Q&A With Jesse Hoover

PinstripesPlus.com recently sat down with Yankees' draftee Jesse Hoover to find out a little bit more about his game. Find out what Jesse feels he needs to work on, what he feels is his greatest asset as a pitcher, how he prepares himself for each game, and how he would pitch to Barry Bonds if given the opportunity. PinstripesPlus Premium Members can find out right now!

PinstripesPlus: Jesse, tell us a little bit about your repertoire. What type of pitches do you throw and can you give us a little insight as to your velocity? What pitch, or pitches, do you feel you need to work on to become a successful pitcher in the professional ranks?

Hoover: Sure. Right now I basically throw three pitches. I throw a fastball consistently between 93-94 mph and can top it off at 96 mph. I also throw a 12/6 curveball that hovers around 77-82 mph and a split-finger that has some late breaking action, piddling around 84-85 mph. I'd have to say that I need to develop my changeup and then a slider, but I also plan on adding more velocity to my fastball as well.

PinstripesPlus: Who was your favorite team growing up and your favorite player?

Hoover: I actually grew up an Orioles fan and my favorite pitchers were Mike Mussina and Roger Clemens. I really like Clemens and try to emulate him on the mound. I like the fact that he is overpowering and intimidating on the mound. But more than his stuff, I try and copy Roger's work ethic on the mound and in the offseason. Like Roger, I like pitching inside. Going inside is fun!

PinstripesPlus: What were your thoughts when you were drafted by the Yankees last week?

Hoover: Well I couldn't ask for anything better. I mean, it was excited just being drafted but being drafted by the Yankees was the best. They clearly have the best organization from top to bottom and they really take care of their players well.

PinstripesPlus: Have you ever been to New York?

Hoover: Yeah, about three or four years ago I went to visit my brother at school and actually got to go to a Yankees game. I've been told I'm heading to Staten Island and I am excited about pitching in New York.

PinstripesPlus: How do you envision yourself as a pitcher in the Yankees organization? Do you think you'll be starting? If you're going to be a reliever, do you think it will be middle-relief, set up, or closing? Do you have a preference either way?

Hoover: So far the Yankees have not given me any indication of what my role will be. I do like starting a lot better because it's easier to get into a routine to get prepared. It's better starting because you can plan your day. I feel like I could be a good starting pitcher, either a #3 or #4 at the Major League level but I have got no problems fulfilling any role the Yankees plan for me. I was a reliever in college so I am prepared to do either.

PinstripesPlus: What is your most memorable moment as a pitcher?

Hoover: Without a doubt it's when I threw a no-hitter against Siena Heights University a couple of years ago. Of course, getting a save in the NAIA World Series game ranks up there pretty high too. That was a one-run game and very intense.

PinstripesPlus: What would you say is your one trait that separates you from the rest? The one trait that will make you successful in the pros?

Hoover: My work ethic. I've always worked hard growing up and it spilled into college. I can't stop working, ever! I always strive to learn more and become the absolute best I can be.

PinstripesPlus: What is your pregame routine? How do you prepare yourself for each game?

Hoover: I've got a little work out routine I've been doing the last few years. I go through some flexibility exercises just before I throw. Before the games I do a stretching routine for about 10-15 minutes, some cord work for cardiovascular workout, and work on the dumbells. On the off-days, I do some low intensity and high intensity workouts, including running and biking.

PinstripesPlus: Do you make any adjustments during the game or are you pitching? Do you psyche yourself up before pitching?

Hoover: No, right before I pitch I calm myself down and just try to stay relaxed. I know some pitchers feed off the adrenaline, but I pitch much better when I'm calm. I don't really make any adjustments during the game. Once I get in the game I just focus on pitching, throwing whatever the catchers call for, try and get some pop-ups.

PinstripesPlus: Now that you are becoming a professional pitcher, working your way up through the Yankees farm system, you'll be working with a ton of different pitching coaches. Does working with so many different teachers bother you?

Hoover: No, I actually LOVE working so many different people. I am wanting that. I want all the coaches to pick me apart to try and help me get better.

PinstripesPlus: Which hitter in the Major Leagues would you most like to face off against?

Hoover: Barry Bonds, without a doubt.

PinstripesPlus: Really? You would pitch to Bonds?

Hoover: Yeah, I would really love to get at him. I'd like to see what I could do against the game's best hitter.

PinstripesPlus: OK. Final question. You're pitching against Barry Bonds. How do you pitch him?

Hoover: Whoa. Hmm...I'd try and nibble a combination of fastballs and split-fingers on the outer-half of the plate down at the knees. My split tends to dive down and out more and I'd try to get him out that way.

PinstripesPlus.com would like to thank Jesse Hoover for taking some time to speak with us to find out a little bit more about his game.

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