Q&A with Jeff Lyman

RHP Jeff Lyman of Monte Vista High School in Danville, California is ranked as one of the nation's best pitching prospects heading into next June's MLB draft. Armed with a solid repertoire, Lyman has earned a ton of accolades during his high school career including being named to the AFLAC All-American Classic to pitch for the West Team this past August.

Lyman had a combined 15-2 record for Monte Vista HS between his sophomore and junior years, including an 8-1 mark in 2004 with a 1.94 ERA while striking out 86 batters in 65 innings. He has a plus fastball that can hit the radar gun as fast as 93 MPH already and he still has room to improve on his speed with a very projectable body. Despite being just a senior in high school, Lyman has a very polished repertoire for a young man. Besides his dominating fastball, Lyman throws a slider that is clocked at 82 MPH and a 72-74 MPH split/change that serves as a devastating out pitch. At the AFLAC All-Star Classic in Aberdeen, Maryland this summer, Lyman struck out two batters in his one inning of work. Lyman is considered a lock to be drafted in the first round of the 2005 MLB Draft and he sat down with Scout.com for a Q&A session.

What are some activities that you do in your free time when you are not playing baseball?
I really enjoy fishing and watching movies.

Talk a little about yourself as a pitcher and about your repertoire?
I throw a fastball, change-up, a splitter and a slurve. I think the most dominant pitch for any pitcher when it is on is his fastball, so when I locate it correctly, it definitely is my most dominant pitch.

Is there a pitch you are currently working harder on improving?
I am still trying to develop my change-up a little more, and get it to the point that I can throw it for a strike whenever I want.

What will you be looking to accomplish in your senior year of high school?
This year I am looking to just have fun with playing baseball and above all win same games.

Have you committed to a college for 2005?
Yes, I will be attending Arizona State University.

Talk a little about your decision to attend ASU?
They have a bunch of great coaches, and I felt real comfortable there, and felt it would be the best place for me to become a better baseball player.

What is your favorite major league baseball team.
The Boston Redsox.

Is there a pitcher you model your game after?
I try to model my game after Clemens in terms of my mound presence, but my favorite pitcher is Pedro Martinez.

What are your expectations and thoughts on the upcoming 2005 Major League Baseball Draft?
I am really looking forward to it, and I am approaching with the mind-set of whatever happens so be it. If it turns out it is the right situation for me to sign, then great, and if not I get to go to ASU. In the end I just can't lose.

At what age did you begin playing baseball?
I started playing tee-ball around five or six, and then went up to little league, and now in high school. However, I never really began to pitch until my year before high school.

How would you rate the competition in California?
I think it is the best here. The league that I play in has some of the best players in the country, and that just helps you prepare for the future.

How do you handle the pressure of pitching in front of so many coaches and scouts in your various showcases that you appear in?
When you are in the game you don't really notice them and they just become part of the surroundings, however it gets bad when you do start to notice them, and you begin to press, because that is the point in which you just put yourself in a situation to fail.

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