Corey Kemp started the 2009 season on the disabled list of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. Once he was healthy, he began producing and was eventually a Midwest League All-Star. Later in the season, he would earn a promotion to Huntsville in the Southern League.
The Interrogation Room catches up with Corey to talk about last season, speed, preparation, some of the 2009 Timber Rattlers pitchers, and some surprising news.
What did you think of your 2009 season with the Timber Rattlers?
It was a disappointing season for the team. We really felt that we had a
competitive team coming into the season. We were hit with the injury bug early
and never fully recovered. The fans last season were outstanding. They made
coming to the ballpark very enjoyable while dealing with a tough win/loss
led the team in batting average (.282) and doubles (31). Plus, you
were second on the team in hits with 105. What did you do to prepare for
the opposing pitchers that you had to face?
am a huge student of the game. I charted every pitcher I faced throughout the
season. This helped me to know how guys were going to pitch me in certain
situations and also what pitchers tended to fall into habits of when facing me.
When I got my opportunity it proved to be very useful.
How many of those doubles could have been triples if you were just a bit faster?
Ouch. I wasn't blessed with God given speed so that's a tough one to answer. I
would say if I was a guy with Mike Marseco speed, I would have had 7-10 triples.
As a catcher you have to prepare your pitchers for the opposing hitters, what
kind of things are you talking about during the pre-game meeting?
Chris Hook did a great job during the season, as you could see our pitching
staff was very well prepared. We would talk about who the hot hitter on the team
was, what the hitters did to us in previous games, and also who to attack and
who to be a little more careful with as far as our approach was concerned.
Wily Peralta, Efrain Nieves, and Cody Scarpetta are '09 Rattlers pitchers who
are showing up on a lot of off-season prospect lists. What did you see in
them as they developed over last season?
All of them developed differently last season. Wily, I believe, learned to
control his emotions when things were a little rocky. I saw him mature in tough
situations. He learned that even if he lets up a few hits, he has the final say
on whether those runners score. Efrain grew up as a pitcher a great deal. He
wasn't used to struggling as he did in some spots this year. What I saw from him
was a willingness to learn and improve each and every start, which he did. Cody
learned to become a pitcher in my eyes this season. Before he was a hard thrower
who was able to rely heavily on his fastball, this season he came into his own
developing a very good changeup and controlling his big overhand curveball. He
worked very hard with Chris Hook to better himself and become not just another
thrower. All three have very bright futures, whether in Brewers uniforms or not.
You also got a quick taste of Double-A last season with a
late promotion to
At that level the competition is so close what the major league level is like. A
lot of guys are judged on how they perform there. It was a great experience to
watch high level prospects go about their routine everyday. The level of
professionalism there is amazing to see. You learn a lot about the game itself,
but more importantly you learn about how to carry yourself at the higher ranks.
You got a chance to play almost 50 games at first base last season. Have
you heard anything about this being a new position for you for 2010?
Before retiring I was told during instructional league that I would be the
starting first basemen in High A for the
Hold on a second...Retirement?
Yes. I officially retired, this off-season. Every player has to make a decision
about where his career is going and where he stands with the organization. I
felt that personally after the events of the season, which included a position
change, it would be better off for me to pursue other things. I am very thankful
for the opportunity that was given to me. Not many get the chance to do the
things that I was able to do.
What have you been doing since the season ended?
am currently a 9-5 working stiff. ha ha ha.
He might call and say something to me I'm sure. Matty has a couple little ones
now so he was probably changing diapers or building a deck.
The Interrogation Room thanks Corey for stepping in this week. The Timber Rattlers wish him well in his post-baseball career.