Q&A With Staten Island Pitcher Garrett Patterson

Garrett Patterson, who battled back from two arm injuries, was selected by the Yankees in the 7th round of the 2005 Draft. Working from the bullpen and as a starter for the University of Oklahoma, he went 6-3 with a 3.59 ERA. Patterson is currently pitching for the Staten Island Yankees of the New York Penn League and before the Yankees opened up their season against the Brooklyn Cyclones at KeySpan Park, he sat down with PinstripesPlus.com for a Q&A.

PinstripesPlus: Coming off the arm injury in 2004, what kind of adversity have you gone through getting back to where you are, and who helped you?

Garrett Patterson: It was definitely my parents. When I was down and out, they let me know what I had going for me. They never let me get down too badly and told me I had a bright future and to keep working hard to get back. Also, my teammates and coaches at Oklahoma stood by me through everything. They never gave up on me and that really helped me mentally.

PinstripesPlus: Speaking of Oklahoma, what was it like playing for the Sooners?

Garrett Patterson: It was great. I loved my time there. All the coaches and my teammates, they are the best. They pushed me hard and I wouldn't be where I am without them. Oklahoma is a great school and my time there was special.

PinstripesPlus: What was it like playing in the Big 12 Conference?

Garrett Patterson: The Big 12 is the best conference in the nation. Just look at this year's College World Series. We have three teams representing the Big 12 in Omaha. The fans and the atmosphere are second to none.

PinstripesPlus: What did it feel like hearing your named called by the New York Yankees, with all their mystique and history?

Garrett Patterson: To be honest with you, I was just happy to be drafted. After everything I went through, to hear my name and to be drafted was the best feeling in the world. I knew that it was either going to be the New York Yankees or the Atlanta Braves, so I was ready. But the Yankees are great and I am very happy to be here.

PinstripesPlus: Talk to me a little bit about what kind of pitches you throw and most importantly, what is your outpitch?

Garrett Patterson: I throw a fastball, a curveball, and a changeup. I would have to say that, this year especially, it was my changeup that has been my outpitch. It is a pitch that I really worked on and I am confident with it at anytime.

PinstripesPlus: You have been both a starter and a reliever. What do you prefer to do?

Garrett Patterson: It really doesn't matter to me where I pitch. I go out there and try to help the team. I kind of like starting a little bit better just because you know you're going out there and you can get ready for the game easier. But whether I start, relieve, or even close the game, I do my best to help the team win.

PinstripesPlus: You were drafted in the 11th round of the 2000 June Draft by Anaheim. What made you decide to go to college instead of turning pro right out of high school?

Garrett Patterson: I think for the most part I did not feel I was ready maturity-wise. Right out of high school I did not feel I would be ready to play professional baseball and do it for a living. Right now, I am more mature and I feel more confident, which right out of high school would have been hard for me.

PinstripesPlus: Playing for Oklahoma and being from Oklahoma, are you concerned about playing on the east coast this season and when you make it to Trenton, Columbus, or the Bronx?

Garrett Patterson: Well, when I was at Oklahoma it was always hot and humid. The funny thing is that I went to Kansas State my freshman year and the weather played a part in me leaving. I also did not like the way they were with us getting ready for the season when it was cold out. But I am not worried about it, I was in Tampa and I know if I do move up in the organization, they have the right people to take care of us and get us ready.

PinstripesPlus: What are your goals for this season and in the future?

Garrett Patterson: I basically just want to do what I can to help the team win. Whether I am a starter or a reliever, I just need to be ready when they call on me and do my job. It does not matter to me where I pitch, as long as I am ready to go when I am called on.

PinstripesPlus: As far as your arm goes, do you feel confident when you reach back for the fastball?

Garrett Patterson: Definitely. Everything is great. I have confidence in my arm and especially my elbow. I don't think it should be a problem. I had a great rehabilitation program and I am ready to go. I have the confidence to throw any pitch.

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