We sat down with Yankees' 10th ound pick Chad Whitmer for a Q&A session.

We sat down with Yankees' 10th round pick, Chad Whitmer, for a Draft Day Q&A session. Find out what the right-handed pitcher from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale 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.

Chad Whitmer: It’s obviously very exciting and very humbling.  I really didn’t have any idea that it was going to happen that morning.  I heard from one of my coaches that there might be a chance that they pick me up earlier that day.  The moment that it happened was like a moment that I’ve never even experienced.  I was very excited, very anxious as soon as it happened.  I just wanted to get ready to go.

PinstripesPlus.com: So you and the Yankees hadn’t talked any before the draft?

Whitmer: We kind of communicated through my pitching coach at SIU (Southern Illinois University), but other than that I didn’t actually talk to anyone from the Yankees until I saw that I was drafted by them.

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

Whitmer: I’ve learned a little bit so far.  I’ve been told there’s teams in New York and there’s one down in Tampa and Pulaski.  Other than that though I don’t really know.  I don’t really know where they’re going to put me or what I’ll be doing really until I get down there tomorrow.

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?

Whitmer: For my pitches, I’ve got a fastball, curveball, change-up, slider.  Fastball can be anywhere from 88-92 or 93.  I throw a two-seam that’s got a little bit of movement.  I’d say my next best pitch is the slider.  That worked for me all year and all throughout college.  Third pitch would be the change-up.  It’s always nice to have that third pitch once things start picking up on the other two.  Lastly the curveball.  It’s come a long way, but I’ve still got some work to do with it.  I haven’t quite got the command on that down to where I want.  To make a scouting report, I throw a lot of strikes.  I’m going to pound the zone and get ahead of a lot of batters.  Mainly, I’m just going to go up there and be a competitor. 

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

Whitmer: I did.  I have been a Cubs fan my whole life.  Favorite player?  Not necessarily, I just kind of like all the Cubs guys.  Whoever was on the team that year.

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?

Whitmer: Being a Cubs fan, I would have to compare myself to Kyle Hendricks a little bit.  He doesn’t throw that hard for being at the Major League level, but he can get away with it because he locates.  I feel like I do that as well.  He’s got a great change-up which is probably his second pitch.  That might be my third, but you can also maybe look at his curveball and slider as well.  We’re both about 6’3 and 190-195 or so we’re similarly fit.

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

Whitmer: Well, I’d have to say the other day when the Yankees drafted me.  It was a childhood dream.  Everyone waits for that call and that moment, and it finally got to come true.

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

Whitmer: I actually signed [already] so yes!

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

Whitmer: No.  I really deal well with pressure.  In fact, I almost love it.  I like the whole being on the big stage with people yelling and screaming at you.  I really live for that, so I’m all about it.


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