Bettis went 12-5 last year with a 3.34 ERA and struck out 184 batters
July 18, 2012
Texas Tech athletics communications recently caught up with Chad Bettis, a former Texas Tech standout right-handed pitcher and Lubbock native (Monterey HS), who was a second round draft pick (76th overall) in 2010 by the Colorado Rockies.
Bettis had a three-year Tech career (2008-2010) and currently holds the school record for career saves (17) along with ranking ninth in Tech history with 208 career strikeouts.
Following a Single-A all-star year in 2011, one where Bettis was named the California League Pitcher of the Year (12-5, 3.34 ERA, 184 SO), he began the 2012 season in big league spring training with the Rockies and was then expected to start the season with the Rockies Double-A affiliate, the Tulsa Drillers.
Bettis was named the Colorado Rockies No. 2 prospect by MLB.com this past off-season.
During spring training Bettis suffered a minor shoulder strain that kept him sidelined through the remainder of spring training. When the minor league season began Bettis stayed in Scottsdale, Ariz., to continue working on his shoulder injury. When he began throwing in April, he was shut down due to the injury becoming worse. He spent the month of June in Denver working with the Rockies training staff.
Bettis is now in Modesto, Calif., where he spent all of the 2011 season, and he is progressively rehabbing his shoulder and just recently threw his first bullpen (25 pitches) last Thursday.
Bettis spoke optimistically about his future, how excited he was to get back on the mound, spent some time talking about several of his teammates who were drafted in 2012, and even gave some insight as to what Tech home and road football games he was most looking forward to this upcoming season.
What are you currently up to and how is your rehab going?
Chad Bettis - Right now we are just making sure everything feels good and that I'm healthy. I've started doing some long-toss again and just yesterday (July 12) threw my first bullpen since I got hurt, and it felt great. There were no problems whatsoever. Just trying to keep progressing in the right direction and that we don't have any set-backs."
What did you think about Texas Tech having nine players drafted, six of which you were able to play with at Tech?
Chad Bettis - I think everyone that I played with that got drafted I figured would get a chance - I wasn't sure where or how high they would get drafted - but I think each of them earned their opportunity. Barrett obviously stood out his freshman year and then you look at J-Mac and Reid, and both of those guys have all of the tools that you would want to see. It is great to see that many Red Raiders get drafted."
What did you think about Bo Altobelli - who was a freshman when you were on the team in 2010?
Chad Bettis - Right when Bo got to college I was impressed. To a point, it is up to the individual as to what they want to make their career into. You have to take strides. I saw Bo as a freshman and I was thoroughly impressed. But then to see him make strides and progress and after those last two years at Tech - what he can do now - he obviously took the next step that he needed to take to get into pro ball. I think he definitely made the right decision."
Looking back now, how do you view the Texas Tech baseball program?
Chad Bettis - When I went back this off-season, with the facilities, it is everything we wanted it to become and more. It is going to keep progressing, I had a great time at Tech and everything that I was able to do and experience at Tech was amazing. The fans, the teammates I played with and everyone I worked with was beyond what I expected. Now that we have the facilities in place and boosters stepping up and supporting us, I feel we are taking the next strides to where we need to be to become a dangerous D-I baseball school."
What was it like last season with all of the success you were able to have in the California League?
Chad Bettis - It was a lot like pitching at Tech. I just focused on getting the ball down and making sure that I was staying out of big innings. I just learned a lot about how to pitch. The first half of the season I wasn't pleased with at all. One game in the first half I got pretty embarrassed, I gave up like nine earned runs in four innings. It was a really bad outing. I just didn't want that to happen again. Then I worked on breaking down all of the details of my wind-up, my mechanics, just figuring out what hitters were expecting and what to throw certain hitters and what to look for. Last year I learned a lot about baseball. Just looked at how to break down certain teams. I would try and figure out what team's hitters weren't doing right. Every day you aren't learning something about baseball is a day wasted. I think that is what helped me most last year. There is a lot to learn out there, I just needed to let it soak in."
What do you think is the biggest misconception of minor league baseball?
Chad Bettis - I think it is probably the travel. I also think people don't understand that fans actually really do come out to baseball games. The fans really get into it. It is neat to get letters from fans who send things to you in the mail, have a card they want you to sign, those are fans you are going to have the rest of your career through baseball."
What is the plan for you for the rest of this year?
Chad Bettis - Just make sure I get 100% healthy here is definitely the main thing. I have lost a lot of this year - if not all of it. I don't know when I will be in games. Maybe I could be pitching in games by mid-August, but it is just too early to say. The main thing is just to get healthy. Whether I go to instructs (Instructional League) or winter league ball, I just need to be preparing for next spring training."
What Texas Tech football games are you most looking forward to this upcoming season?
Chad Bettis - Oh man, probably the Texas game and then another OU game. Those are always great games."
What about traveling to any road games?
Chad Bettis - We went to the OU game last year in Norman, we went to the Iowa State game in Lubbock and then we went to Cowboys Stadium to watch the Baylor game."
How about traveling to Stillwater for the OSU game this year?
Chad Bettis - Oh, for sure. I'll be there!"