Top 100 Baseball Blog

Friday, October 26, 2012

An Interview with Pitcher Michael Schlact

Every young baseball player has stars in their eyes when they begin their career, dreaming about the possibilities before them. With talent and hard work, anything is possible, and in time can tell who will ultimately realize their dreams. More often than not players see their careers take unexpected turns, but if they are able to roll with the punches they can still find success in baseball. Michael Schlact is about to enter his 10th professional season, having never pitched in the major leagues, but hasn’t let that stop him from achieving success and satisfaction in his career.

Schlact, a tall right-handed pitcher, was chosen by the Texas Rangers in the 3rd round of the 2004 MLB Draft out of Wheeler High School in Marietta, Georgia. The Rangers pushed Schlact through their system as a starter, moving him up a level each year until he reached Double-A in 2007. Their aggressiveness had mixed results, as he often struggled with consistency. He couldn’t get above Double-A, playing there each season through 2010. His time with the Rangers came to an end because of a shoulder injury suffered that year, but fortunately did not end his career.

Instead of hanging up his glove, Schlact did the rehab and resumed pitching in the independent Atlantic League. He has continued to battle injuries, but has not given up on his baseball journey and continues to play and see where the game will take him. He has appeared in 163 professional games, posting a 40-54 record with a 5.28 ERA. More information on his statistics is available at

Schlact has become one of the most accessible players in baseball, routinely blogging and maintaining an active presence on Twitter. I had an opportunity to interview him last off-season and found him to be a great representative of professional baseball. The end of his baseball journey is still being written, but it is clear the affable pitcher is having a good time along the way. 

Michael Schlact Interview:
Who was your favorite team growing up, and why?: My favorite team growing up was the Atlanta Braves. I was a hometown kid, and I went to Fulton County Stadium and Turner Field every summer with my friends and family.

What was the process like getting drafted by the Rangers in 2004?: It was crazy. I listened to the draft on the Internet with my entire family, and when my name was called we all went crazy. From there it was a whirlwind because I had to negotiate a contract and then head off to play ball.

If you could do anything differently about your career in the minor leagues, what would it be?: I would cherish every single second. Sometimes you get so caught up in making it to the big leagues that you forget to enjoy the ride.

What is your favorite moment from your playing career?: Probably the Atlantic League All-Star game from 2011. It was the first time I'd ever been a part of something like that. 

Who has been your favorite coach or manager?: Last year (2011) I played for a first year manager named Patrick Osborn. He was awesome. He had fire, determination, and knew the game. He made it fun to show up at the yard every day.

You have become known for things like blogging and doing "Live Roadtrip Tweeting." What led you to get involved in that type of social media/interaction?: My wife's brother introduced me to Twitter, and then boredom led me to doing it. When I was rehabbing my shoulder, I figured I could tweet about my experiences and my trials. The rest is history.

How much of a goal is making it the major leagues to you?: I would love it, of course. Honestly, I'm enjoying playing the game so much, and I know that I've worked as hard as I can. I'm exploring every option and leaving no stone unturned, so if it doesn't work out for some reason, I can look in the mirror and know I gave it my all.

Who is the biggest character you have ever played with or against?: With: Christian Lopez. The guy is amazing. Against: Luis Lopez. 

What do you think you will do once you decide to stop playing?: I haven't thought too much about that, but possibly coaching or broadcasting. I'd love to stay around the game. 


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