RC Interview with 3rd rounder Tyler Sample

In the third round of Thursday's draft, the Royals selected Tyler Sample, a big righthander out of J.K. Mullen High School in Denver, Colorado. The 6-foot-7 pitcher this weekend became the first draftee to sign, and he's scheduled to leave for Arizona on Tuesday. On Saturday afternoon, RC caught up with Sample to discuss his big weekend, his pitches, and his recovery from Tommy John surgery.

Royals Corner: So Tyler, congratulations on your selection. I understand you've already signed with the Royals. What has the whole draft experience been like for you?

Tyler Sample: That's right. It was exciting. My agent told me that I was gonna go a little bit higher than I did. When I got the call, it was really exciting.

RC: Where were you expecting to go in the draft?

TS: My agent was kind of saying pick 45 through 55. That's what he was thinking.

RC: Did you know the Royals were really interested in taking you?

TS: I had actually talked with the Royals' area scout the most, so I figured they probably had the most interest.

RC: Could you give me a little scouting report on your game. What pitches do you throw, and what speeds do you generally work at?

TS: My four-seam fastball is about 90-92, and I top it out at about 95 mph. And then I'm working on a two-seamer, and I think that's about 88-90. I also throw a spike curveball, and that's about 78-82. And I'm working on a changeup that's about 80-83.

RC: What would you say is your best attribute out on the mound? What makes you a successful pitcher?

TS: Just being able to repeat my delivery and throw strikes.

RC: What would you say needs the most work?

TS: Definitely my changeup. I need to be more consistent too.

RC: I understand you had Tommy John surgery and missed your sophomore year in high school. Could you talk a little bit about your recovery from that?

TS: Yeah, I'm doing great now. The rehab and the surgery weren't that bad. I didn't really notice that it was that bad. But just being away from the game for as long as I was was the most difficult part of it.

RC: I've read that you worked extensively with [Red Sox scout and professional instructor] Darryl Milne on your mechanics and pitches. What were some of the specific changes you worked on?

TS: Just being more consistent with it. Like whenever I flew out on my front side, he'd tell me, and I'd just repeat my delivery with him watching.

RC: Are there any big leaguers you look up to or try to model your game after.

TS: Yeah, a local guy would be Roy Halladay. He's a great pitcher. And then Josh Becket and all those guys. Power guys.

RC: So what's next for you? When do you ship out?

TS: I'm leaving Tuesday for Surprise, Arizona.

RC: Great, well like I said, congratulations again, and thanks for talking with me.

TS: Thank you.

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