Q&A: BC Yankee Tyler Clippard

Often times, a player's first full professional season can be a rough one, especially when you are the youngest member of the team. However, right-hander Tyler Clippard has had no such problems adjusting to the professional ranks as the 19-year old has had an excellent start to the season with low-A Battle Creek. Recently, I sat down with Tyler to get his perspective on his progress and development.

Paul Wezner: First off, what pitches do you throw?

Tyler Clippard: Well, right now I pretty much just throw the basics, nothing too fancy. I have a fastball as well as a curveball and a change-up. I typically use all three although I rely on my fastball the most.

PW: How is your fastball?

TC: It's pretty good, it typically is in the upper-80's to low-90's. It varies inbetween there, but I'd say for the most part it's right around the 88, 89 range, right there just below 90. I'm pretty accurate with it as well.

PW: What would you say is your best pitch?

TC: Hmm, it's hard to say. I obviously use my fastball most, I relied pretty heavily on my curveball as well last year, but this year I've gone to my change-up a lot more. So, as of now, I'd have to say my change-up has become my best pitch.

PW: So, that's become your out-pitch?

TC: Yeah I'd say so, I've been going to that a lot more this year.

PW: Is there any particular pitcher you model yourself after?

TC: No, I don't really model myself after anyone, I typically just try to be myself and pitch how I know I'm capable of. But as far as comparisons, I've heard quite a few say Kevin Brown.

PW: So how have the minor leagues been treating you, being a young 19-year old playing full season professional baseball?

TC: So far, I'm enjoying it. I love just being able to play baseball, go out there and show what I can do. Really the only tough part has been being away from my family and the people I care about, but you've got your teammates who are all in the same boat so it's not too bad. But like I said, I'm enjoying it.

PW: So, of all your teammates, who do you think is the best player of the bunch?

TC: Whew, that's a tough one. All around, best player at this point in time, I'd probably have to go with Melky Cabrera – he's just so talented.

PW: As we know, you're a prospect in the Yankee organization. Do you feel any added pressure being in an organization with so much history and tradition as opposed to another less-famous organization?

TC: No, not really. It might make it harder for me to get up to the big leagues just because you know the Yankees are always going to be competing and are always going to have plenty of talent, so I might not get a shot as easily, but I really don't think you notice it all that much down here in the minors, maybe as I get closer to that point I might start to feel it a little bit.

PW: What's been the best baseball moment for you thus far, little league up through your start a few days ago?

TC: Hmm, I'd probably have to say back when I was 16, my team won the Senior Little League championship, I'd say that was probably the best moment so far.

PW: What's your ultimate goal as a baseball player?

TC: Make it to the big leagues – at this point, I think that's probably everybody's goal. Once I get there I can start worrying about World Series' and things like that, but for now, I just want to make it to the majors and get an opportunity to show what I can do.

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