I recently had the pleasure of catching up with my good friend and former Cavalier pitcher Andrew Carraway. Carraway graduated last year after a highly successful 4 year run in the Cavalier program. He was drafted last June by the Seattle Mariners and is currently in their minor league system with the High-A High Desert Mavericks.
StreakingtheLawn (STL): Rumor is you lived on the lawn last year. Two part question: Do you still live on the Lawn? Does everyone you meet ask you how awesome it was to live on the lawn?
Andrew Carraway (AC): First of all, I, of course, no longer live on the Lawn. I live in the steam tunnels. Second, because I'm out here on the West coast, only a select few know about the Lawn. If someone knows about it though, I am very happy to tell them; I had, arguably, the best front yard in America for two semesters. It was amazing.
STL: Some might but not everyone knows you graduated from the Comm School last year with some silly GPA. Do you follow the stock market while you're sitting in the dugout or on the bus for road trips?
AC: I wait until I get back to my apartment to check my portfolio. It has been doing rather well. My overall balance decreased with the recent tumble, but my gold has hedged my downward risk, at least in part. (STL: These are the kind of conversations you have to deal with when you play a sport at UVa and your teammates are in the Comm School. No, I am not kidding either.)
STL: Do you remind people that you were in the UVA Comm School to show how much better you are than them?
AC: There actually are quite a few smart baseball players. In my less than one year of Minor League experience I've played with a Yale grad, Princeton grad, two former UNC players, and others from legit colleges. UVa and the Comm School allow me to keep up.
STL: As most know, you were a big part of our successful year and end of season run. What was your favorite moment from your 4th year?
AC: I'm not sure if I can pick only one moment. If I'm allowed to pick a string of moments, it would be the entire postseason. From our first ACC Tourney win through our loss in Omaha.
If I have to pick just one moment.... I'm not picking one moment unless you make me.
STL: After being drafted by the Mariners last year in the 14th round what has been the highlight of your minor league career so far?
AC: The highlight of my pro career thus far has to be backing up in Big League games this spring. Major League teams bring up Minor League pitchers as emergency arms in case something happens that throws the regular rotation out of whack. I never even got close to getting in a game, ha, but I made David Aardsma laugh in the bullpen, and Mike Sweeney told me I look like a position player. (STL: Sadly, this was probably the highlight of the year for Carraway who likes to think in another life [High School] he was a pro prospect at Shortstop. He loved to take groundballs in the infield and generally make a fool of himself)(Ok, I will admit he wasn’t terrible but he was no pro-prospect)
STL: What would you say is the biggest difference between minor league baseball and the college ball you've played the last 4 years?
AC: Minor League baseball and college ball are two different baseball shaped worlds. In college ball, it's all about the team and getting that W. In Minor League ball it's all about the individual--development, statistics, and advancement.
STL: Other than myself, who would you say was your most difficult batter you have faced in both college/minor leagues?
AC: Ok, so Will Campbell can't be the answer??? With a metal bat in their hands it's a combination of Buster Posey and Dustin Ackley. It wasn't very fair. At least not when I was on the mound. (STL: A side note from me: In my mind, Buster Posey was the greatest baseball player I have ever seen. Most who know me know of my affinity towards Posey. He hit the farthest ball I have ever seen off Kevin Arico three years ago in Tallahassee that has still not landed. Lets put it this way, If Posey has a sister I would like to marry her)
STL: I am sure you have quite a busy schedule but have you been able to follow the Hoos this year?
AC: Absolutely! Hoo wouldn't follow THE #1 RANKED TEAM IN ALL THE LAND??!
STL: I just looked you up on MILB.com and you're currently at the Class-A Advanced (High-A) High Desert Mavericks, what are your hopes for the rest of the year in regards to moving up and whatnot?
AC: Right now, my main focus just has to be improving on the mound and learning a lot about pitching in pro baseball--pitch selection, making it through 140 games, etc. I would love to finish the season in AA, but my stats aren't so great right now, so I just need to work hard and do the little things that I am supposed to be doing.
STL: Final question, Hoo is going to win Omaha this year?
AC: Virginia Cavaliers over the Texas Longhorns in 3.
There you have it folks. Even with a hectic minor league schedule that forces him to be self-centered(which I am sure is hard for Andrew), Carraway is still following this Cavalier baseball team and thinks they have what it takes to win it all this year.