Q&A with Yanks 32nd Round Pick Alex Robinett

We sat down with Yankees' 32nd round pick, Alexander Robinett, for a Draft Day Q&A session. Find out what the right-handed pitcher from Army 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: What was going through your mind when you saw you were selected by the Yankees?

Alexander Robinett: Everyone knows who the Yankees are and to be selected by such a great organization is surreal. Knowing that I will get the opportunity to wear the Yankee pinstripes and to help this great organization improve is a feeling that is really hard to describe. It’s a pretty significant experience and part of my life.

PinstripesPlus.com: Were you surprised that they selected you? Had you talked with them much before the draft?

Robinett: I had a workout with them over at West Point and I’ve been in touch with Matt Hyde, one of the scouts working for them and right before they selected me, he actually texted me saying, “Listen to the draft.” So I figured they were going to use their next pick to select me and then of course they did.

PinstripesPlus.com: Did Hyde give you any indication that the Yankees were seriously considering you?

Robinett: He had been texting me quite a bit since the workout, which was probably four weeks before the draft. He said he really liked what he had seen and that they were really hoping that they could have me as a part of the organization. I had an idea that they were interested in me, it was just a matter of whether or not they would be able to pick me.

PinstripesPlus.com: Did you have any idea what the current Yankees’ farm system was like? Was Hide able to give you an idea as to how things work with the Yankees?

Robinett: I was told that after this week down here in Tampa that I would probably be sent to Staten Island, however that’s not set in stone. That’s the most probable course of action.

PinstripesPlus.com: What’s in your arsenal? What pitches are your speeds at?

Robinett: I throw a four and two-seam fastball, both anywhere from 91-92 mph. I also have a slider, which is my strikeout pitch and I have a curveball and a developing changeup. I feel confident throwing most of those. The changeup is weird, some days it’s with me and some days it isn’t. If I could just get that going that would be great.

PinstripesPlus.com: How do you view your mechanics? Do you think there is a lot to be worked on and polished?

Robinett: I feel pretty polished but of course at this new level I’m going to have to find a way to improve myself. It’s just a matter of finding what you need to improve and how to go about improving that. As of right now, I feel pretty polished but I’m not perfect and never will be.

PinstripesPlus.com: I’m assuming you were a huge baseball fan growing up. Who was your favorite team and why?

Robinett: My favorite team, with me coming from Oregon, was the Seattle Mariners. Actually my least favorite team was the New York Yankees. It’s easy to hate the best. They always had the best players. It’s a weird turn of events.

PinstripesPlus.com: Who at the major league level do you think your stuff compares to?

Robinett: In regards to mechanics, growing up on the West Coast, I always tried to be like Tim Lincecum with the big long stride and watching Trevor Bauer, I kind of like how he acts. He’s quirky with warmups and stuff like that so I’d say that Trevor Bauer and Tim Lincecum were guys I tried to style myself after. Whether or not I’m actually like them that’s for others to decide.

PinstripesPlus.com: Is there a reason why you tried to replicate your game after those two guys?

Robinett: Yeah, Trevor Bauer is from UCLA and Lincecum played at Washington and now the San Francisco Giants so I watched them a lot in high school while I was in Oregon and now they’re both successful so I wanted to be like them. I figured why not also try to play like them.

PinstripesPlus.com: In your young baseball career, what would you say is your best moment and why?

Robinett: Apart from the obvious answer, which would be getting selected by the Yankees, I’d say my final outing at Army when I struck out 21 batters. Just to end it like that was a great feeling and that’s probably the best moment of my career.

PinstripesPlus.com: Have you signed your contract with the Yankees?

Robinett: I’ve actually already signed so I’m free to play. I got that done the second day I was down here.

PinstripesPlus.com: Do you think pitching in a market like New York with all the media outlets could present a problem in the future?

Robinett: No. How you let that affect you is all a mental choice and I feel like I’ve got that part of my game down. People are always going to scrutinize you wherever you are or wherever you play, it’s just a matter of how you let that affect you. It’s always up to you. I can handle how I decide to let that affect me. I don’t feel like that will be a big problem.

PinstripesPlus.com: How long do you think it will take you to get to the big leagues?

Robinett: That’s a tough question, given my military service. I’ll play with the team this summer and then I’ll have to report to Army training and then it’s up to the Yankees if they want to retain me and if they decide they do, they have to purchase me out of my Army contract and I’d be able to join them a year later. If that were to happen, hopefully I’ll make it to the majors within four years of that. Otherwise, I’d be getting older and my skillset might be declining so in total it would be about five or six years.

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