Inside Pitch Magazine: I'd like to congratulate you on being drafted. Tell me what went through your mind on draft day. What went through your mind when you saw your name pop up next to the Mets on the draft board?
Michael Antonini: I was excited about being selected among other top players. It's a great opportunity to follow my dream and pursue my career.
Inside Pitch: Is there anything about the Mets particularly when being drafted? Did you really not even think about when you may get drafted or way you may end up?
Antonini: I knew the Mets had me on their radar, so I was excited about that. I went up to Shea and had a workout which I felt really good about. I wasn't too sure about the Mets picking me but I knew they were among the top few teams that were going to pick me. I'm glad they picked me.
Inside Pitch: Do you have any thoughts about what the organization and the farm system are like? Where have they assigned you now that it's over a week since the draft?
Antonini: I got down there on Tuesday and had my first workout with the team. They assigned me to Kingsport where I'll be going on the 16th.
Inside Pitch: What was it like on the first day down in Florida? What was it like being around the other draft picks and the organization representatives who you met in St. Lucie?
Antonini: It was amazing just walking into the locker room, and seeing my name up there with other players from the organization, seeing my jersey in the locker. It was just awesome. Then, I saw Pedro Martinez down here rehabbing. That was a bit overwhelming, but he lightened the mood. He was joking around with us and giving us a few words of advice.
Inside Pitch: Please breakdown your repertoire for our readers. At what speeds do your pitches sit? What pitch works the best for you? What has room for the most development?
Antonini: I throw a four-seam and two-seam fastball, a slider, a changeup and a curveball. My slider is my more dominant breaking pitch. I was talking to the pitching coordinator and he told me they are big on changeups in the organization. That's good because my changeup is probably my most favorite pitch to throw but it could use work. I'd like to throw that more often and really see it develop.
My fastball averages from 88-92 MPH. My slider sits 78-81 MPH and my changeup is usually around 78-80. I'm a pretty true three-quarters pitcher with my delivery.
Inside Pitch: To give our readers a better perspective of what you look like out on the mound, is there a current big leaguer who you may mirror in your mechanics?
Antonini: I would say my mechanics are not too close to any Major Leaguer. One day I'd like my mechanics to get to that level like some of those guys. I have a pretty routine delivery for a left-hander.
Inside Pitch: Growing up, who was your favorite team? Did you have a favorite player?
Antonini: I grew up right outside Philadelphia, so I was a big Phillies fan. My favorite player though was Randy Johnson because of the left-handed connection. Right now, I'd say the guy I enjoy watching the most is Barry Zito.
Inside Pitch: What would you say was your best or most favorite moment in baseball and why?
Antonini: Right now, it was being selected by the Mets and knowing that I have the opportunity to play at the next level and hopefully in the bigs one day.
On the field, I'd say it was when the National Championship at my junior college (Georgia College). I started the final game and that was a huge thrill.
Inside Pitch: Were you selected in last year's draft? If so, what made you decide to go back to school?
Antonini: Yea I was selected in the 41st round by the Philadelphia Phillies. It was a pretty good feeling to get drafted by the hometown team. But, I went back to school because I figured with another year left in school; I still had more maturing to do physically and with my pitches. I had the scholarship money and after being selected in the 41st round, the scholarship kind of outweighed that. I figured I couldn't hurt myself to go back to school, work, try to get selected higher, and begin my career even stronger.
Inside Pitch: How do you feel about playing in New York in the future? How do you feel about playing in such an intense baseball environment and everything comes with it?
Antonini: I've thought about it. I know there is pressure and expectations from fans in any market, but New York I know it's especially higher. I look forward to getting that opportunity to impress the fans, and show my teammates and the organization what I can do. I may feel that pressure my first day up, but I enjoy being that pressure situation so I'm sure I'll adapt to it quickly. I think I've always had good composure it tight situations.
Q&A with Mets' 18th Rd Pick Michael Antonini
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