Name: Mike King
Hometown: Warwick, Rhode Island
Draft History: Undrafted out of high school
The scouting report: King started out as a fastball-sinker pitcher without a true breaking pitch. Known as a guy who keeps the ball low in the zone, he's developed the breaking pitch more and more over his three years but is still primarily known as a groundball pitcher. On a team built around pitching and defense, it's perhaps seen no greater than with him. In a complete game victory this year against Louisville, King struck out six but induced 12 groundball outs, seven of which went to shortstop Johnny Adams.
King on his development: "I've gotten bigger and stronger (since freshman year), but I've adopted most learning from (pitching coach Jim Foster) and his 10 years in the pros, learning different swings and the holes in the different swings. That's a big thing that I've been learning about, even watching video on my own and comparing my scouting report to his scouting report to spray charts to see if they line up."
King on learning how to scout hitters: "I want to see if my scouting reports are right are not because (Coach Foster) calling all my pitches here, but at the next level, I'm going to be calling my own pitches. A big thing about playing in the pros is that ability to know who can hit what pitches, guys like 10 year veterans. So it's important to recall even what sequence of pitches got what guy out, and having that knowledge in that back pocket."
King on his mechanics: "There's a lot of analysis and comparison to guys like Roy Halladay on my front side or Roger Clemens on my lower half. So knowing the different mechanic work is huge. I know that I'm really rotational, and my toe drag really goes out towards third base, so trying to get more linear and more north-south is going to help me. So learning and working on those adjustments are really going to help get to the next level."
King on being draft eligible: "A lot of it is not having expectations. No matter what, you want to have your name called, no matter what it is. You're always going to say, 'Well I'm better than that guy or this guy,' so the main thing is just getting your name called and because you're getting that opportunity, you have to be happy. So that's what I'm going for, just trying to see my dreams and make a career out of this.
King on shifting to Sunday in the rotation: "Originally, I was a little mad because I felt like I was getting demoted, but once I thought about it and talked about it more with the coaches, plus seeing it work the first week against Virginia where we won Saturday and Sunday, I believed in it. Once I believed in it, it's really helped me out. Since that switch, we won every series except for Notre Dame. Seeing it work is one of the best things because it definitely made everyone believe in it moving forward."
King on his pitches: "There's a lot of two-seam fastballs. I've always considered myself a sinker-slider guy, and I just developed a slider this year that honestly still needs some work. But ever since high school, I was a fastball guy who could attack the bottom of the zone with a sinker to get guys out. I had a coach in high school that that was who we was, so that's who I became. Even my freshman year (at BC), I was just a groundball pitcher and all I did was attack the bottom of the zone with just a fastball. I developed a curveball and a slider, and I feel like my slider is more of my out pitch now, but whatever I throw, I pitch off my two-seam."
King on growing up in Rhode Island: "I always faced decent competition in Rhode Island; we always had a bunch of guys come out of Bishop Hendricken for baseball, but the biggest thing is knowing that 1-9 is the number three hitter that I was facing in Rhode Island. I was talking to Coach Gambino about it where I had like 45 innings my freshman year and I was dead after the season. The year before that, I threw 100 innings in high school and I was totally fine. So he explained that the thing is that you might throw 10 pressure pitches in a full outing in high school, and every pitch here is a pressure pitch."
King on his walkout song: "It was a Christmas gift this year. My sister is a singer. She graduated from URI, and she's really pursuing singing. I always joked around with her that she had to make me a walkout; I told her that I didn't want to walk out to any other song - I wanted her as my walkout. So for my Christmas gift this year, she got one of her friends who is a rapper, wrote the lyrics out, had him rap on it, then sang the chorus over it. It's called 'KING,' I showed all the guys and they all loved it. So it's really cool that I have my family with me on the mound when I'm pitching."
Mike Gambino on Mike King: "Mike has become exactly what we thought he would become when we recruit him, which is a legitimate ACC ace. It has to do with how hard he works. Mike always is a pitcher; Justin Dunn is more of a thrower, but Mike is a pitcher. You put him on the mound, and he's almost surgical at times. Justin can be overpowering, and with Michael, it's always going to be more surgical."