A Red Sox draft pick, and current Lowell Spinners’ pitcher, has experienced great success and is determined to succeed in Boston.
Thad Ward was selected in the 5th round of the 2018 MLB Draft out of the University of Central Florida. The Boston Red Sox draft pick is currently playing with the Lowell Spinners and has had a very solid start to his professional career.
Through 20.2 innings, he possesses a minuscule 2.18 ERA while appearing solely as a starting pitcher.
I had the privilege to get to interview Thad and ask him about his younger years and what is going on right now as a member of the Boston Red Sox. Thaddeus is a very humble person, and wants to compete and win games when he is on the mound.
JT: How has the transition been the last month from College to the Minors?
TW: It was tough at first but after a couple weeks I was able to adjust and get into a routine. It’s a lot different because at school there are so many things to put focus on, but here it’s all baseball and I love it.
JT: Is the minor league life tiring? Like traveling and living in a hotel room?
TW: I mean it can be, but that’s how it will be for the rest of my career. It only gets more difficult from here but that’s something I embrace. I get to play baseball the rest of my life, there’s nothing better than that.
JT: Going back to your younger, where did you grow up? And who was your favorite baseball team growing up?
TW: I grew up in Fort Myers FL, which is where the the Red Sox have spring training. My favorite team growing up was always the Red Sox. One of their spring training games was my first professional game I saw in person.
JT: So, it was a dream to be drafted by your favorite team?
TW: Absolutely. I’ve always wanted to play for the Red Sox, so being drafted by them was amazing. I have a long, hard road ahead of me, but now my dream of playing in Fenway has a chance to come true.
JT: Who was your favorite player to look up too and why?
TW: My favorite player was David Ortiz. One of the most ironic players in baseball history, Big Papi consistently came through in clutch situations.
JT: How was coach Lovelady and UCF’S baseball program contribute to your success?
TW: I owe most of my success to them. Between coach Justin Parker and Lovelady, I learned so much. The coaches really helped me mature and develop into who I am today. In terms of Lovelady as a person, I would go to war for him any day of the week. I felt as though he genuinely cared about about being as a player both mentally and physically and that’s really not something you see with a lot of college programs.
JT: Where were you when the Red Sox called? And who did you talk to on the phone in the organization?
TW: I was in my living room watching the draft with my parents. And when I actually got picked I talked to my agent, but later in the day I talked to my area scout Steve Hargett.
JT: By what year would you like to be on the major league roster?
TW: To be honest I don’t know. I know that they have a plan for me, and I know that I have to perform at a high level in order to move up. But I have no idea on a time frame. I just want to get there, however long it takes.
JT: What is a strength and a weakness you see in your pitching?
TW: A strength I would say is my competitiveness. I hate losing. Whether it’s a singular pitch, an at bat, or a game, I do everything I can to win it. It’s that competitiveness that allows me to have success even when I don’t have my best stuff. A weakness I have is I can at times be inconsistent with my tempo between pitches when stuff hits the fan.
JT: Have you talked to the pitching coach about what to do in those situations?
TW: We have talked about it and while slowing the game down mentally is a good thing, slowing down too much physically can be harmful to your rhythm as well as your fielders ability to stay alert.
JT: What are some things you like to do on your free time?
TW: Well we don’t really have much free time but when I do have some I typically just stay home and relax. I’ll play some Fortnite or just lay down and watch Netflix. One thing I’ve always loved is basketball though. Basketball was really my primary sport up until about junior year of high school. Every once in a while I’ll go shoot some hoops but that’s about it.
From watching Thad at UCF and seeing how he performed in games, he could be one of the most underrated prospect that the Red Sox have drafted in the 2018 draft.
He was an exciting player to watch on UCF’s baseball team, and I hope we all get to see him pitch one day in the major leagues.