Cote Excited To Get Going

It has been a bit of an odd time for third round pick Jordan Cote. He won a championship ring with the Gulf Coast League Yankees despite signing too late to make his professional debut yet and he's still trying to get familiar with the new surroundings. He says he's ready to get his first game under his belt though this week.

"It was a different experience than I thought it was going to be," Cote said of signing with the Yankees. "I obviously signed late but going through the whole experience of being here with the Gulf Coast League team winning their championship was cool, getting an experience of winning a championship before you even get a chance to play.

"The atmosphere down here is so much different, it's easier to play baseball than in high school because in high school you're in school all day and then go play a baseball game whereas here you get here at 7am for 12 or 1 o'clock game."

Liking the whole schedule at the professional level even though it is completely different, Cote is also used to competing, not sitting.

"It's tough only being able to watch all of the time," he admitted. "It's different to go from the very top of the totem pole down to the very bottom, but at the same time it's a good experience being able to watch and learn, and see what it's going to be like."

He says he has gotten a good idea of what the professional level is like despite not yet stepping on to the mound, and he believes the most important pitching tenet has already been engraved into the forefront of his mind.

"Keeping the ball low, throw first pitch strikes, and throw strikes," he said. "We've actually had a lot of meetings lately about throwing strikes, the importance of throwing strikes and how much it really matters, the difference between 2-1 counts and 1-2 counts. You wouldn't think so but we get instruction like that. It's unbelievable."

Since he has yet to get an inning under his belt, it's tough for him to pinpoint any one area that he would like to improve over another this Instructional League season.

"I've been in the workout room everyday and get better little by little," he said. "I'm not trying to do anything crazy and make a bunch of steps at once. I'm doing my routine and going with the flow of things.

"I've set some goals to work on some things everyday, little things to get better; get stronger, throw strikes, and hopefully make a nice jump next year."

If there's one general impression he would like to make at Instructs, however, it would be his ability to take instruction and apply it to his in-game adjustments.

"My command of my fastball and better command of my offspeed pitches," he listed as his overall priority in mini-camp. "If you get first-pitch strikes you're in command of the at-bat and if you give a first-pitch ball then [the batter] is in command of the at-bat, it's all in their hands.

"If you throw a first-pitch strike you can do whatever you want and if you throw a first-pitch ball then they know what's coming. It kind of puts you in control."

While instruction is all well and good, Cote is ready and excited to finally toe the rubber in a Yankee uniform for the first time.

"I can't wait to get going. I threw batting practice [on Sunday]. My changeup was real good, my curveball was all right, and I couldn't get my fastball down. But I threw pretty well. My mechanics felt good.

"I'm pitching Wednesday. I can't wait. It's going to be a good time."

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