SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Seth Corry is a left-handed pitching prospect drafted by the Giants in the third round of the 2017 Draft. After signing for an above-slot $1 million, he was moved slowly, not making his full-season debut until 2019. But he took off in the South Atlantic League, winning the league’s pitcher of the year honors. He’s currently No. 5 on the Giants’ Top 30 and No. 99 on the overall Top 100 list.
MLB.com: How different does this Spring Training feel after having gotten through your first year of full-season ball?
Seth Corry: It’s a lot different, obviously. The years in the past, it was a lot about trying to figure out my routine, trying to get to a place where I can be comfortable, learning people’s names, getting to know people, kind of following what everyone else was doing. Now, I have my routine, I know what I want to do on a daily basis and I know what I need to do to get prepared out on the field. And once I’m out on the field, I know what I need to do to progress, so I’m a lot more comfortable.
MLB.com: How is that routine different compared to who you were when you entered pro ball? What have you learned along the way?
Corry: When I was young and was barely getting going, I was thinking, “It’s time to get in the game, it’s time to get serious.” It wasn’t even the bullpen right before the game, that wasn’t something I focused on. It was mainly when I got into the game that I thought I had to lock in and focus. Obviously, that’s completely changed now. I’m focusing the moment I step into the complex, the moment I get on a roller to get my hips loose. It starts way before a bullpen. Then once I get into a bullpen, I’m completely prepared because I prepared an hour and a half earlier. The preparation and the focus of being prepared way earlier than I was in the past is something that’s been huge for me.
MLB.com: You’ve continued to work on transforming yourself from thrower to pitcher. Where do you think you are on that learning curve? In high school, you could get away with just blowing guys away. That doesn’t really work at this level.
Corry: We’re definitely getting there. When I first got drafted, I threw hard and I had a pretty good curveball. That’s the only reason I got drafted. I had no sense of what being a pitcher meant. I had no sense of, “You need to learn how to put a guy away with the exact pitch you want to throw.” I was only a thrower. It was only very recently, obviously last year, that I kind of got a sense of what a pitcher is. I learned how to sequence hitters, I learned how to set hitters up in a sense. The biggest thing for me was my changeup, it’s something that has made me into more of a pitcher because in the past I’d throw fastballs, fastballs, fastballs and then, curveball in the dirt. It wasn’t that hard to sequence guys, throwing fastball up, curveball down was the thing I’d done forever. Once I needed to get really serious about throwing my changeup was something that really helped me develop into learning how to pitch. How to have a three-pitch mix and learning where to throw that changeup and when to keep hitters off-balance is something I took huge strides with this year.
MLB.com: Was that something you understood right away, or did you have to be convinced that was something you needed to do?
Corry: A part of me has always wanted to be a starter. I got by as much as I could with my fastball and curveball. I think I got to a point where if I really wanted to stay as a starter, I started to see it. I started to see a lot of people are pegging me as a reliever if I don’t get on this train of throwing a changeup. I wanted to be a starter. I didn’t want to be pegged as someone who is a two-pitch reliever. It was definitely something that came to light very early, but I was stubborn about it. I was like, “No, I think I’ll be alright for now. The changeup will come along.” But it was especially this last year that I was like, “It’s time to get that changeup going. It’s time to make strides with it.” I wanted to have that third pitch that really put me over the top.
MLB.com: I know especially in the first half of last year, the command piece was a little elusive for you. What helped you later on in the year and what are you doing to help you continue to make strides there?
Corry: Right around the All-Star break was a time I feel I made a huge change. I kind of sat down with a couple of pitching coaches and we said, “Look, here’s the deal. It’s time for you to lock in. It’s time for you to focus.” That was the point where the routine was really something that was drilled into my head, especially with the throwing program. I think that’s where I made the most strides in that second half with command. Being a little bit more serious right when I step on the field. I do a 10-foot slanted square drill, knowing where I want to throw it and having that intent and that mental focus right when I step on the field from the very first ball I throw, instead of right when I step into the bullpen before a game. Instead of getting my arm loose, I really focused on getting into my set positions, my points I needed to be at with the throwing program so I would be really prepared when I went into the bullpen. I think that mental focus was really something that helped me in the second half. It wasn’t any huge mechanical change other than a little bit more rhythm, a little bit more tempo.
MLB.com: Usually when preparing for the Draft, the conversations with scouts about talent in Utah are very short. Your Draft year, your name started popping up more and more. Utah, especially high school baseball, isn’t usually very high on radars. Were you concerned at all about being seen?
Corry: Definitely. It was always a dream of mine to play professional baseball and eventually play in the big leagues, but I never thought it was something that was serious in my life. Growing up in Utah, it’s tough. It’s not a baseball state. It’s winter. I think I never got a real sense for it, that it could seriously be a thing, until I went and I played in a couple of tournaments with EvoShield in Florida and California and I started playing against competition that was real. I could see where my own stuff played. Before I even got any publicity, being in those tournaments and seeing how well I competed, in my mind I felt I was good enough. The whole question was Utah. He lives in Utah. Is the competition good enough? That was the question mark at times, but for me, I knew I was good enough. Once I played in All-American and the next season came, eyes were on me, I was happy. I wasn’t nervous or anything. I was really happy I was able to get that opportunity, that chance.