Do you have any superstitions or rituals before a game?
I wear the same undershirt and compression socks, but I wash them after each game. I eat the same thing before games, and on the mound I do the same thing. I turn around look to the outfield, tuck my glove under arm, and tug on my jersey two times. Baseball is superstitious. I have my rituals and comfortable ticks.
What do you do to calm yourself before a game or unwind after?
I really focus on breathing or on a focal point. I don’t yell and I’ll try not to get too high or too low. Baseball is a very individual team game. I could make the best pitch or the worst pitch, and somebody could make a good or bad play behind me. I try to do what I can do, but a lot of it is out of my hands.
What has baseball taught you?
Teamwork and leadership. I’ve been a captain for the past two years, and you learn stuff there that you would never learn in other aspects of life. You need to rely on people and it teaches you how to deal with failure, but it’s also one of the most fun things you’ll do.
What has Hillsdale taught you?
The people I’ve met, not the lessons that I’ve learned. Meeting people and making relationships is something you can never get back. Where else do you get to live in a house with your best friends and play baseball?
What is your opinion about baseball not being an olympic sport?
We have the World Baseball Classic which is just as fun. It really doesn’t bother me personally.
Do you prefer the American or National League overall? And who is your favorite team?
The American League is my favorite because of the designated hitter. The Detroit Tigers are American League and they are my favorite.
Who’s winning the next World Series?
As much as it pains me to say, the New York Yankees or the Houston Astros. They both made good trade moves. Houston won last year and didn’t lose anyone. The Yankees can get anyone they want.
You have $500. What extravagant piece of equipment are you buying?
A dope glove. That’s all pitchers really use. I like having a DH. A lot of pitchers don’t like it but I do because we don’t have to bat.
If you could be one MLB player who would you be?
Max Scherzer. He’s my favorite player and a good competitor. He used to play for the Tigers. He won the Cy Young Award and is all around just really good.
Have you ever been injured? What was it and how did you overcome it?
I’ve never had baseball injuries. I dislocated my left shoulder playing football but played the next week. I’ve been very lucky and I’ve always been careful with my arm.
What is your favorite walk up song?
Last year my walk up song was Left Hand Free by alt-J, and this year it’s Feel It Still by Portugal the Man.
If you could tell one thing to yourself when you first started baseball what would it be?
Have confidence. Expect to win and have a drive and be the best you can be. Don’t be passive. There’s a big thing in pitching: never throw something you don’t think you can throw. Trust your stuff and trust your preparation, don’t just throw stuff to throw stuff. Baseball is 90% mental. I wish little Will would know all of the mental aspects of baseball that I know now.