Q&A with Yankees 15th Round Pick Bret Marks

We sat down with Yankees' 15th round pick, Bret Marks, for a Draft Day Q&A session. Find out what the right-handed pitcher from the University of Tennessee says about his game, how he feels being drafted by the Yankees not once but twice, what he'll bring to the Yankees organization, and much more.

PinstripesPlus.com: Tell us what is going through your mind after being selected by a team like the Yankees.

Bret Marks: It’s awesome. They’re the greatest sports franchise in the world. And as far as honors go, getting drafted into the big leagues, this is as good as it gets really. It’s really exciting for me.

PinstripesPlus.com: The Yankees had previously drafted you in the 22nd round of the 2012 MLB Draft. So this time around, were you surprised it was the Yankees that selected you? Had you and the Yankees talked much before this draft?

Marks: I kept a good rapport with the scouts and stayed in their area. I had a few teams that I thought I was going to go to, but I’m glad the Yankees got me.

PinstripesPlus.com: Do you have any idea what the Yankees' organization or farm system is like?

Marks: Not really. I have a buddy from Mississippi State (Yankees pitcher Jacob Lindgren) that I should call to get an idea. He probably doesn’t know all the levels; he got called up pretty quick.

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?

Marks: I throw a 2-seam fastball that tops out at around 93, but I average 88-91. Slider and changeup are two pitches that I use as well. The splitter is my strikeout pitch, so that’s the one helped my numbers out a lot this year.

PinstripesPlus.com: Did you have a favorite team growing up or a favorite player?

Marks: My first games were Red Sox games. My dad is a Sox fan and his dad is a Sox fan, so I grew up a big Red Sox Fan.

PinstripesPlus.com: After growing up a Red Sox fan, what is it like knowing that you’re going to be playing for the Yankees organization?

Marks: It’s ironic, isn’t it? My dad is going to have a hard time putting on that Yankees hat, but I’m excited regardless.

PinstripesPlus.com: Who would you compare your stuff to at the Major League level so Yankees' fans can get an idea of what you're like on the mound? And why?

Marks: I don’t really have a good comparison. My arm slot is similar to Justin Masterson. But there are not a lot of guys with a split finger. I don’t want to say I’m different, but it's something that sets me apart.

PinstripesPlus.com: A lot of your interviews from college highlight your uniqueness, some even calling you “weird.” How would you describe yourself?

Marks: I get called unique a lot. I guess it’s just my personality. I get called weird a lot, too. It is what it is. I think everyone else is weird and I’m the normal one.

PinstripesPlus.com: What would you say is your best moment in baseball and why?

Marks: Honestly, every day I get to go out there is the best day of my career. And today especially, knowing that I get to play for the Yankees and start my pro career.

PinstripesPlus.com: As a senior I'm assuming you are you looking to sign quickly and get your professional career started right away, no?

Marks: I’m ready to go. I’m a senior, so now, I just want my opportunity to try and go out there and make the big leagues.

PinstripesPlus.com: Do you think the pressures of pitching in New York might be a problem?

Marks: I actually went to my first Yankees game recently and got to see what it was like. It’s an awesome place and the history is there. But I wouldn’t say pressure. I’m more anxious and excited. I mean it’s the pinstripes. It’s an exciting thing.

PinstripesPlus.com: The beginnings of your collegiate career were marked by a series of transfers, first from Mississippi State to Wallace Community College, then from WCC to the University of Tennessee. Did your journey make today all the more special?

Marks: I went to Mississippi State for a semester and never played. I didn’t feel like it was right for me, so I left there. I went to community college, and it changed me forever. It’s a program where you’re not special there. They treat you like you need to be treated. They made a man out of me and I can’t thank them enough. They got me to Tennessee where I got my opportunity to pitch against the best college players in the country. So it means a lot coming from the long and winding road I took. And to end up with the Yankees is just awesome.

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