Each month, MiracleBaseball.com will feature a question and answer interview with members of the Fort Myers Miracle. This month, MiracleBaseball.com talks with David Hurlbut. Hurlbut was selected in the 28th round of the 2011 draft by the Minnesota Twins out of Cal State-Fullerton. He is in his fourth year of professional baseball and made four starts with the Fort Myers Miracle in 2013.
Miraclebaseball.com: What was your most memorable baseball-related moment at Cal State-Fullerton aside from draft day?
David: Probably the first College World Series game I was at. It was pretty cool to see all of the fans there and the atmosphere at Cal State-Fullerton was pretty electric.
Miraclebaseball.com: What was your major?
David: I did business.
Miraclebaseball.com: If you hadn't have found baseball as your choice in career, what other field might you have pursued?
David: If I were to take baseball out of the equation, I might see myself in the military, to be honest.
Miraclebaseball.com: Which branch?
David: My brother was in the Air Force, so I probably would have followed him.
Miraclebaseball.com: In the minor leagues you do a fair deal of traveling: three games here, three games there, all across the state or region. What food establishments do you hope for around the hotels in which you're staying?
David: [Laughs] There's kind of a little story behind that. Last year for Christmas my family got together and did a Secret Santa sort of thing, we each were assigned a person to get presents for. I had requested SUBWAY® gift cards, so last year I got a bunch of SUBWAY® gift cards. That always helps me because it's cheap and fills you up pretty good. So anything like SUBWAY® or Jimmy John's, and Applebee's tends to be a very popular one. Basically whatever's close enough. Oh, and Chipotle.
Miraclebaseball.com: Other than seeking food how do you amuse yourself in your free time?
David: A lot of Netflix. I've seen just about every show. I'm watching Game of Thrones right now, I've seen Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, The Walking Dead and am in the middle of watching House of Cards. I just finished season one today. I think I've seen just about everything on Netflix.
Miraclebaseball.com: I heard that the "Red Wedding" episode of Game of Thrones caused quite a stir in people who tuned in. What did you think of it?
David: I hadn't read the books, so when I saw it my jaw just dropped. It was fun. I really enjoy that series a lot.
Miraclebaseball.com: Like characters in your favorite television shows, there tends to be defined qualities of guys in the clubhouse like the "clown" or the "quiet one." What would you classify yourself as?
David: That's a good question. I guess, well because I'm not too serious and am pretty easygoing, I might be the clown if I were to give myself a label. I like to have a good time.
Miraclebaseball.com: I've caught word that you like to do impressions in the clubhouse. What kind of impressions?
David: People bat a certain way or pitch a certain way, I have fun mimicking what they do.
Miraclebaseball.com: This year and prior years you've been placed in both the rotation and the bullpen. What are some of the major differences between those two roles for you?
David: A lot of it is game plan, attacking the hitters. When you start you have to face the lineup multiple times, so you have to be prepared to change things up. Say you start a guy off with a first-pitch fastball: next time around he might be looking for that same thing, so you have to be able to adjust on the fly with some tendencies that they see you have. When you relieve you come at them with your best stuff and you look for outs, playing out for out. When you're starting you have to hide your best pitch and use it sparingly. Other than that the approach I take is one out at a time. The game plan is the best way I can describe a difference.
Miraclebaseball.com: For fans who haven't seen you pitch as much, what do you have in your arsenal?
David: I have a fastball, changeup, curveball and cutter.
Miraclebaseball.com: What is your walkup song?
David: "Inside the Fire" by Disturbed.