'Everyone Is Going To Know My Name' Twins Newest Pitcher Excited to Make His Mark
Image courtesy of PHOTO FROM THE MINNESOTA TWINSThe righty hails from Laredo, Texas and just finished up his senior year at United South High School, albeit with no baseball. “I was really disappointed I didn’t get to have a senior season," said Raya, who officially graduates Monday.
Raya was committed to play college baseball at Texas Tech University, and while de-committing isn’t easy, playing professional baseball has always been the dream. “When I visited [Texas Tech], it really felt like home.”
His mix on the hill includes a fastball that runs up to 94 MPH, two distinct breaking balls, and a changeup. “I’m pretty comfortable with all my pitches,” Raya said, “but I would say my slider is my most effective pitch.”
High school pitchers from Texas are usually long, large and fire-breathing. Raya does not fit the bill. He’s listed at 6-feet tall and 165 pounds, taller but more slender than his favorite pitcher Marcus Stroman of the New York Mets.
“For years, I’ve loved the way he [Stroman] pitches,” Raya said, “I’ve studied his game and the intensity he brings to the mound.” Stroman, an All-Star in 2019, is known for his high energy and raw competitiveness. Raya feels like he possesses that mindset. “That mentality is definitely a big part of it,” he said, “I’m a great competitor and I’m ready for anything that comes my way.”
Raya will work with a newer infrastructure in Minnesota. Derek Falvey has an aptitude for developing pitchers, a quality he displayed regularly in Cleveland. “I’ve heard so many great things [about the Twins],” Raya said, “over the last few years, the Twins have really been evolving into a great team.
Raya says he has an elite ability to add new pitches, make tweaks, and generally improve on the mound. “I can adjust to be any type of pitcher I want to be,” he said, “any pitch I’m taught I can pick up quickly.”
He also has a sense of trust in his stuff and knew that a MLB club was going to recognize his skill set on draft night. “I had a feeling [I was going to get drafted],” he said, “I didn’t know by who, but I knew whoever was getting me, that in three to five years, everyone is going to know my name.”
High character individuals flood the Twins top-seven farm system. Raya is no different. “I love to work so now knowing that it’s my job and I get to do what I love everyday is a blessing,” he said, “I’m just excited to get to work.”
Ted Schwerzler contributed to this article.
MORE FROM TWINS DAILY
— Latest Twins coverage from our writers
— Recent Twins discussion in our forums
— Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
- Monkeypaws, mikelink45, Dman and 6 others like this