Q&A with Mets' 3rd Rd Pick Eric Niesen

Drafted in the third round of the 2007 MLB Draft out of Wake Forest, LHP Eric Niesen sits down for a Q&A session. Find out about his stuff, if he plans on signing quickly and beginning his professional career, what he believes he needs to work on the most, who he would compare himself to at the big league level, and more.

InsidePitchMagazine.com: Congratulations on being drafted. So tell me, what does it feel like to be drafted? What are you thinking after being drafted by a team like the Mets?

Eric Niesen: It feels really unique. It's exciting and it's something I've always dreamed of happening. Now that I'm here, and it's happened, I'm ready to move on with the next phase of my life. It's great to be a Met. It's just a great feeling seeing my name pop up on the draft board, especially for a team like the Mets. If I'm going to be drafted by any team, it might as well be one that was one game away from the World Series, too. It's a real good organization, so that's exciting as well.

Inside Pitch: Talk about your game a little bit. What time of player are you? How do you see yourself fitting in?

Niesen: Right now, being left handed and throwing hard, I'm more of a bullpen guy. I'm not sure how they would use me right now. They haven't told me much about that. But it all comes down to playing and how I perform when I go out there and show them what I can do. So I'll find out then. Playing as much as possible is always a plus, no matter where it is.

Inside Pitch: Were you surprised by the selection? Did you talk to the Mets before the draft?

Niesen: Yea we had been in contact quite often. I did not know exactly when they may have picked me. I'm certainly glad that I went as early as I did. Being drafted is great, but being drafted this high just makes it that much better.

Inside Pitch: Did you have any expectations of where you may go? Were you projecting any range of rounds, or did you just prepare for any pick, any time?

Niesen: Personally, I expected to be there because it's just the way I operate. You never know what could happen in the draft, so I tried not to put too many expectations into it. I didn't want to bet let down, so I just went with the flow.

Inside Pitch: Do you have any knowledge of the Mets' farm system? Did the team give you any idea of where they may place you after the dust of the draft clears?

Niesen: I'm kind of familiar where the teams are. I'm not really familiar how the teams or the system operates. But luckily, I'll find out soon enough.

Inside Pitch: Tell our readers our your repertoire. What are your best pitches? What's developing?

Niesen: I throw a fastball, slider, changeup. I usually sit with my fastball at 93, 94, maybe get it up to 95. My slider usually sits around 78-81, but has gotten up to 83. My changeup would be in the same area. The thing I need to work on is being consistent with my breaking pitches. Some days it's there, some days it's not. To make it to the Major League level, all my pitches have to be there at all times. It's definitely the biggest thing I'll be working on.

Inside Pitch: What was your favorite team growing up? Who was your favorite player?

Niesen: My favorite player growing up was Cecil Fielder. As a kid growing up, I lived ten minutes from Tiger Stadium. I used go out there and see big Cecil hit home runs. The Tigers was the first team I really associated with.

Inside Pitch: To help our readers visualize you a little more – is there anyone at the Major League level you see a bit of yourself in?

Niesen: The guy on the Mets is Billy Wagner. He's a power lefthander and a guy I've always wanted to pitch like. I've been watching him for a long time, and I may not throw as hard, but I'd like to be a pitcher like him.
Inside Pitch: What has been your best moment in baseball so far?

Niesen: I would say being drafted, honestly. But as for an in-game moment, I had a pretty good exciting season this year. I won conference Pitcher of the Week during the season, for my performance against North Carolina. They were the 14th ranked team in the country.

Inside Pitch: The Atlantic Coast Conference, historically, has been a league full of great baseball and competition. Do you think that has prepared you for a the coming season in the farm system?

Niesen: Definitely. Many people say the talent in the ACC is comparable to A-ball. I believe that even with the metal bats. It's a tough league and it's helped me grow over the last three years. I always wanted to face the top talent, that's what I got and it's really helped me out.

Inside Pitch: Do you think it will help you have an easier transition into professional ball?

Niesen: I think so. I don't really know what to expect given that it's a new experience. I'm fairly confident, that I keep doing what I've always done.

Inside Pitch: Were you drafted before?

Niesen: No, I wasn't eligible last year. But even if I was, and I was drafted, I probably wouldn't have left. I was scouted out of high school but told the scout then I wanted to go to college, play ball in and enjoy college.

Inside Pitch: Are you looking to sign quickly and get the career started right away?

Niesen: Yea, I want to play. I don't know exactly what goes on with all of this. It's obviously new to me, but I just want to get out there.

Inside Pitch: What do you think about playing in the environment and scene that is New York?

Niesen: I think it's exciting. It'll be fun. The quicker I can get there, the faster I can show what I can do on that scene. I can't wait to get working and make that happen.

Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nInsidePitchMagazine.com: Congratulations on being drafted. So tell me, what does it feel like to be drafted? What are you thinking after being drafted by a team like the Mets?
\r\n
\r\nEric Niesen: It feels really unique. It's exciting and it's something I've always dreamed of happening. Now that I'm here, and it's happened, I'm ready to move on with the next phase of my life. It's great to be a Met. It's just a great feeling seeing my name pop up on the draft board, especially for a team like the Mets. If I'm going to be drafted by any team, it might as well be one that was one game away from the World Series, too. It's a real good organization, so that's exciting as well.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: Talk about your game a little bit. What time of player are you? How do you see yourself fitting in?
\r\n
\r\nNiesen: Right now, being left handed and throwing hard, I'm more of a bullpen guy. I'm not sure how they would use me right now. They haven't told me much about that. But it all comes down to playing and how I perform when I go out there and show them what I can do. So I'll find out then. Playing as much as possible is always a plus, no matter where it is.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: Were you surprised by the selection? Did you talk to the Mets before the draft?
\r\n
\r\nNiesen: Yea we had been in contact quite often. I did not know exactly when they may have picked me. I'm certainly glad that I went as early as I did. Being drafted is great, but being drafted this high just makes it that much better.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: Did you have any expectations of where you may go? Were you projecting any range of rounds, or did you just prepare for any pick, any time?
\r\n
\r\nNiesen: Personally, I expected to be there because it's just the way I operate. You never know what could happen in the draft, so I tried not to put too many expectations into it. I didn't want to bet let down, so I just went with the flow.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: Do you have any knowledge of the Mets' farm system? Did the team give you any idea of where they may place you after the dust of the draft clears?
\r\n
\r\nNiesen: I'm kind of familiar where the teams are. I'm not really familiar how the teams or the system operates. But luckily, I'll find out soon enough.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: Tell our readers our your repertoire. What are your best pitches? What's developing?
\r\n
\r\nNiesen: I throw a fastball, slider, changeup. I usually sit with my fastball at 93, 94, maybe get it up to 95. My slider usually sits around 78-81, but has gotten up to 83. My changeup would be in the same area. The thing I need to work on is being consistent with my breaking pitches. Some days it's there, some days it's not. To make it to the Major League level, all my pitches have to be there at all times. It's definitely the biggest thing I'll be working on.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: What was your favorite team growing up? Who was your favorite player?
\r\n
\r\nNiesen: My favorite player growing up was Cecil Fielder. As a kid growing up, I lived ten minutes from Tiger Stadium. I used go out there and see big Cecil hit home runs. The Tigers was the first team I really associated with.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: To help our readers visualize you a little more – is there anyone at the Major League level you see a bit of yourself in?
\r\n
\r\nNiesen: The guy on the Mets is Billy Wagner. He's a power lefthander and a guy I've always wanted to pitch like. I've been watching him for a long time, and I may not throw as hard, but I'd like to be a pitcher like him.
\r\nInside Pitch: What has been your best moment in baseball so far?
\r\n
\r\nNiesen: I would say being drafted, honestly. But as for an in-game moment, I had a pretty good exciting season this year. I won conference Pitcher of the Week during the season, for my performance against North Carolina. They were the 14th ranked team in the country.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: The Atlantic Coast Conference, historically, has been a league full of great baseball and competition. Do you think that has prepared you for a the coming season in the farm system?
\r\n
\r\nNiesen: Definitely. Many people say the talent in the ACC is comparable to A-ball. I believe that even with the metal bats. It's a tough league and it's helped me grow over the last three years. I always wanted to face the top talent, that's what I got and it's really helped me out.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: Do you think it will help you have an easier transition into professional ball?
\r\n
\r\nNiesen: I think so. I don't really know what to expect given that it's a new experience. I'm fairly confident, that I keep doing what I've always done.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: Were you drafted before?
\r\n
\r\nNiesen: No, I wasn't eligible last year. But even if I was, and I was drafted, I probably wouldn't have left. I was scouted out of high school but told the scout then I wanted to go to college, play ball in and enjoy college.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: Are you looking to sign quickly and get the career started right away?
\r\n
\r\nNiesen: Yea, I want to play. I don't know exactly what goes on with all of this. It's obviously new to me, but I just want to get out there.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: What do you think about playing in the environment and scene that is New York?
\r\n
\r\nNiesen: I think it's exciting. It'll be fun. The quicker I can get there, the faster I can show what I can do on that scene. I can't wait to get working and make that happen.
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