We sat down with Yankees' 15th round pick Tony Hernandez for a Q&A session.

We sat down with Yankees' 15th round pick, Tony Hernandez, for a Draft Day Q&A session. Find out what the left-handed pitcher from Monroe College 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.

Tony Hernandez: It was a dream come true for me, just like any ball player growing up and wanting to be drafted. Just the simple fact that I was drafted by the New York Yankees made it that much better. They’re the best team in the MLB.

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

Hernandez: I actually wasn’t surprised because I knew a couple rounds before I got picked that I was going to the Yankees. I have an agent and he was in contact with them since the second day of the draft, and there was an area scout from New York where I went to college and one of the cross-checkers were watching a lot of my games. Actually, I was surprised that of all the teams that wanted me, they would be the ones to draft me.

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

Hernandez: I have a little idea, not too much. I know they have two rookie ball teams and three Single-A teams, then after that it’s Trenton and the RailRiders.

PinstripesPlus.com: What type of pitches do you throw and at what speeds?

Hernandez: I throw a four-seam fastball that got up to about 95 MPH this year, but I sit at about 91-93. I have a changeup which is around 83-85. A curveball which is around 78-79. Those are the three pitches that I have for now, but I know that being with the Yankees they’re going to want to add another pitch to my arsenal eventually.

PinstripesPlus.com: What other strengths do you feel you have as a pitcher?

Hernandez: Being 19, I know I’m young, but I feel that I’m mentally tough. I’m not one of those pitchers that can be rattled easily. It takes a lot to rattle me.

PinstripesPlus.com: What do you feel you need to work on the most?

Hernandez: Just developing as a pitcher. I started being a pitcher maybe only three years ago. I had very little help coming out of high school and college, so hopefully now that I’m with a professional team they can help me get on the right track and I can be a major leaguer in a few years.

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

Hernandez: The Yankees were actually my favorite team when I was really young, but as I grew I stopped watching baseball for a bit, and then when I started again I just watched any team I could. My favorite player growing up, though, was Albert Pujols, just for the fact that I was a hitter growing up.

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?

Hernandez: I don’t know if I can compare myself to anyone, but someone I really look up to and their craft, in general, is Jose Fernandez of the Miami Marlins.

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

Hernandez: Signing with the New York Yankees. Obviously, I have a lot of memories of winning championships with my friends back home, but definitely being a Yankee. This is something I’ve been working toward my whole life, and it’s definitely one of my biggest accomplishments in my life.

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

Hernandez: I don’t think so. Like I said before, I’m mentally tough. The way I’m in the bullpen, locked in with my catcher, it’s the same way I am in the game. Growing up I always felt like I pitched better when there were more people in the stands. Obviously, I don’t know about the thousands upon thousands of people that are going to be in Yankee Stadium, but we’ll see how it goes. I’m going to work hard and hopefully be there in a couple years.


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