June 28, 2012
Brett Bochy (Baseball) 2007-10
Poway, Calif., native Brett Bochy made Lawrence his home during his college career which included a 5-0 record his redshirt sophomore year with a bullpen leading 54-strikeouts. Bochy who is no stranger to the major leagues was drafted by the San Francisco Giants following his 2010 collegiate season. His father Bruce is the current manager of the Giants and played in the big leagues for 10 seasons (1978-87) for three different teams. The younger Bochy has risen as high as Double ‘A’, where he currently toes the rubber for the Richmond Flying Squirrels out of the Eastern League.
You grew up in California, so what made you decide to come play baseball at Kansas?
“Coach (Rich) Price actually coached my older brother (Greg) at Cal Poly and I grew up playing against his son Robby in travel ball. When Coach Price went to Kansas he kept his recruiting ties in California and he stayed in contact with me and I kept in touch with Robby. Over the years we developed a relationship and following my junior year (of high school) I went on a visit (at KU). I loved what I saw in Lawrence, so I decided to go there.”
What were some of the highlights of your KU career, either on the mound or in the dugout?
“On the mound, I would probably say when we went to Regionals during the 2009 season at Chapel Hill (N.C.). It was a great experience being able to go out there and take part in postseason baseball. You are out of school and having fun with your teammates, so it felt kind of like pro baseball because you didn’t have school or anything to worry about. Another highlight was when we went to No. 1 LSU, my junior year (2009), and we won the series. Then we won two out of three at Baylor, which was the first time we won a series there (in Waco).”
Your redshirt junior season was cut short because of an arm injury, how frustrating was it to have to go under the knife for Tommy John surgery?
“It was devastating because we were ranked at the time and I was looking forward to postseason baseball again and having fun with my teammates. I was also looking forward to the draft because that was my draft year. Obviously, getting hurt set that back.”
When you were drafted the San Francisco Giants came calling and your father just happens to be their manager. What was it like being drafted by your dad’s organization and then seeing him win it all later that October?
“I was excited because after I got hurt I didn’t know if I would be drafted or where I would be drafted. There were a lot of questions, but once I was drafted I had to really focus on my rehab and getting back to the way I was before (the injury). The Giants won the World Series that year and there was a lot of excitement because my dad has been a manager for 16 years and that’s what he’s been striving for, so I was really happy for him.”
Your father played in the majors for ten seasons, so you grew up around the game. What do you remember about being around your Dad as he was a coach and eventually a manager?
“When he started managing I was a little kid. Every chance I had, I would go to the ballpark and hang out with him. I even got to go on a few trips throughout the season with him. I wanted to spend every moment I could at the ballpark because that’s what I loved to do, hang out with him and play baseball.”
How has the transition been for you from pitching collegiately to professionally?
“The Big 12 is a really good conference and I would say it stacks up to the lower levels of the Minor Leagues. Once you get up here to Double ‘A’, you start seeing quality hitters and you really start to improve.”
Do you miss not being able to play in 30-degree weather in March?
“I don’t think I miss that too much (laughs) but it’s nice getting out of the cold weather. It’s nice getting outside for spring training and having warm weather out in Arizona for a month to start the season. In college you have fall ball, but it is months before the season. Once the season rolls around you are inside a lot of the time. You have to do a lot of your work inside, the mound is inside and you have to face hitters indoors.”
How often have you made it back to Lawrence since you left?
“I came back last fall to enroll in classes for a semester there (at KU). Now I only have a few classes left before I graduate. I try to come back every offseason.”
Have you come across many other Jayhawks during your time in the minor leagues?
“There are a lot of Jayhawks that play minor league baseball, but the only one that I’ve come across is Shaeffer Hall this year actually. He was my roommate back in college, so I was really excited to be able to see him and watch him pitch. It’s been great to see all the success that everyone has had. Sam Freeman just got called up to the Major Leagues and I played with him. It seems like there are more and more Jayhawks that are playing pro ball now.”
Who would you say was the toughest out you have faced thus far in your playing career, whether it has been in college or the pros?
“In college, I know Shaver Hansen (Baylor) was always a tough out. In pro ball its Bryce Brentz and he’s with the Red Sox organization. He’s a pretty good hitter.”
What would it mean to be able to play for your dad as a member of the Giants someday soon?
“That would be great. Obviously, it’s a dream of mine to play in the major leagues and if he was there, it would just be that much better. He hasn’t been able to see me play that much over the years, so it would be nice for him to see me play for a change.”
Brett Bochy minor league player page: http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=594762
Throwback Thursday Archive: http://www.kuathletics.com/throwbackthursday.html