We sat down with Yankees' 28th round pick William Jones for a Q&A session.

We sat down with Yankees' 28th round pick, William Jones, for a Draft Day Q&A session. Find out what the right-handed pitcher from Lander 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.

William Jones: Well, I can say that the first thing I thought was that it was just a dream come true to even be drafted, and then I began thinking like what a great opportunity and what a great organization I would be a part of being drafted by the most elite organization ever to play Major League Baseball.  I guess you could say I was just mind blown that the New York Yankees had just drafted me.  I mean after a long struggle I’ve been through, I’ve come a long a long ways and it was just a dream come true. 

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

Jones: I had talked to the scouts I think a few weeks beforehand; I mean I really had no idea where I would end up, I was just hoping to even get picked.  So, when the New York Yankees contacted me on draft day that was just an unbelievable experience.

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

Jones: I just found out today that I’m headed to Pulaski to play for the Pulaski Yankees.  I’ve been down here for the extended Spring Training, that’s been going on before the draft even started, it was extended Spring Training, and I’m just ready to get out there and compete.  It’s a great atmosphere to be around, great coaches, great managers, and I’m just ready to get out there and compete.

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?

Jones: I throw a fastball, four-seam and two-seam, I throw a cutter, a cut fastball, I throw a curveball, that’s my good pitch, and I throw a changeup.  I think one strength that I’ll bring to the table is that I’ll pound the zone, and I throw a lot of strikes, I pitch to contact and let my defense work.  I guess a weakness would be that I just started pitching two years ago.  My whole career, I just started pitching two years ago, so I mean I still have some mental sides to the game I need to learn about pitching, and I guess that would be my [main] weakness.

PinstripesPlus.com: I noticed that you played a bit as a utility man for Lander as well as being a pitcher, what do you think you’ll be doing with the Yankees?

Jones: I’m definitely going to be a pitcher.  I’m not sure about [being] a starter or reliever, [but] pretty sure I’m going to be a reliever.

PinstripesPlus.com: Would you consider yourself more of a starter now or a reliever and why?

Jones: [More of a reliever], just because my first year of pitching I was a closer, and I think that position just fit me better than last year [when] I was starter; I pitched 110 innings, and I think I did really good but I think for my body type and arm strength, I’m set to be a reliever.

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

Jones: I mean, coming from Georgia, I’ve always been an Atlanta Braves fan, and Chipper Jones, I’ve just always respected him, liked the way he played the game and he’s always been my favorite player.
 
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?

Jones: That’s a tough one, I would like to say that I’m like Mariano Rivera; I throw a cutter like his.  I’ve always respected the way he went out there and always just competed.  He was a guy who threw a lot of strikes, pitched to contact, and he represented the Yankees organization really well.

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

Jones: I would say this past weekend, when I was drafted by the New York Yankees.  I mean I had just won a regional with my baseball team, and we went to the World Series and came in third in the country, but this is one thing that I’ve been dreaming of since I was five years old, playing tee-ball, I’ve always worked as hard as I could.  That’s just one thing I’ve always wanted to do, is to become a Major League Baseball player one day, I haven’t made it to the big leagues yet, but this is one big accomplishment that I can say that, man this is a dream come to true to be a part of the New York Yankees organization.  

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

Jones: Yes, I’ve already signed [my contract] with the Yankees, and I’m ready to get out to Pulaski and compete, to work hard and get better.

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

Jones: No, I wouldn’t say so.  All of the fans just watching TV, they’re all very supportive it seems like.  The biggest thing is just slowing the game down, don’t let the game speed up on you, just do what you do best and do what got me here.  And I don’t think that I’ll have a problem. 


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