We sat down with Yankees' 27th round pick Phillip Diehl for a Q&A session.

We sat down with Yankees' 27th round pick, Phillip Diehl, for a Draft Day Q&A session. Find out what the left-handed pitcher from Louisiana Tech University says about his game, how he feels being drafted by the Yankees, what he'll bring to the Yankees organization, who he would compare his game to at the big league level, and much more.

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

Phillip Diehl: It’s an absolute honor to be drafted by the most historic franchise in the world, and it’s been a rollercoaster day.  And I’m just hopefully ready to start my professional career. 

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

Diehl: [In terms of us talking], Not at all.  The last time that I remember talking to the Yankees was almost in fall ball, so like around November, and like teams were calling me [on draft day] all day, and the Yankees hadn’t called me once.

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

Diehl: I know what the organization is all about, but I don’t know about their farm system.

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?

Diehl: I was a starter this past season, and my fastball was 89-93 [mph] as a starter, but then out of relief, which I think that’s what the Yankees want me to be, it was about 90-95 on my fastball, and then I have a slider that I throw, that’s about 81-84.

PinstripesPlus.com: I noticed that you were both a starter and a reliever for the Purple Aces this year and in the Regionals, do you consider yourself more to be either one of those or are in you in both spots consistently?

Diehl: I feel like I did a pretty good job as a starter this past year, but I think I’ll be a reliever in pro ball.  I love relieving, and that adrenaline rush and coming in and being able to throw as hard as you can for a short amount of time.

PinstripesPlus.com: What was it like for you emotionally trying to balance the process of preparing for the draft and simultaneously competing with your team in the NCAA Regionals for a chance to play in the College World Series?

Diehl: Right, it’s definitely on your mind; you see all the scouts in the stands and you just have to somehow forget about it and just go out there and execute your game plan and get the hitters out, that’s the most important thing at that moment.  And, if you do that and you show good stuff, you’ll get the call, and get the opportunity. 

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

Diehl: My favorite team was the Cincinnati Reds, being that I’m from Cincinnati, Ohio.  And my favorite player was Key Griffey Jr.

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?

Diehl: I have no idea – a decently hard throwing lefty out of the bullpen – definitely not Chapman.

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

Diehl: Probably helping take the Louisiana Tech baseball program from one of the worst in the country to one of the best this past year, just proving all the doubters wrong.

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

Diehl: If you let it get to yourself, I mean I feel like I do a pretty good job of blocking out all the outsiders and just focusing on the mitt, but I mean I’m sure if I get the opportunity to pitch in Yankee Stadium, the first time, I’ll be pretty nervous to play baseball.

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