Q&A With Jays' 23rd Round Pick Trey Pascazi

We talked to the Blue Jays' 23rd round pick, Trey Pascazi, for a Q&A session. Find out what the shortstop from East Rochester High School in New York has to say about his game, his strengths and weaknesses, who he would compare his game to at the big league level, if he's looking to sign quickly, and more!

FutureJays.com: I'm sure you've heard it quite a bit by now, but again congratulations on being drafted. Take me through how you found out about being selected and how you feel about being drafted by the Blue Jays.

Trey Pascazi: I went to English class and we were taking the final for the whole year. I finished my final, and I turned my paper over so I sat there and waited for class to get over with. I was looking at my phone, watching the draft on the draft tracker and on Twitter. I let it re-load the screen and I saw my name pop up. I was confused; I was like "wait a second, is that really my name?" I got butterflies, I was ecstatic. I couldn't move, I froze up. I told my friends in class, I was like "guys I just got drafted." People started jumping up, giving me high fives. After that I went and saw my grandfather. He was the first person I wanted to see because he's been through everything with me. He's supported me all this time. I'm just so happy the Blue Jays selected me because I went to the pre-draft workout and met a couple scouts there and the general manager and everybody. I felt this really good vibe there, it felt like a place that I belonged.

FutureJays.com: You said some of the scouts had seen you before, but were you expecting the Jays to be the ones drafting you?

Pascazi: I kind of had an idea that they probably would draft me, but there were a couple of other teams that came out strong. Actually the day before I got drafted, the guy from the Oakland Athletics called me and said, "I hope you're not upset if we pick you tomorrow." I guess he's good friends with the guy from Toronto who I met. Toronto ended up picking me, I was surprised.

FutureJays.com: What kind of player are you and how do you see yourself fitting in the organization?

Pascazi: I feel like I'm a really [level-headed] player. If I strike out or make an error, I don't let it get to me; I just keep playing and having fun and keep a smile on my face because baseball — it is a game, and you've gotta have fun to play well. I love to give it all I've got, have fun, talk to other players and just have a good time out there.

FutureJays.com: What area would you say is the biggest strength of your game?

Pascazi: I'd say my biggest strength is my speed. I have really quick hands, and I run my 60 in 6.4, 6.5. That's probably the strongest part of my game.

FutureJays.com: Anything in particular that you'd like to improve on?

Pascazi: One thing in particular is definitely my arm strength. I was clocked at 90, 91, but I still want to improve and get to the best of my ability and throw as hard as I can. The other one would probably be hitting left-handed. I just started hitting switch actually, three weeks ago.

FutureJays.com: That's interesting that it was just three weeks ago. Talk about how that transition's been and how that even came about.

Pascazi: I kick left-footed, I do everything with my left side so I thought "you know, I'm going to try hitting left-handed." It started feeling alright, it felt a little awkward at first but I just continued sticking to it and kept going. Eventually I started thinking "I think I can try switch-hitting actually." So I kept working with some of my instructors on hitting left-handed, and suddenly got better. Over the summer, I started to try hitting [switch in the games] and it worked out pretty well; I got a couple base hits. In varsity I ended up going 5-5 and I had a double left-handed.

FutureJays.com: How about the defensive part of your game?

Pascazi: Defensively, I play shortstop but actually I could play any position except for catcher; I really haven't caught before. I've been working extremely hard on my footwork — footwork is huge. Speed helps me out as a shortstop with range and stuff like that, and playing the outfield having the speed usually helps a lot.

FutureJays.com: Is there anyone in the majors people have compared your game to or anyone who you model yourself after?

Pascazi: All my hitting instructors and my grandfather and people, they all tell me I have a swing just like Robinson Cano.

FutureJays.com: Do you have a favorite team or player?

Pascazi: My family's favorite team is the Yankees so sometimes I say the Red Sox, just to go against them [laughs]. I honestly don't have a favorite team, I just love the game in general. It doesn't really matter what team you like. Favorite player, I'd definitely have to say Jeter. He's old now, and he's worked so hard and he's still phenomenal.

FutureJays.com: Now that you've been drafted, what are you plans for the immediate future? Do you plan on signing and getting your pro career started?

Pascazi: Yeah, I'm going down Tuesday actually and I'm going to sign and start my career off on a good note — work as hard as I can, don't let anything get to me. I want to have fun, I want to take in as much as I can. I want to be like a sponge because going down there, having this opportunity to play professional baseball now, I can get all this new knowledge and learn as much about the game as I possibly can.


Future Jays Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nFutureJays.com: I'm sure you've heard it quite a bit by now, but again congratulations on being drafted. Take me through how you found out about being selected and how you feel about being drafted by the Blue Jays.
\r\n
\r\nTrey Pascazi: I went to English class and we were taking the final for the whole year. I finished my final, and I turned my paper over so I sat there and waited for class to get over with. I was looking at my phone, watching the draft on the draft tracker and on Twitter. I let it re-load the screen and I saw my name pop up. I was confused; I was like \"wait a second, is that really my name?\" I got butterflies, I was ecstatic. I couldn't move, I froze up. I told my friends in class, I was like \"guys I just got drafted.\" People started jumping up, giving me high fives. After that I went and saw my grandfather. He was the first person I wanted to see because he's been through everything with me. He's supported me all this time. I'm just so happy the Blue Jays selected me because I went to the pre-draft workout and met a couple scouts there and the general manager and everybody. I felt this really good vibe there, it felt like a place that I belonged.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: You said some of the scouts had seen you before, but were you expecting the Jays to be the ones drafting you?
\r\n
\r\nPascazi: I kind of had an idea that they probably would draft me, but there were a couple of other teams that came out strong. Actually the day before I got drafted, the guy from the Oakland Athletics called me and said, \"I hope you're not upset if we pick you tomorrow.\" I guess he's good friends with the guy from Toronto who I met. Toronto ended up picking me, I was surprised.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: What kind of player are you and how do you see yourself fitting in the organization?
\r\n
\r\nPascazi: I feel like I'm a really [level-headed] player. If I strike out or make an error, I don't let it get to me; I just keep playing and having fun and keep a smile on my face because baseball — it is a game, and you've gotta have fun to play well. I love to give it all I've got, have fun, talk to other players and just have a good time out there.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: What area would you say is the biggest strength of your game?
\r\n
\r\nPascazi: I'd say my biggest strength is my speed. I have really quick hands, and I run my 60 in 6.4, 6.5. That's probably the strongest part of my game.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: Anything in particular that you'd like to improve on?
\r\n
\r\nPascazi: One thing in particular is definitely my arm strength. I was clocked at 90, 91, but I still want to improve and get to the best of my ability and throw as hard as I can. The other one would probably be hitting left-handed. I just started hitting switch actually, three weeks ago.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: That's interesting that it was just three weeks ago. Talk about how that transition's been and how that even came about.
\r\n
\r\nPascazi: I kick left-footed, I do everything with my left side so I thought \"you know, I'm going to try hitting left-handed.\" It started feeling alright, it felt a little awkward at first but I just continued sticking to it and kept going. Eventually I started thinking \"I think I can try switch-hitting actually.\" So I kept working with some of my instructors on hitting left-handed, and suddenly got better. Over the summer, I started to try hitting [switch in the games] and it worked out pretty well; I got a couple base hits. In varsity I ended up going 5-5 and I had a double left-handed.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: How about the defensive part of your game?
\r\n
\r\nPascazi: Defensively, I play shortstop but actually I could play any position except for catcher; I really haven't caught before. I've been working extremely hard on my footwork — footwork is huge. Speed helps me out as a shortstop with range and stuff like that, and playing the outfield having the speed usually helps a lot.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: Is there anyone in the majors people have compared your game to or anyone who you model yourself after?
\r\n
\r\nPascazi: All my hitting instructors and my grandfather and people, they all tell me I have a swing just like Robinson Cano.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: Do you have a favorite team or player?
\r\n
\r\nPascazi: My family's favorite team is the Yankees so sometimes I say the Red Sox, just to go against them [laughs]. I honestly don't have a favorite team, I just love the game in general. It doesn't really matter what team you like. Favorite player, I'd definitely have to say Jeter. He's old now, and he's worked so hard and he's still phenomenal.
\r\n
\r\nFutureJays.com: Now that you've been drafted, what are you plans for the immediate future? Do you plan on signing and getting your pro career started?
\r\n
\r\nPascazi: Yeah, I'm going down Tuesday actually and I'm going to sign and start my career off on a good note — work as hard as I can, don't let anything get to me. I want to have fun, I want to take in as much as I can. I want to be like a sponge because going down there, having this opportunity to play professional baseball now, I can get all this new knowledge and learn as much about the game as I possibly can.
\r\n
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