Q&A with Yankees 21st Round Pick Josh Roeder

We sat down with Yankees' 21st round pick, Josh Roeder, for a Draft Day Q&A session. Find out what the right-handed pitcher from the University of Nebraska says about his game, how he feels being drafted by the Yankees, 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.

Josh Roeder: It’s just overwhelming because a team like the Yankees is somebody you always dream of playing for when you’re a little kid. They’re obviously one of the most prestigious teams that everyone watches or that you hear about on a daily basis, so there’s a bunch of stuff running through my head and to even say that I’m part of the Yankees organization now is just an unreal feeling.

PinstripesPlus.com: Were you surprised it was the Yankees that selected you? Had you and the Yankees talked much before the draft?

Roeder: No, I talked to them like one time before the draft so it was pretty surprising. I didn’t really even know what happened until my family ran inside and they were like, “Oh my god, you just got drafted!” and I asked them by who and they were like the “Yankees!” And my sister’s the biggest Yankees fan ever so it was pretty cool.

PinstripesPlus.com: Do you have any idea what the Yankees' organization or farm system is like, or how you’ll fit into the organization?

Roeder: No idea. I feel like I’ll fit in pretty well. I like meeting new people and getting to know new guys and new teammates. It’s kind of what you grow up doing anyway when you’re playing baseball, moving around to different teams in high school and college. I’m looking forward to it though, to meeting new guys and being a part of such a great organization.

PinstripesPlus.com: Let’s talk about who you are as a pitcher: What types of pitches do you throw, what speeds, what are some of your strengths, some things you think you can work on?

Roeder: In college, I lived off a fastball and a slider mainly. The slider was maybe 79-80mph and the fastball is anywhere between 89-93mph. So I have those two pitches that work pretty well for me. Location is probably one of my strengths, being able to be mentally tough in pressure situations is another strength which is also something I can work on; I always have room for improvement. I need to work on my changeup and on developing that. I have a curveball I can throw that I’ll mix in every now and then too.

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

Roeder: Mariano Rivera; when I started to become a closer in college, I definitely looked up to him and I wanted to be like him in the fact that I have the chance to play for the same team as him. The Yankees were always one of my favorite teams. When I was little, I grew up in Texas so I always liked the Rangers as well.

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?

Roeder: Mariano Rivera; I feel like my stuff is just like him. I mean I don’t have a cutter like he does; I have more of a slider so it’s going to move a lot more to the curve. I just want to take after him as much as I can and be similar to him, just with a slider instead of a cutter.

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

Roeder: Definitely [getting drafted the other day]. There are always these great moments that happen and playing in front 20,000 fans and the Big Ten tournament was sweet but there’s nothing like fulfilling your childhood dream of becoming a professional baseball player. Out of my whole entire baseball career, today is one of the greatest days and it’s something that I’ll never forget.

PinstripesPlus.com: Are you looking to sign quickly and get your professional career started right away?

Roeder: Absolutely. I’m actually flying out there so we’ll see how that goes and I’m just looking to get things underway, and get into the organization and make a name for myself.

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

Roeder: You know, I don’t know. I’ve never pitched in New York but hopefully they’re nice to me, but we’ll see how it goes.

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