Q&A with Tim Battle

Staten Island Yankees' outfielder Timothy Battle sat down for a Q&A session to give his insights on battling back from chemotherapy, dealing with the pressures of high expectations, who has influenced him the most professionally, and what he feels he needs to work on the most to make it all the way to Yankee Stadium. PinstripesPlus Premium Members can find out right now!

PinstripesPlus: Being drafted out of high school how close were you on going back to college?

Battle: Well it was between going to a JUCO college (Junior College) or signing with the Yankees and in the end after talking with my parents I decided to sign with the Yankees.

PinstripesPlus: You underwent chemotheraphy last November for a form of bone-cancer in your ribcage. First of all how do you feel right now and second was that the reason you struggled last year after you got drafted?

Battle: I had a little pain in my ribcage but I kept battling through it, I figured it was a pulled muscle or something and I kept playing through it. I underwent chemotherapy in November and now I just feel great and really strong. I did struggle a little last year however I don't think that was the reason for me struggling, however I worked hard and now as I said I just feel great.

PinstripesPlus: Did you do any special workouts after the chemotherapy to get stronger at all?

Battle: The only time I felt weak was after chemotherapy, every 21 days, and after that I just went to the batting cages and threw every now and then with my friends and tried to do everything I could to get better and get back to the Yankees.

PinstripesPlus: Scouts and fans have put really high expectations on you. Many believe you have the potential to be a 30-30 guy. Do you feel any more pressure that you have to succeed, especially now that you are in New York?

Battle: No not at all. People play how they play, and things happen like that, you can never tell, playing baseball is a hard thing anyway. My focus is to just play the game, its a fun game, take it out to the field and do what you got to do.

PinstripesPlus: At this stage of your career who would you say has been the biggest influence for you?

Battle: My parents mostly and my coaches. I just want to thank the Yankees because if it wasn't for them I would not be here and these Yankee coaches have really tought me a lot.

PinstripesPlus: If there is one, what would you say would be the aspect of your game you really want to work on the most?

Battle: Everything really because you can't really satisfy yourself with what you already have. Yea you might have great talent, and everything but you have to keep working hard, and in order for me to get to the major leagues you have to be a hard working player. People don't make it their for no reason.

PinstripesPlus: What are some of the things you have learned since becoming a professional?

Battle: Wow, I have learned so much you really can't explain it in words, but as I said no matter what you just always have to keep working hard everyday, doing what you have to do on and off the field to prepare yourself for the game.

PinstripesPlus: Do you have a personal hitting philosophy when your at the plate?

Battle: No not really, I just try to hit the ball. Lately I have been working on trying to hit the ball with a backspin and that has really been working great for me.

PinstripesPlus: If there is one thing you want Yankee fans to know about you, what would that be?

Battle: Just that I am trying my best. I am doing what I can to help the team and win the game.

PinstripesPlus: Did you have a favorite player growing up?

Battle: Yea I actually had a whole bunch of them that I really could tell you all of them right now [laughing] but my best players are Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter. They are just great team guys, and would do anything to win and I think my personality fits with those two.

PinstripesPlus: What has been your most memorable moment so far?

Battle: When I was in high school we played in the state championship series, and my team was down 4-1 late in the game, and I hit two home runs, and we ended up winning that game. That was a pretty big moment for me.

PinstripesPlus: Did you think any other teams would have drafted you other than the Yankees?

Battle: Yea Anaheim called me before the draft, and I thought I might have gone there, but then the Yankees came in late and drafted me and then my mom went crazy so.

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