The New York Mets drafted right-handed pitcher Cameron Planck in the 11th round of the 2016 MLB June Amateur Draft from Rowan County High School in Morehead, KY. Cameron later signed with the Mets on July 13, 2016 and received a $1,000,001 million signing bonus.
After the signing, Cameron explained to this interviewer that the organization made the decision at that time to shut him down for the season due to a heavy workload during Senior year of high school.
Cameron was instead provided with a specific throwing program and routine to follow after joining the organization and work towards building arm strength, fitness and adjusting to pro ball through his participation in the instructional league.
In the interview, Cameron talks about his transition to pro baseball, adjustments and learning process along the way.
MMN – First of all thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Can you please tell me more about where you are from?
Cameron – I’m from Morehead, Kentucky, not far from Lexington. It’s a small town, great people and small community. Everybody is like family, I love it and I’m able to adapt to anyone anywhere.
MMN – Where are you training now?
Cameron – I’m in Kentucky. I have a specific workout plan. I do upper body, lower body, I ride a bike a lot, swim a lot, yoga and even do Palates. It’s my job. It’s a great feeling. It’s literally a lifestyle and I love it so much.
MMN – What was the process of making that decision to forego college and sign with the Mets?
Cameron – For me this is my dream. I know a lot kids grow up thinking about going to college. I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go after my dream. I definitely took the time to speak with family. We came to an agreement and it was then solely my decision and the best route to travel for me. And I love it. I couldn’t be happier with my decision.
MMN – What has been your experience so far with the Mets organization?
Cameron – I feel extremely lucky to be with the Mets. Great people. I’m 18, these are grown men. I thought it would be a hard transition. I was worried about not being able to talk with some of the Dominican players, but everything has worked out great. This organization is like a family. It’s been an immediate learning experience for me.
MMN – What has it been like receiving professional coaching?
Cameron – It’s been amazing. The Instructional League was a great opportunity. I loved learning from Phil Regan (Mets Minor League Pitching Coordinator). He taught me so many little things. It has already made a huge difference in my delivery. It’s easier for me to repeat my delivery now. Obviously it’s extremely important to look the same in my delivery. Phil compared me to other guys and showed me what I can do to help do the same thing every time.
MMN – Have you already set goals for yourself for the coming season?
Cameron – In my mind I sat down and set out my own ten-year plan. Planning out everything on my way to hopefully reaching the major leagues. I want to work hard every day to shorten the time it takes to reach the big leagues. I want to get better every day, every year and every offseason. To use my stuff and ability, and do what I can do with my body and my stuff. And not worry about other guys and how they are progressing differently. Wherever they put me is where I’m willing to go. When I get to spring training, I want to work extremely hard to get where I want to go.
MMN – Can you tell me more about your stuff. As in your pitches you throw?
Cameron – I throw a fastball, changeup, slider and I’m working on a knuckle curve. I talked with the coaches about this idea to add the knuckle curve that is slower from the rest. I have this special type of grip on the ball. It breaks a lot more with the this new grip and I’m really excited about it. I like the movement of my changeup, which can be hard (in velocity), and now the way it runs in on the hitter. In high school I got used to firing my fastball (between 93-94 and reaching as high as 96 senior year) to get guys out. I know for sure I need to work harder at the pro level.
MMN – What is something else you are working to improve?
Cameron – I’m working on using my new mechanics and delivery along with my pitches to be down more, inducing more ground balls, and again to utilize a pitch that is slower to keep hitters off balance. In high school around my area I was more of a thrower than pitcher. Pound fastballs. Now learning to pitch, change speeds and mature as a pitcher. Learn how to get guys out without throwing as hard as I know I can all the time. I want to get stronger, put on weight, lose fat, get bigger and just like I said mature as a pitcher.
MMN – Speaking of pitchers, what do you think of the Mets staff? Did you follow the Mets at all growing up?
Cameron – You know its funny. My junior year in high school I found myself watching the Mets on TV and I started dreaming of being on their team. I became a huge fan of Noah Syndergaard. I loved watching his mechanics, strength and delivery. I also really like Jacob deGrom.
MMN – Thank you for taking the time to speak with me.
Cameron – It’s my pleasure. Thank you.
Follow Cameron on Twitter: @CamRC23