23rd Rd Pick: TigsTown Q&A: Cory Hamilton

Cory Hamilton comes to the Tigers after working mostly as a reliever for UC Irvine. Is Hamilton now ready to get his pro career underway?

TigsTown: First things first, how does it feel to be drafted by the Tigers?

Cory Hamilton: It feels great actually! It was a pretty long day waiting to hear my name called. I was talking to my local scout here, and he told me just to be patient and wait, it was going to happen. Then it happened, and it's a great feeling. It's cool to be a Tiger!

TT: Are you planning on signing, or is there a chance you are going to go a different route?

CH: I'm signing. We just have to work out the contract, but I'm signing.

TT: Has the area scout there given you any indication where you may be assigned or what role you might be filling?

CH: No, we haven't really talked about that. I'm a relief pitcher so that's what I think I will be, but you never know.

TT: Having worked in a relief role there at Irvine, what do you feel your best attributes are coming in those tight spots late in a game?

CH: I enjoy being able to come in and throw one inning and know that I don't have any innings after that. I can just go out there and leave everything out there for that one inning, and I think that's why I've been successful in that role. I started a little bit this year, and that's when I had my worst outings. I don't know why, but I just like relieving.

TT: A lot of times our readers get to hear what the scouts and coaches think of your stuff, but how would you describe the stuff you bring to the mound?

CH: I've heard electric used before. I've got a lower-90s fastball. I throw two-seams only so its got a little sink, and a power curveball. Probably more of a power arm.

TT: You mention the curveball, is that your only off-speed pitch?

CH: I have the curveball. Some scouts call it a curveball, I call it a slider, so I guess it's a slurve; then I also throw a change-up. I hold it like a split-finger, but throw it like a change-up.

TT: Are you more comfortable with one or the other when you get yourself in a jam?

CH: The slider is kind of my out pitch. When I need to I can throw it for a strike, or I can throw it to get a guy out.

TT: What have been some of your highlights in your time at Irvine?

CH: Going to the College World Series as a freshman was great! Going into Texas and beating Texas, and then going into Wichita and beating Wichita, that was a really exciting deal.

TT: Have you had a chance to talk to some of your fellow teammates from past years that may have been drafted to get a feel for what the process is like, or are you just flying by the seat of your pants?

CH: I've talked to some of my buddies that have been drafted, so I kind of know what to expect.

TT: We'll wrap this up. Is there anything you want to get out there about your approach to this summer, or are you just excited to get out there and start playing pro ball?

CH: Exactly. I'm just looking forward to getting out there, getting to work, and showing them what I'm all about.

TigsTown would like to thank Cory for taking time out of his exciting day to speak with us about his draft experience, his time at UC Irvine, and his upcoming pro debut. Good luck this season, Cory, and we look forward to seeing you on the field!

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