Sean Carley: Well I'm not going to lie – it's a pretty surreal feeling. Obviously the program, the organization, the story of the Yankees for them to make their decision to pick me up, I'm blessed and honored, really. It's been kind of a long day today, talking with teams, speaking with my advisor back-and-forth. I can't express how thankful and how excited I am for this opportunity to play with an organization such as them, and I'm obviously looking forward to the opportunities that lay ahead.
Pinstripesplus.com: You've already been selected once before, is there anything different this time around?
Carley: Yeah, I mean last year I didn't think there was any chance I was going to get picked up. I was about a year out of Tommy John surgery – I hadn't played that year in a game because I transferred from Division I school to West Virginia out of the Air Force Academy. When I transferred there I had to sit out for a year. One of the scouts for the Padres saw me, he didn't even see me throw off a mound, he saw me long-tossing and I guess he picked me up off of that. So, last year they called me and we tried to see if we could come to a similar dollar figure but it was tough for me because I wanted to play in the Big 12, and obviously that's why I [went] to school there. It was going to take a lot for me to leave and we just couldn't reach that agreement so I didn't end up signing. Obviously they expressed their continued interest in me the next year and they were one of the main teams that I was in contact with today. Obviously it's pretty exciting for me to have that opportunity to play, and come out today and not knowing where you're going to go – you can literally go to California, you can go to New York, you can go to the Marlins in Florida – you just don't know, so obviously I'm pretty excited to finally know and I can enjoy the rest of my vacation that I have left until I got to report.
Pinstripesplus.com: Were you surprised it was the Yankees that selected you? Had you and the Yankees talked much before the draft?
Carley: The Yankees and I have been in contact pretty much the whole year. I knew they liked me as a player, and I talked to a couple of scouts in the organization and we had a pretty good relationship. Did I know they were going to pick me up? No, actually they called me earlier in the day, even yesterday, trying to work out a dollar figure and it didn't seem like we were going to be able to make a deal and it came down to the point where I was talking to a bunch of other teams and they called me – it's kind of funny – I was getting a haircut while they called me which is funny knowing their organization and their rules for being clean shaven and clean-cut. I rock a Kenny Powers mullet and goatee so kind of ironic, for sure. But, they called me and we were able to reach somewhat of an agreement and I have nothing hard, firm number-wise yet but obviously it's going to work out and now I'm looking forward to working with them and coming to a number that is best for both of us and obviously I'm excited to join the Yankee family.
Pinstripesplus.com: Do you have any idea what the Yankees' organization or farm system is like?
Carley: I know where they are, I don't really know anything about how they train or even who their coaches are or anything. They were pretty open with me and I'm probably going to Staten Island here probably within the next week so I'm sure everything's going to be laid out for me there. For right now, I'm trying to enjoy this time with my family and this celebration, and looking forward to the future.
Pinstripesplus.com: What type of pitches do you throw and at what speeds? Give us a scouting report please - what are your strengths and what do you need to work on the most?
Carley: I'm a power righty. My fastball usually sits around 90-95 miles per hour. I throw a four-seam fastball and two-seam fastball. I throw a slider, and a curveball, which is more of a 12-6, and a changeup. I've been flirting with those breaking pitches all year really. The slider's definitely firmer – the curveball gives me a pretty good change of speed, along with the changeup. I was a starter for the first half of the year at West Virginia, and I was 5-0 and we were having some pretty bad bullpen troubles, so we actually decided to move to the back of the bullpen and be the closer and I ended up recording four saves at the end of the year and I had some success at that end so I think that adds some versatility for me. I assume the Yankees want to continue me as a starter and have me work in that role and let me develop my pitches and if something flashes "bullpen" or "closer" then we'll make those adjustments then but obviously I'm excited for this opportunity and looking forward to the tutelage that they'll give me.
Pinstripesplus.com: Do you believe that your time in the Air Force Academy has prepared you mentally for what lies ahead?
Carley: Sure. Obviously I went through a pretty significant maturation process while I was out there at the Academy. Going straight out of high school into an environment like that, it's definitely an awakening, for sure. I spent 2 1/2 years there so at my time there I got a significant amount of leadership training, obviously working with team-oriented people, and how to lead people were definitely some of the finer points in the institution that I got out there and it definitely translated to my team in West Virginia. There's no doubt that preparation that mental toughness that I learned out there is going to pay dividends in the future.
Pinstripesplus.com: Did you have a favorite team growing up or a favorite player?
Carley: Actually, my favorite player was Roger Clemens growing up. He spent some time on the Yankees as well towards the end of his career. But I didn't really have a favorite team – I didn't even really start playing baseball until I was 13. I was kind of a skater, surfboard kind of guy. I'd go hit the waves or go hit a skate park but I did play football in high school, too – I was quarterback – so that probably gave me a little shoulder strength and I had a pretty decent arm when I was starting but I didn't start pitching until my freshman year of high school on JV and varsity, or whatever. I just tried to model myself after the guys who were in the professionals and playing the game there. Roger Clemens has a pretty similar build to me – I've got a strong lower half – he's a big guy, I'm a big guy. So I've always emulated him and tried to do what he did. He's obviously been a huge inspiration to me throughout my career so I'm looking forward to continuing on as a Yankee.
Pinstripesplus.com: What would you say is your best moment in baseball and why?
Carley: My best moment in baseball… wow. I've had a lot of good moments – I threw a no-hitter in high school, when I was at Air Force I was named national pitcher of the week for an outing in Florida against Bowling Green for a tournament but, I think, this year I was closing and we were hosting Texas – they're still playing right now, they're a great team – and I was able to, on a Friday night, come in to close and get the save. That was a huge, critical game for us and our season, and then again on Sunday [I] closed the door. So just being able to have success against a team like that in such a huge, emotional weekend, especially the last weekend series that would ever be played at Hawley Field, which is WV's home field – we're getting a new stadium next year – so obviously we wanted to go out with a win and obviously a series win against Texas was everything we looked for and we gave our fans what they deserved in that aspect. So I would say closing out those two games, especially on Friday night, was probably one of the best feelings I've had in a long time.
Carley: Absolutely. I'm 23 right now, I still have another I could play at West Virginia but I'm confident that the Yankees organization and I are going to be able to come to good terms with each other as far as dollar figures, and I'm comfortable with their organization. Obviously they've been recruiting me throughout this entire year so I'm obviously ecstatic to be a part of their organization and I look forward to signing.
Pinstripesplus.com: Do you think the pressures of pitching in New York might be a problem?
Carley: Absolutely not. I'm not really big into that whole pressure thing. I think that pressure is one of the things that's created in the mind but there's big situations, but obviously I'm looking forward to working my way through their organization, proving myself that I've got what it takes to pitch for that team, and hopefully one day within the next couple of years I'll be able to pitch for them and bring a ring back here to the Bronx.