In Top Form: Phil Hughes Online Journal

The Yankee's #1 pick in 2004, Phil Hughes is primed to become an elite pitching prospect and make his rise to becoming a big league ace of the future. Phil is keeping a journal throughout the 2005 season to keep the readers of informed on how he is progressing.

Hey everyone, its Saturday again and I'm glad to be writing my third journal of many to come this season. Things are really going well here in Tampa as more and more guys are starting to filter into camp. Last week was the reporting date for all big league pitchers and catchers and also marks the end of our first week of throwing changeups in our bullpen sessions.

My arm feels great and the changeup is really coming along and will only get better with repetition. On Friday, I threw the best I had since I came to camp. My arm felt strong and I was locating my changeup really well. All the other pitchers looked awesome and I think we are really going to open up some eyes this year.

Everyone has looked very good so far and I think we are all getting off to a good start heading into the official start of spring training. One guy that has looked really great so far is Jason Jones. He looks real strong coming off a really strong 2004 season. Also, from what I have seen, Brett Smith looks a lot better as well. I think that both of those guys are going to be really big factors as well. I am actually hoping that Brett could be in Charleston with me this year so we could hit the golf links together. But, both of these staffs in Charleston and Tampa are going to be really impressive. And, Jason and Brett figure to be very big parts of one of them.

All the players that are here early are keeping on a good running and lifting routine and that is coming along very well also. I finally received my car from California so it is a little easier to get around now, which is nice. My parents shipped it out to me and I got it detailed today. I had my baseball card signing for Topps on Sunday and that went well. I signed 2,500 cards. I'm sorry I don't have much more news to report this week, but I'm sure things will heat up once actual spring training starts. Again, thank you for logging on and taking an interest in not only mine but all the young guys' careers.

I see that there a lot of email questions for me this week so I'll try to get to as many of them as possible. The first question asks who first influenced me to become a pitcher. I would have to say my freshman pitching coach Brian Pinter was my biggest influence. He really had a lot of confidence in me and convinced our head coach to move me to varsity for my sophomore year. Sadly, he passed away when I was a junior in an accident. Another question asks me if I am any good at golf. Well, I say I can hold my own. I can drive the ball 290-320 yards. A lot of questions this week, this one wants to know when I really turned the corner and became a hard thrower. I'd have to say it happened in the off season between my sophomore and junior years in high school. Ok, let's take one more question. Here is a big one. This reader would like to know how I think I would handle the pressure of New York. I actually pitch well and love the pressure of a big crowd. I can also handle scrutiny if I don't perform well.

Well, that's it for this week. Once again, it is so great that I have so many great fans behind me and I plan to put together a great season for you in 2005. Thanks again for all the questions and please keep them coming. I am more than happy to answer them. Contact the site at and the questions will be answered in an upcoming journal. Thanks again to all my fans!

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