Greeting: Welcome back to On The Hot Seat, today I had the opprotunity to interview former Oregon Ducks pitcher and current Kansas City Royals prospect Kellen Moen. Moen was introduced to baseball at the age of 2 when his father introduced him to the sport. Growing up in Alaska he grew up watching the Chicago Cubs and his favorite MLB player Greg Maddux. Going through his High School days Kellen played in Alaska for a year until his parents have decided to move to California. Please follow Kellen’s story from Oregon to the majors please read the interview. http://www.facebook.com/OnTheHotSeat, https://twitter.com/#!/TheJustinGodsey.
Justin Godsey: How do you stay connected with your fans ?
Kellen Moen: I don’t consider myself someone who has a giant fan base so keeping in touch with my fans is fairly easy. They will often just reach me on Facebook and i’m always glad to have their support.
Justin Godsey: Who introduced you to the sport of baseball ?
Kellen Moen: My father, Randall Moen, introduced me to HOW to play baseball. My father says when I was two years old, living on the campus of Yale, I used to drag a giant, red plastic bat around along with a ball and keep myself busy for hours.
Justin Godsey: Growing up in California what LA team did you watch Angels or Dodgers ?
Kellen Moen: For some reason once I got to pro ball everyone assumed I grew up in California. I actually grew up in Juneau, Alaska (17 years) before moving to California. Our television growing up consisted of only basic cable so the only games I could watch were on WGN and TBS. I have always favored watching the NL teams so I tended to cling to the Cubs and Braves. I definitely preferred the Cubs because of entertainment of such broadcasters as Harry Caray, Chip Caray and Steve Stone.
Justin Godsey: Who was your favorite player growing up ?
Kellen Moen: Greg Maddux
Justin Godsey: Tell us about your High School Baseball Career ?
Kellen Moen: My freshman year was spent playing in Juneau, Alaska. Because of the geography of Southeast, Alaska travel becomes very difficult and expensive. We flew Alaska Airlines to every team we played ( teams consisted of Ketchikan and Sitka, Alaska) After my freshman year my family and I moved to California. I played baseball at Palos Verdes Peninsula High for three years. Coming from Alaska I was expecting the California talent to be outstanding. It was good but I didn’t have trouble fitting in.
Justin Godsey: What was your recruiting process like ?
Kellen Moen: Out of high school I had a grand total of zero scholarship offers. I was recruited by one division II school (Cal Poly Pomona) and I would have committed to them but during my phone call with their coach we were interpreted while he was talking to me about bringing me out to campus and offering me a scholarship. The coach told me to hold on for a second and he would call me back– never happened. I ended up going to the local JC, El Camino College. I instantly became great friends with the head coach, Nate Fernley. To this day Fernley stands as my favorite/best coach I have ever had. After my first year at El Camino I received two scholarship offers from Division I teams: UC Irvine and BYU. I ended up turning both of them to return to El Camino to play for Coach Fernley. Going into my second year at El Camino I was invited to pitch in the So. Cal JC All-Star game. I threw against 5 batters and within the week I had 25 Division I schools call me.
Justin Godsey: Why did you choose Oregon as your college of choosing ?
Kellen Moen: Oregon is the happy medium between Juneau, AK and So Cal; weather wise as well as population. I loved the facilities and the fact that the school had a great football team and a competitive basketball team.
Justin Godsey: Give us your feeling when you were 1st on the mound in Eugene ?
Kellen Moen: My first outing was my Junior year against Washington. I came in out of the pen and threw (dont quote me on this) 3+ innings, 0 runs and only 1 hit. I only threw about 5 innings that year so that was the highlight.
Justin Godsey: How is the environment in Eugene ?
Kellen Moen: Eugene could be the best city ever if… it didn’t rain so much. The town is 100% a college town. Without the school Eugene would be the worst city ever. All the students are very laid back and are generally willing to meet new people without judging.
Justin Godsey: Tell us about your experience at Oregon ?
Kellen Moen: College has been the best experience of my life. The school was awesome. I met a handful of life long friends. I got lucky with our football team being so great for the years I were there ( we never lost at home) I wish I could stay forever.
Justin Godsey: Last your your dream came true and you were drafted to a team who has the best Farm System in Baseball the KC Royals how excited are you to play for the Royals.
Kellen Moen: I was very excited to play for the Royals. Honestly, the Royals were probably the team in the MLB that I know about the least. After meeting all the coaches and GM, Ass. GM I realized that I am extremely fortunate to be surrounded by people that truly care about my being.
Justin Godsey: Tell us about your 1st professional game on the mound as a member of the KC Royals Farm System ?
Kellen Moen: My first experience was one to remember. I believe I threw 1/3 of an inning and I think i gave up 4 or 5 runs. I couldn’t get anyone out pretty much my whole first short season.
Justin Godsey: What are you working on currently to prepare yourself for the upcoming season ?
Kellen Moen: After short season I was invited to Instructional League. I threw very well during this time and the reason was I kept my fastball down, didn’t over throw my curveball and threw a very good split/change with confidence.
Justin Godsey: What are we to expect from you in 2012 ?
Kellen Moen: I would expect to see my out of the pen in a similar role to what I did at Oregon. I would expect about an average of 3 mph on my fastball along with a more consistent curveball. I truly believe my future depends on split. Hitters do not recognize it very well and it has the movement to be able to make a mistake with it.