I figured running through the Nats signed draft picks would be pretty fun because I like wading through information and compiling lists. What I did not know was that one of the undrafted free agents, likely overlooked by many reading the Nats' press release, would end up happily answering a bunch of my questions for the blog. Mike Gallo pitched for the last two seasons at Milligan College, a very small Christian school in Johnson City, Tennessee. One of my older sisters went to Milligan, so I took a big interest in Mike's story. Here's what he had to say!
1) What pitches do you throw? (feel free to include speeds, describe the movement, etc.)
I throw a 2-seam fastball, cut fastball, 4-seam fastball, curveball, and change up. My fastball is consistently in the low 90's and runs up to 94 mph.
2) What baseball achievement or accolade are you most proud of at this point in your career?
The biggest achievement of my career has been signing with the Washington Nationals.
3) What are your favorite professional sports teams or athletes?
My favorite sports teams are The Boston Red Sox, Boston Bruins, and Boston Celtics. When the Nationals play the Red Sox I will pull for the Nationals now!
4) Do you have any routines before starts (such as eating the same food before every game or painting your nails like Dmitri Young)?
Before games I like to listen to the song "Fire it Up" by Thousand Foot Crutch.
5) If you could face any one batter in their prime (past or present), who would it be?
I have always admired Ted Williams. I would have loved to face him.
6) Fill in the blank: Without _______, I would not be a baseball player.
My family, my former coaches and my work ethic.
7) If you weren’t a professional athlete, what would you likely be doing right now?
If I was not a professional athlete, I would be detailing boats and starting my own business in the boating industry.
8) What was the first thing you did after you signed with the Nats?
After signing with the Nats I called my family immediately to share the news.
9) I know you haven’t spent too much time in the Nats system yet, but have you made any good buddies yet?
My friend Nick Serino was drafted by the Nats this year and we will be starting our pro careers together. I have played with and against Nick my whole life. (My note-Nick, a LHP, was drafted in the 37th round out of UMass this year and signed along with the 21 other draftees and 4 other undrafted free agents announced yesterday).
10) Which Nationals coaches (at any level) have you talked to so far?
All of the coaches at the rookie ball level.
11) The Nats are obviously following the 1990s Braves methodology by building their system up through pitching. Do you think this is a good thing for you (because of increased organizational attention) or a bad thing (more competition)?
I always enjoy competition. I pride myself on my work ethic and I think it's a good thing that we have so many pitchers.
12) There is another Mike Gallo that bounced around the Majors for a few years with the Astros. Any relation?
No relation to the other Mike Gallo.
13) Milligan is not a powerhouse for developing pro athletes. Did you expect when you came in that you would progress to the point where you'd sign with a Major League organization?
Being at Milligan made me work even harder to become a professional, but I am happy to be representing them as my alma mater.
One last note: I'm sure that if anyone has questions for Mike, he would be more than happy to answer them. Just leave them in the comments and I'll pass them along to him!