gears to a really serious topic, what is your favorite meal?
J : Steak, mashed potatoes, and corn!
Q :What’s the number one thing you do in your free time?
J : I love to hunt and fish!
Q : Is there any last things you want to tell the WPIAL world, or make any shoutouts before we close it out?
J : Yes sir, thank you for picking me as your Friday Feature, I had a great time talking with you!
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