Draft Q&A: 39th Rd. Pick Joe Yermal

A product of the same local high school as Brandon Erbe, the Orioles felt they had an inside track on 39th rd. pick Joe Yermal. Touted for his arm strength and expected to go in the first fifteen rounds, Yermal has a tough decision ahead about whether to attend college or sign with his hometown team. ITW recently sat down with the right-hander to discuss this and more.

ITW: Where are you committed to play?

Joe Yermal: UNC-Charlotte

ITW: How important is it for you to attend college and play college baseball?

Joe Yermal: It's important, but with the draft just happening and my name getting called, I obviously want to think about professional, too. But, getting an education is important. I just want to make the right decision before I do anything else.

ITW: Has the coach at the college given you an idea of how he wants to use you (ie as a starter/reliever)?

Joe Yermal: Actually, they haven't. They only said that they're excited to have me down, but they have not made any mention of starter or reliever yet.

ITW: Do you have an advisor?

Joe Yermal: Yes. His name is Rick Oliver.

ITW: Who did you grow up rooting for in the major leagues?

Joe Yermal: I've been an Orioles fan all my life.

ITW: Do you model your game after anybody?

Joe Yermal: I actually don't. I love watching old footage from Nolan Ryan, but I don't have a person who I get my game from. Nolan Ryan, he's a guy I like watching a lot, pitching wise.

ITW: Did you know the Orioles were looking at you?

Joe Yermal: I did. I knew that they had interest and we had talked before the draft and they had made mention that they wanted to make a run to select me. And, sure enough, they did.

ITW: What are the different pitches you throw?

Joe Yermal: I throw just a fastball, changeup, and curveball.

ITW: At what velocities do you throw your pitches?

Joe Yermal: I won't give the velocity yet because I haven't been gunned in a while since high school, so I actually couldn't tell you on that one.

ITW: What is your out pitch?

Joe Yermal: The changeup. Growing up, I used to throw the changeup a lot more than the curveball, so I have a lot of command on that, better than the curveball, but we're working on my curveball.

ITW: Has anyone from the organization contacted you yet?

Joe Yermal: Not yet.

ITW: Have you decided on college or professional ball yet?

Joe Yermal: No. I'm actually still waiting to hear from the Orioles and, like I said, I want to think everything through before I make the decision on what I want to do, and the decision will definitely be the right one.

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