Nick Delmonico: It was a blessing. They have a great organization and I was very happy for them to take a chance on me.
ITO: Where were you when you found out that the Orioles selected you?
Delmonico: I was on my way to my buddies house and my phone started blowing up and I was getting text messages saying that and I got a phone call letting me know that I was picked by the Orioles and it was just something special for me. I was very fortunate enough to be drafted by the Orioles and it was a great feeling.
ITO: Talk about your game a little bit. What type of player are you and how do you see yourself fitting in with the Orioles?
Delmonico: Because of my dad (former coach of the Tennessee Volunteers) I have been in the dugout my whole life. I love to play everyday to the full of my ability. Whether I have an injury or not, I try not to let it affect me. God has made me very fortuante to have this opportunity. I compare myself to Derek Jeter even though he is a very big player to be compared with, I just be humble about everything and just play baseball. I try not to get to over my head because as soon as you do that it comes back to bite you. I try to stay within myself and enjoy it. I love playing when my teammates are in it. When you are at the ballpark everyday you have to be a great teammate or else you are not going to have fun. I just try to enjoy every time I step on a field. I thank God everyday that I am able to play the game that I love
ITO: What are your strengths and your weaknesses?
Delmonico: My strengths are the mental side of it. Like I said, I grew up in the dugout so I have seen players deal with their things. I have two brothers that are still playing. One with Georgia (Joey) and one in the Dodgers organization (Tony) so I would say the mental side. How to prepare yourself for the game and for the season. We have been through a lot of adversity. There are not many situations that I have not been in. I feel like my mental side is the strongest point of my game. In terms of weaknesses, I just know that I have never reached my limit. There is always something I can work on. Something I can learn from another player, or watching a game. Just really understanding that it is a long game, a long process and keep learning. I hope that if I keep that mentality that the day will come when I dont have a weakness and that I will be able to play for a very long time.
ITO: How about your defensive game?
Delmonico: I feel like third is all reaction. My dad has always worked with me on my hands. I feel like i have good hands and good reaction time. At short you can see the ball, field it and move your feet. At third, the ball is right on you. I feel like one of my strengths is my reaction
ITO: Who would you compare your game to at the Major League level so the Orioles' fans have an idea of what your game is like?
Delmonico: Sometimes I have been told that I look like Josh Hamilton in the way I hit. I feel very honored to hear that because he is one of the greatest hitters in the game right now. Overall its more Derek Jeter. I am very humble. I dont do alot of talking. I just go out, play the game and have fun. I feel very fortunate to be able to go out and play.
ITO: Were you expecting to be drafted by the Orioles or were you surprised they selected you?
Delmonico: No, there were a couple of teams that were interested. My dad called me and told me that the Orioles were really interested and were going to take a chance on me. They scouted me a lot this year and I talked to the scouts and they were very high on me. There were about five teams that were going hard after me. They gave me a chance, they know what I can do, and they know how I can play. It made me feel very comfortable that they picked me and I am very excited for the decision they made.
ITO: What would you say is your best moment in baseball and why?
Delmonico: Besides being a batboy in the College World Series with my dad and brothers would probably be my junior year winning the state championship game and we were tied 1-1 going into the bottom of the seventh and I hit a homerun into right field for a walk off to win it and that was probably the greatest moment I ever had. I had chills, it felt like a dream.
ITO: Who was your favorite team growing up?
Delmonico: I didnt have one. I had favorite players that I loved to watch. My favorite team growing up was Tennessee Baseball because my dad was the coach. One of my favorite players to watch was Cal RIpken Jr. I got a chance to meet him last year. He talked to me and hit with me and that was one of the players taht I grew up and loved to watch. I took a little bit after him. The way that all three of my brothers played and the way that Cal played with injuries and just loving to play. Today my brother found out he broke his hammock bone in half and he broke it two months ago in the season and no one knew about it and just grinded it out. My older brother fractured his ankle playing in the College World Series and no one knew about it. That was the way we played. If you are injured, you battle through it and enjoy you are playing the game of baseball, doing something you love and no one can take that away.
Were you surprised by the round you got drafted in?
Delmonico: No not really because I feel like alot of teams were scared to draft me because of my situation at Georgia with my brother there. They thought that signability was very hard and for them to take a chance on me and they didnt think they would be able to sign me and that scared a lot of teams off. I kinda that going in. I wasnt really surprised to see my name fall back that far.
ITO: What are your immediate plans now that you have been drafted by the Orioles? Is it your intention to sign now and start your professional career immediately?
Delmonico: Right now I have to just wait and pray because ever since I was little my dream was to play in the College World Series and play for my dad and the SEC. Unfortunately, that was not at Tennessee but its at Georgia. Me and my brother have been talking about playing together. Being picked by the Orioles made that decision that much tougher. It is a life decision that I have to continue about praying and praying day in and day out and continue working out and hopefully God will open up my eyes and my heart to the path that I should go. I feel like I am ready to get it started but I am just going to have to wait and see. I am fortunate to be picked by the Orioles, it is a great situation, I just have to wait and see. God has a plan.
- Delmonico has signed with Georgia *