PinstripesPlus.com: What was your immediate reaction to being drafted by the Yankees?
Connor Spencer: The Yankees called and said they were going to take me during the selection ahead of me and I was immediately at a loss for words. As soon as I got off the phone with the Yankees, I called my dad and told him ‘hey my teammates are about to bust down the door, but the Yankees called and I'm about to be a New York Yankee.' So that was a really, really special few moments I got to spend with my dad.
PinstripesPlus.com: How do you see your style of play fitting in with the Yankees?
Spencer: I see myself as a guy who is going to give 110 percent everyday. I think in terms of my power, in the minor leagues, it's going to come around and I'm going to start bashing the ball, especially with a wooden bat. I definitely have more power with a wooden bat strangely enough. I think I'm going to surprise some people with my power and not just solely line drives into the gaps.
PinstripesPlus.com: Is there a particular weakness that stands out in your mind that you can work on as you get into the minor leagues?
Spencer: I think that working on hitting an inside pitch and being able to hit it to the right side is something I need to work on. For some reason with inside pitches I like to top the ball, which ends up being a single, but if I can get some backspin on inside pitches, I could get them to go out of the ballpark.
PinstripesPlus.com: Playing primarily first base for UC Irvine, how do you see your defense translating in the pros and will you stay at first base?
Spencer: I think I will stay at first base. I know the position like the back of my hand and I think I've improved at first. I have played the position for most of my life, although I can play a little outfield, but I take pride in playing first base. I like helping my infielders dig out those hard hit balls.
PinstripesPlus.com: Who is in the Major Leagues now can you compare yourself to for Yankees fans to get a visual on your style of play?
Spencer: Freddy Freeman is a guy I can compare myself to. I have a swing that is a lot like Freeman's, one that goes to the opposite field really well, but can punish you from the right side.
PinstripesPlus.com: Did you have any indication before the Yankees call that they may take you?
Spencer: They called me the round before and said that they were thinking of taking me in the next round, so that was a little heads up, but I was also hearing rumors from my advisor and the whole day was really just staring at a computer screen and guessing.
PinstripesPlus.com: Is there a particular memory in your baseball history that stands out as memorable to you?
Spencer: Well before it was probably something in Little League, but I can tell you now that it has changed to upsetting [No.1 overall tournament seed] Oregon State in their own ballpark in last week's regional. That is absolutely my favorite moment in my playing history.
PinstripesPlus.com: Growing up, did you have a favorite team or favorite player?
Spencer: I'm a southern California kid, so the Angels were my favorite team and Darin Erstad was my favorite player. He was a guy that made me want to play outfield while in Little League and then he was the guy who made me want to play first base when he moved to first.
PinstripesPlus.com: Are your immediate plans to sign with the Yankees and start your pro career?
Spencer: Yes, I am definitely ready to become a professional baseball player.
PinstripesPlus.com: Are you at all nervous about potentially jumping into the Major Leagues someday?
Spencer: There are definitely some nerves that come with the decision, but at the same time, I am the kind of guy who thinks that this game has a lot to do with just relaxing and having fun. You have to be able to accept some failure, but what other game in the world can you fail 70 percent of the time and still be a success story.
PinstripesPlus.com: Have you had a conversation with the Yankees about what their immediate plans are for you?
Spencer: Not yet. I think because my team is still alive in the Super Regionals, I'm sure that once the season ends the final details will come around, but I'm excited for whatever.
Q&A with Yanks 8th Round Pick Connor Spencer
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