2007 MLB Draft Q&A: Evan Danieli

A towering 6-foot-8 right-hander, Evan Danieli is already being looked at as a potential first round pick in the 2007 draft. Out of East Hanover High School in New Jersey, Danieli has all the makings of a top flight prospect with his 93 MPH fastball, plus curveball and projectability. We recent caught up with Evan for a Q&A session.

Scout.com: First of all, it was a summer of showcases for you. How you do you feel your summer went and what were you able to get out of it?

Evan Danieli: My summer was unbelievable. I faced the best competition with a chance to meet great players, and make new friends from all over the country.

Scout.com: Which event do you think you had your best showing at and why?

Evan Danieli: I think my best showing was at the Perfect Game National in Arkansas. I went out and took the mound around 11 PM because of a rain delay and with nothing to loose I just went out and gave it my all. I felt great doing it. I woke some scouts up facing so many radar guns for the first time. It was a rush.

Scout.com: If you had describe your overall game, what are some important things you'd point out and basically what should people know about your style of pitching?

Evan Danieli: The most important thing about my overall game is the ability to compete and challenge the batter by keeping him off balance with either a curveball for a strike 80% of the time, or with my changeup. My style of pitching is to mix it up as much as possible and work the inside as best as I can.

Scout.com: What would you say is your strongest attribute as a pitcher and why?

Evan Danieli: My strongest attribute is that I can shake off a bad experience on the mound and try and turn it around into a positive experience. If I throw a bad pitch that gets hit hard or if I walk someone after a 0-2 count, I try to be very calm and just get after the next guy.

Scout.com: I understand you are making your college decision very soon or have already. Have you thought ahead about the decision you could have to make between going pro and college?

Evan Danieli: My college decision is to go to the University of Notre Dame to get one of the best educations in the country and have a chance to go to Omaha. My dream is to eventually get drafted and have all this hard work pay off and reach MLB.

Scout.com: What do you feel are the most significant improvements you have to make over the next year and how do you plan to correct them?

Evan Danieli: The most significant improvement that I would have to make for the next season would be to get stronger and fine tune my mechanics so I can start throwing low-mid-90's in the first inning and in the seventh inning as well. My conditioning program will help me accomplish this and hopefully taking it to another level.

Scout.com: It seems that you were a player that moved up a lot on many prospects lists this summer. What differences do you think there were in your game that got you the added attention?

Evan Danieli: I have learned to be patient, hard work pays off, everyone's time will come and when it does ,you need to take it because you just might not get another chance.

Scout.com: What do you feel is the most important thing an organization should know about you that they might not see at first glance?

Evan Danieli: I try to prepare for each game the same way, never showing emotion, so my competition can't get the best of me. I have many friends. I love to make them laugh and I'm sometimes known for making too many jokes and pulling off pranks. Baseball is just a game so I try to keep everything in perspective.

Scout.com: What big league player would you best compare yourself to in terms of style and why?

Evan Danieli: I think I could compare myself to Chris Carpenter because his form and my form are very alike and his work ethic and motivation remind me of myself on the mound and in the gym.

Scout.com: Could you please describe your repertoire of pitches, the velocities of each and which is your best pitch, etc.

Evan Danieli: My fastball has been clocked as high as 93 MPH and very consistent at 91-92. My curveball would be my best pitch because I like to add my leverage and height into throwing my curveball at any time and especially 3-0 or 3-2 and throwing it at 75-77 MPH. My changeup has spin, almost like a screwball, with a sinking drop at 79-81 MPH.

Scout.com: If you had to look back at a turning point in your career, what would it be? In other words, when did you realize you could take your game to the next level?

Evan Danieli: After I walked off the mound at the National in Arkansas I finally realized I can compete at the highest level.

Scout.com: How do you feel playing against such strong competition has helped you as a player?

Evan Danieli: If you want to be the best, you need to compete against the best. It's that simple.

Scout.com: Has the pressure of picking a school and getting all the attention from scouts and things like that been difficult for you? What have you done to handle all of that?

Evan Danieli: Picking a school has been very hard because you start relationships with these coaches, thinking there school might be the one, and in the end realizing you have made another choice. I have grown up in so many ways, but that was hard to do. I enjoyed the attention in the beginning of July, but I just find myself always on the phone, so it has been kind of a trouble at times. I always listen to what everyone has to say and I always give everyone a chance, but it's important not to mislead them and always shoot with them straight.

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