Aug. 18, 2009
TEMPE, Ariz. - Lefthanded pitcher Josh Spence will return to Arizona State baseball for his senior season in 2010.
The Australian, who was 10-1 with a 2.37 ERA, was a third round pick of the Los Angeles Angels in the 2009 MLB Draft. Spence earned All-American honors and was a First Team All-Pac-10 selection for the three-time defending Pac-10 Champion Sun Devils.
Spence will held a press conference at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark this morning.
I'm a Sun Devil! I'd like to thank my teammates for being here today.
When did you make this decision?
"It was always the thought process when I was drafted that coming back to school wouldn't be the worst thing in the world for me. The more I thought about it, the better fit for me was to be a Sun Devil and I'm very happy with the decision. I'm looking forward to the next 12 months."
Was there a time when you thought about signing?
"There was a time because that's the reason I'm here (at ASU). Professional baseball is my goal and something I'm working hard for, but I'm also working hard to get my degree and to be able to come back and be a Sun Devil and to wear that uniform means a lot. At the end of the day, it wasn't a tough decision (to return to school)."
Did the Angles make a last ditch effort to sign you?
"No. I told them where I stood and they respected that. They are a good organization, don't get me wrong. I'm very honored to have been drafted in the third round, but coming back was what I needed to do."
Were you hungry to come back, get back to Omaha and build on what you did last year?
"To have that experience, going to Omaha and hosting the Regionals and Super Regionals, it was very cool and something I really want to do again. It definitely made an impact on the decision I made. That's the plan, to be a part of the team, do my job and have some fun doing it."
What have you done this summer?
"I didn't pick up a baseball until about five days ago. I've just been resting my arm. I've been working with the ASU training staff on a lifting and running program to get into shape. I've been on that for at least a month and a half now. I'm going to hit the ground running when fall comes around."
Do you feel like you have something to prove?
"I'm very happy with where I'm at. I feel like I've proven myself over the past three years. I've had some success and hopefully I can build off that during my senior year. We've got a great ballclub, they're a lot of fun to work with."
Are you on track to graduate?
"Yes, I am 27 hours away. I've been doing 18 hours every semester, and I've been handling that pretty well, so I am on track to graduate."
If you have another year like you had, do you think the draft will take care of itself?
"There's always a risk coming back, especially as a senior, but it's not something I worry about. It's not in the back of my mind. I'm just very happy to be able to put on the Devils uniform everyday. My dream has always been to be a Sun Devil first and everything else will take care of itself. If you're going into the season playing to be drafted, you're playing for the wrong reason. I have a passion for the game, I enjoy wearing the Maroon and Gold and I'm looking forward to doing that for the next year."
What do you think of the 2010 team?
"Going into last year, we didn't know the limit we could push our ballclub to. To have all that freshman talent and to do what we did, to think of what we could do this year, the opportunities are endless. I don't want to go out and say anything ridiculous too early, but I'm very excited to meet (the newcomers) and go through the fall. Being a Sun Devil baseball player in the fall is a cool thing, we do some cool stuff. It should be a good experience and I am looking forward to seeing what the ballclub can do."
Have you talked to Mike Leake at all since he signed?
"I talked to him yesterday. We built a pretty close friendship throughout the year. We roomed together and at the ballpark everyday we were kind of the one-two punch and we had fun doing it. We kind of learned from each other and we have built this great friendship. We have great respect for our friendship and are very competitive against each other. We talked about (me coming back) a little bit and he backed it. He's with me all the way and I'm with him all the way. He's a good guy to have in my corner."