Phoenix, Arizona —— On Monday afternoon at Maryvale Baseball Park, our on-air host Sande Charles sat down with Milwaukee Brewers right-handed pitching prospect Austin Rubick for a very candid, in-depth interview about his transition to pro baseball, where he came from in the college ranks, and how he’s been developing so rapidly in the rookie-level Arizona League over the last two months. You can watch that video interview below.
This is far from the first time we’ve seen Austin Rubick, of course; just a few days ago, I profiled the major changes he’s made in his repertoire since joining the Milwaukee Brewers. Back in the spring, I published a full scouting report on him as a junior college pitcher at Ventura College in southern California. And during that same time period, we released a full feature interview with Austin discussing his bounce-back from a failed season at the University of Arizona. Read up on all that if you’re interested in this new Milwaukee Brewers prospect, but without further ado, here’s his sit-down interview with Sande where he opens up about his amateur and professional career:
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Considering the cicadas in the background and some player cleats walking through the complex behind us made it difficult to hear everything in the first section of the interview, below is a transcript of the first five minutes of the interview:
Sande Charles: Austin, AZL, how has that transition been to pro ball?
Austin Rubick: It’s felt really normal. It’s been everything I’d hoped for and more. I told Bobby last year how I wanted to be here yesterday, and it’s turned out more than anything I could have hoped for.
Sande Charles: You have such an interesting story, and we’ll get to that, but let’s talk first about draft day, when the Brewers drafted you. What was that like?
Austin Rubick: It was cool because the Brewers’ area scout where I’m from, he was my Area Code [Games] coach, so he gave me a call, and said ‘I’ve been wanting to say this for a long time, but it’s cool that I finally get to have you as part of my organization.’ It was really cool because Dan, his name is Dan Huston, he’s one of the nicest coaches I’ve ever had, and it was really cool to have him call me, and now to be with him as part of this family.
Sande Charles: What’s it been like so far to be a Brewer?
Austin Rubick: It’s been amazing. There are no complaints. If anything, I’m a little shocked at how much I like it. As much as you can say, ‘well, it’s been my dream since I was a kid to play pro ball,’ you still have to take into account every single aspect of every organization, and I fit perfectly in the mold here with the Brewers. I love it here.
Sande Charles: Let’s talk a little bit about AZL. A lot of our fans, AZL is new to them, and it’s definitely new to you. What’s it like playing in the AZL?
Austin Rubick: If I were to give you a description, it would be, you put on your jersey in the locker room, and then you come back after the game six pounds heavier in sweat. But I love it out here. It’s really nice. It’s loose. Everybody is working on something different. It’s kind of like a trial to see who you are. The conditions, it’s hot, but I love being out here every single day. The AZL is kind of a testament to its own strengths, as it shows you what your talents are before you go on into full-season leagues.
Sande Charles: Speaking of what everybody is working on, your repertoire has gotten progressively better just since being in pro ball. What do you attribute that to?
Austin Rubick: I think it’s me not having to struggle in the classroom any more. But mostly, towards the end of my junior college season at Ventura, I decided to just start throwing. And once this kind of became a job for me, I got to realize what I’m good at. And once that happened, it kind of just clicked that this is me, and it became a representation of who I am as a baseball player. Instead of going out and trying to do something hard, this is just me doing what I’ve been doing for my whole life.
Sande Charles: So let’s talk about where you came from, and how this all kind of came full circle. You were drafted first by the Cleveland Indians, but you chose to go to be a Wildcat, struggled there a little bit, and made your rebound at Ventura College. So tell me, how did that make you into the player you are today?
Austin Rubick: So, drafted in 2015 by the Indians, Carlos Muniz is the scout who drafted me. I was really close to him, I really liked him. But I was 17, and I didn’t really communicate that well with the scouting community, and to be honest, I wasn’t mature enough. Even now, I see 17-year-olds in here, and I’m like, ‘OK, I get it, they’re doing a lot better than I would have done.’ And as soon as [Arizona Wildcats] coach Jay Johnson came to my house the day before the draft and said ‘hey, I want you to be a Wildcat, I want you to come play with us,’ I had my heart set on pro ball. I wanted to go play. I wanted this [pro ball]. But now looking back, when I see all these high schoolers in here, and even all the college guys in here, we’re talking about our college days, and all the fun we’ve had, and all the friends we made. It’s a testament that I made the right decision because I’m at where I’m at now, and I’m excelling at what I’m doing.
For more, please watch the rest of the video interview above.