Interview: Vanderbilt's Mike Minor

Mike Minor saw his first college action this past weekend in Houston, Texas. VandyMania spoke with the freshman lefthanded pitcher on Tuesday before practice. Minor pitched two innings of relief work against Baylor on Sunday, allowing one walk, no runs and no hits.

Don Yates: What was it like getting your first couple of innings pitching at the college level?
Mike Minor: It was pretty exciting. They had me warming up Saturday in case they got in trouble and they ended up calling in other pitchers. Then on Sunday he told me I was going to be the first one out on the field. Then when I had my chance I was pretty nervous and everything and I got out there and walked the first batter. I had to just take a couple deep breaths and get into it again. I had to act like it was just another scrimmage at our field against our hitters. I knew our hitters were just as good as they were so I had to just get control and pitch my game.

DY: So what were your stats?
MM: I think I had like 2 strikeouts and the first walk and no hits.

DY: Outstanding. So what did the coach tell you after the game?
MM: Nothing really. He just said "good job," that's about it.

DY: So eventually do you think you'll move into a starting role?
MM: I don't know, we have a bunch of guys on the team pitching really well right now. Some of our relief pitchers have been starters in the past and nobody's doing bad. I'm not looking forward to it too soon now because I'm a freshman and we have other guys that are doing just as good as I and they are older and have more experience.

DY: Did Tennessee recruit you?
MM: They recruited me but I went over there and their facilities weren't too good and I wasn't really comfortable with the coach. Not at all.

DY: Are you happy in your first year at Vanderbilt?
MM: So far it's been okay. School is pretty tough. We practice so long everyday and then I have to do studying. I've got to do a lot more studying. Kids come here for academics. It's pretty tough right now.

DY: What is it you like about Coach Corbin?
MM: Coach Corbin, he cares about his players. He tries to see what we are going through instead of just being a coach. He tries to steer us as a person in the right way.

DY: You were also drafted by Tampa Bay. What was that like choosing college ball over pro ball?
MM: It was hard but I had my certain amount of money that they had to give me to go there. It had to be like life changing money as they say. They give you the signing bonus and then they give you the education for if you want to go back. You don't get the same experience that you get with college baseball. It went back and forth in my head. I had my parents saying "do whatever you think is right" and kind of steering me and telling me the pros and cons of both like saying, "if you go to Vanderbilt and you don't start, what if you don't play, you are going to drop a little bit." They had a lot of pros and cons. They didn't give me what I wanted so it was an easy choice.

DY: What are your goals now for the rest of the season?
MM: Just do better and help the team out. I'm not looking for individual stats or anything like that. I'm just trying to help the team. Right now just come in for relief, maybe on Sunday or whenever they need me.

DY: What was the mood of the team coming back from Houston?
MM: The same as always. We are feeling a little better now that we know where we are standing. We are sitting up their right at the top of everybody, which we already knew from practice. We practice harder than any other team and we have the best players of any team. We just proved it over the weekend. We are feeling pretty good but we are not over confident.

DY: You beat the #1 team, now what's the goal?
MM: Just because they were #1 in Baseball America or whatever doesn't mean they were actually #1. You never know, it's just rankings and stats and things like that.


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