Scott Kuzminsky (cuzz-Min-ski) is a professional baseball player who formerly played in the Seattle Mariners organization in 2017-2018 and was a member of the 2017 Everett AquaSox team. Scott sat down with us last season and talked to Seattle Sports Union. He was fun to get to know in 2017, so we asked him back to update us on what was going on in his life now as we continue our theme of checking in on former Everett AquaSox.
Seattle Sports Union (SSU): Kuz, thank you for taking the time in talking to us today. How have you been? It looks like you had a ballgame yesterday. How did it go, and can you tell Frog nation where you are currently at?
Scott (SK): I am happy to be back playing with the Wichita Wingnuts who are part of the American Association of Independent Baseball where I previously started my career with. I am doing great! We won last night 3-1.
SSU: It has been about a year since Seattle Sports Union and AquaSox Nation was introduced to “Kuz”. How was your experience playing in Everett, Scott? By the way, congratulation on last night’s victory.
SK: My experience playing in Everett was amazing! I had a blast with a great group of teammates and it was awesome to be back home playing in the Pacific Northwest.
SSU: We had a blast watching you pitch last season Scott. Later in the summer, you got promoted to Tacoma. Would you care about talking about your time with the Rainiers?
SK: Oh absolutely! It was an experience I will never forget and one of the highlights of my entire career! Tacoma is about 20 minutes from my house in Puyallup and when I was a kid growing up, we would go to Rainiers games. I was around 8-10 years old and would always wait around outside the locker room for the players to leave after the ballgame and ask for their autographs. I remember getting some of their autographs and thinking to myself that I wanted to play baseball and be like them someday. So, when I got the call to go to Tacoma it was very special to me to be able to play at the stadium with my friends and family there to watch. When I was playing their last season, Tacoma asked me to sign autographs before the game and I said “absolutely” because I remember being those little kids and how much it meant to me to get a player’s autograph!
SSU: Thank you for sharing that experience that you will never forget. Last year, you struck out a ton of ballplayers every time we saw you pitch. What is the most that you ever have struck out in your ballgame in your career and where were you playing at? Can you also tell Seattle Sports Union a favorite game you might have pitched over your entire career and why?
SK: The most players I have ever struck out in a game was 15. I was a starter my senior year at Hawaii and the game was against the New York Institute of Technology. It was a day where I had everything working and it felt like a video game out there that day. Another memorable experience I had was my senior year at Hawaii. I threw a complete game against Nevada and faced the minimum 27 batters. We won that game 1-0. The other starter also pitched well so the game was over within a couple of hours.
SSU: That is outstanding. So, after you finished your season last summer, what happened next? Did the Mariners talk to you and tell you what their plan was? How did the fall go?
SK: The Mariners would check on me periodically to make sure I was healthy and to see how my throwing was going. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I was a free agent or not for a while. It was my first affiliated contract which was a 7-year contract. I was just excited to go to spring training and being able to have that experience. In the fall I worked at my families Christmas tree farm and after Christmas I shifted my focus back onto baseball and getting ready for spring training.
SSU: I recall you went to play winter ball after the season. Where did you go play and how was your experience? What was the atmosphere like playing in a different country?
SK: I ended up playing winter ball in Venezuela. It was a great opportunity for me to get more experience and I was there for a whole month. The atmosphere was amazing. Every game was like a World Series down there. The fans were always super intense. It was an experience I will never forget.
SSU: How did your first spring training go? Did they share their plans with you?
SK: Spring training my aunt and uncle got to witness me getting those saves. Those saves, with my family in the audience, will be something I will never forget.
SSU: They had you start out in Modesto and Arkansas for 2018. Can you tell us about that?
SK: They only had me in Modesto for 2 outings, but I was able to figure a few things out. Arkansas was a great place to play and I had a great group of teammates whom I will never forget. I struggled with my command for the first time in my career with Arkansas, but I still enjoyed my time there and was blessed to play in some beautiful stadiums.
SSU: If you don’t mind me asking, was it a mutual decision to part ways with the Mariner organization? Maybe I am biased, but I felt they gave up on you too fast.
SK: It obviously wasn’t a mutual decision to part ways with the Seattle Mariners, but I understand why they did what they did. I was walking too many batters and it had been going on for about a month. I am forever grateful to the Seattle Mariners for giving me the opportunities they did. One day I hope the be back in the major leagues with anyone willing to give me the chance.
SSU: How is the season going for you with Wichita? Have you regained your command? Are you working on any new pitches or mechanics? How is your health? Last question, are any teams currently reaching out to you?
SK: I took a month off before I signed with Wichita, so I could clear my head and enjoy a bit of summertime. It is good to be back playing and I feel a lot better mentally out on the mound. My health is doing good and I am just working on getting back to the big leagues and being where I was coming out of spring training in 2018. I have not currently talked to any major league teams, but I know one thing after playing last year, its that you never know what is going to happen and when it does, it happens very fast. I am just looking forward to finishing out the year in Wichita and having fun. We will see what happens after that.
SSU: Thank you Scott for taking the time and talking with Seattle Sports Union today. Kuz, you have a great attitude and it’s great that you are so focused on your current goals. We are truly blessed to get a second interview, so thank you for that. AquaSox Nation will be thrilled to hear what is going on with Scott Kuzminsky.
All the best to you Kuz. We will never stop cheering for you and will always be a fan. Take care and Go Frogs!