Titan on the Farm, Part 2: Q&A with P.J. Pilittere

The Yankees had a very fine draft this season but Mike Martinez was not the only Titan that they picked up. A teammate of his and a very good friend, P.J. Pilittere was also taken by the Yankees and he has already shown off his superb game calling skills and natural leadership skills as well. Yes, the Yankees have another Titan on the Farm and his name is P.J. Pilittere. P.J. sat down with us for a chat session as we learn more about the Cal State-Fullerton graduate.

PinstripesPlus: What was the College World Series experience like?

P.J. Pilittere: It was the most exciting time of my college career. Everything about the College World Series and the city of Omaha screams college baseball. I was lucky enough to go to the College World Series 3 times and all I can say is that it is nothing like what you see on TV.

PP: Did Mike Martinez being in Staten Island help you adjust to pro baseball?

Pilittere: Yes definitely. Mike and myself have always been good friends and I couldn't have asked for a better person to break into pro ball with.

PP: You majored in journalism, correct? Are you doing anything in that field right now?

Pilittere: Yes, I graduated with a communications degree with an emphasis in journalism. No not really. I am just working a little part time job to make some extra cash, but no writing . I'm mainly trying to get some rest and prepare for spring training.

PP: Are you a Yankee fan?

Pilittere: To be honest, I used to hate the Yankees but this summer I learned to realize that now I kind of care how they do.

PP: Who was originally your favorite team?

Pilittere: I've never really had a favorite team, I have always just been a fan of the game first. Although I'm slowly becoming an Angel fan just because of Mike Scioscia. He being a childhood hero of mine.

PP: Do you have any idea where you will be playing next year?

Pilittere: To tell you the truth, I have no idea, but I just hope to play well and keep moving up the ladder. My goal would be to keep climbing through the system somehow. This year, it was definitely a hectic summer. I learned that in professional baseball you have to manage yourself, there won't be anyone there to push you. You have to be extremely self-confident and self-motivated.

PP: Where do you feel more comfortable, catching or 1b?

Pilittere: My natural position has always been at catcher and I definitely love being behind the plate everyday, but I learned that it is beneficial to know how to play more than one position for my sake and the team's sake.

PP: How about your problem with the "at 'em balls" this year?

Pilittere: Yeah, it was so frustrating. You try to explain to people that I hit the ball hard and had nothing to show for it, but some people just look at numbers. Most people think they know the game but really they have no clue. Baseball is the only game where you can do everything right and still fail. Make the perfect pitch a guy gets a hit, hit the ball on the nose and it winds up in someone's glove. That's why this game is so frustrating but I would not have it any other way.

PP: Describe what kind of hitter you think you are.

Pilittere: I feel that I am a line drive, gap hitter. I love the hit and run game it fits well with my contact approach.

PP: Is there anything in your hitting that you would like to improve upon?

Pilittere: I would like to remain consistent and try and cut down on the number of at bats that I give away. Pitch selection has a little to do with it, but mainly having a successful plan before each at bat gives me the best chance to perform.

PP: Tell us a little about your catching skills.

Pilittere: I think my best attributes as a catcher are game management and receiving. There is nothing more that I love than working pitch by pitch with my pitching staff. It pumps me up to see and help them succeed.

PP: Do the Yankees seem to like you more as a catcher or as a 1b?

Pilittere: I imagine as a catcher because I was drafted as a catcher.

PP: What was playing for Tommy John like?

Pilittere: It was pretty amazing. Growing up as a passionate baseball player you definitely know who Tommy John is, so it was pretty cool to tell people that he was my manager. He is very laid back and likes to have fun.


PP: What do you say to the people who criticized Tommy John for not be enthusiastic enough?

Pilittere: I think he definitely cared, people just think hey "Staten Island isn't winning, oh Tommy must not care then." Not true he cared about everyone of us that put on the pinstripes for him everyday. He does make light of a lot of things and situations but that doesn't mean that did not care.

PP: What are you going to be doing over the winter to prepare for next season?

Pilittere: I will be hitting the weight room really hard and trying to work on some speed and agility training.

PP: What did you think of Jesse Hoover and Eric Abreu this year?

Pilittere: I thought they both had electric stuff and were two of my favorites to catch. They both competed every outing with their best stuff. That's all I could ask for as a catcher. Abreu threw in the low 90's but seemingly must have thrown harder according to his numbers.

PP: What kind of feeling was it to be catching again for Mike Martinez? Did you ever expect that to happen?

Pilittere: No I didn't. Like I said earlier I could not have asked for a better person to take the next step of my career with than Mike. He has awesome stuff and really works hard to get better with every pitch that he throws.

PP: What was the New York City experience like for you?

Pilittere: It was pretty cool to see the city right behind the centerfield wall everyday.

PP: Did you ever do any sightseeing in downtown Manhattan?

Pilittere: Yeah, we took a tour of the whole city on an off day, and then had a private tour of Yankee Stadium.

PP: Who has been your biggest influence on your baseball career?

Pilittere: I would say my parents for always supporting and believing in my baseball ability, and my coach at Fullerton, George Horton for developing me into an extremely smart ballplayer.

PP: What do you think sets your apart from other players? What makes you a unique player?

Pilittere: I'm very enthusiastic about the game and my teammates. For example, if I had an off game but my teammates did well and we won that would please me just as much as if I had four hits.

PP: Do you think the College World Series will help you deal with an big games you play in down the road?

Pilittere: Definitely, playing in front of 27,000 will definitely help in dealing with big game situations.

PinstripesPlus.com would like to thank P.J. Pilittere for his time and efforts in answering these questions.

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