Kyle Larsen Speaks Softly, Carries a Big Stick

Kyle Larsen has been, without a doubt, the most pleasant surprise of the 2005 season. To even think that a player of this caliber went undrafted just shows you one of the many oddities of baseball. Yes, Larsen has been a quiet leader in the clubhouse, but his bat has pushed him onto the prospect landscape.

PinstripesPlus.com: Describe your feelings on draft day. Obviously, you've said you were disappointed, but has there been any way for you to combat those feelings?

Kyle Larsen: The draft, you know, was a bad day. But, there's nothing I could do about. Obviously, I wish I could go back and hope that someone would have taken me, but that just isn't how it worked out. I'm just glad that I'm here though. Being here, I'm hoping to prove to everyone that I should have been drafted and that I have a lot of ability to offer. I signed with the Yankees to play my game and do my thing.

PinstripesPlus.com: Knowing that essentially every team passed on you, do you get any extra satisfaction out of playing as well as you have this season?

Kyle Larsen: I think I get a little bit of added satisfaction, of course. It was frustrating to know that I could play at this level and no on drafted me. When I came here, I just wanted to show that I could play at the same level as all these guys and I think I've done that. I just wanted to prove that I could be successful here. But, the way I look at it is that I'm here. It doesn't matter how I got here. All that matters is that I made it here. That's what is most important to me. Now, I just need to keep proving myself, and hopefully move up the ladder pretty quickly.

PinstripesPlus.com: As a big lefty first baseman, there have been many different comparisons pinned on you. What Major Leaguer player would you say you are most similar to in style?

Kyle Larsen: I used to watch John Olerud a lot growing up. And, he was a guy that I liked to model myself after, being that I'm a lefty first baseman like he is. You know, I don't hit really a ton of home runs right now, but I try to drive in runs, hit for average and do things like that. I always try my best to be an excellent defensive player as well. I just want to be an all around solid player.

PinstripesPlus.com: Kyle, you've been mentioned quite a bit as one of the leaders for this potent Staten Island club. Do you see yourself as a natural leader?

Kyle Larsen: I think so, a little bit. I'm not a real big vocal guy. I just try to lead by example more than being real vocal. I'm kind of a soft spoken guy and not really a big cheerleader type. (laughing) I'm not the type of guy to do a whole lot of talking. But, I just go out and play hard everyday and, for me, that kind of leadership is just as good as a lot of talking.

PinstripesPlus.com: You've mentioned that you really do like hitting with the wooden bat. Do you still feel that way after playing a season of pro ball?

Kyle Larsen: Yeah, definitely. I actually like hitting with the wood better than the aluminum. I have hit a couple long shots this year and got them right on the sweet spot. I think it just makes me concentrate on my game a little bit more instead of coming out of my element. You can definitely do some things with aluminum that you can't do with the wood. But, I think the wood bat teaches you to hit a lot more. It teaches you not to screw up too much or your going to be breaking a lot of bats and not hitting balls that hard.

PinstripesPlus.com: Obviously, pitchers at this level are a lot tougher than college pitching. But, you seem to be handling them quite well. What type of pitchers have given you the most trouble?

Kyle Larsen: There's been a couple lefties that threw the ball pretty hard that gave me some trouble. You didn't see that too much in college. It's the lefties that throw harder up and in that are a little bit troublesome. I've never really seen much of that so it has been a bit of a new thing for me. But, you know, I'm just trying to keep getting in there and relax. And, as I see more guys like that, it will come easier.

PinstripesPlus.com: Are there any specific improvements you'd like to make heading into the 2006 season?

Kyle Larsen: Oh yeah. I just want to keep getting better everyday. Obviously, I'm not in the big leagues so any improvements I need to make to get there, I'll do. Whatever is going to help me get there, I'll work at and keep working at until I reach my goal.

Pinstripes Plus Top Stories

\r\n\r\n\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Describe your feelings on draft day. Obviously, you've said you were disappointed, but has there been any way for you to combat those feelings?\r\n

\r\nKyle Larsen: The draft, you know, was a bad day. But, there's nothing I could do about. Obviously, I wish I could go back and hope that someone would have taken me, but that just isn't how it worked out. I'm just glad that I'm here though. Being here, I'm hoping to prove to everyone that I should have been drafted and that I have a lot of ability to offer. I signed with the Yankees to play my game and do my thing.\r\n

\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Knowing that essentially every team passed on you, do you get any extra satisfaction out of playing as well as you have this season?\r\n

\r\nKyle Larsen: I think I get a little bit of added satisfaction, of course. It was frustrating to know that I could play at this level and no on drafted me. When I came here, I just wanted to show that I could play at the same level as all these guys and I think I've done that. I just wanted to prove that I could be successful here. But, the way I look at it is that I'm here. It doesn't matter how I got here. All that matters is that I made it here. That's what is most important to me. Now, I just need to keep proving myself, and hopefully move up the ladder pretty quickly.\r\n

\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: As a big lefty first baseman, there have been many different comparisons pinned on you. What Major Leaguer player would you say you are most similar to in style?\r\n

\r\nKyle Larsen: I used to watch John Olerud a lot growing up. And, he was a guy that I liked to model myself after, being that I'm a lefty first baseman like he is. You know, I don't hit really a ton of home runs right now, but I try to drive in runs, hit for average and do things like that. I always try my best to be an excellent defensive player as well. I just want to be an all around solid player.\r\n

\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Kyle, you've been mentioned quite a bit as one of the leaders for this potent Staten Island club. Do you see yourself as a natural leader?\r\n

\r\nKyle Larsen: I think so, a little bit. I'm not a real big vocal guy. I just try to lead by example more than being real vocal. I'm kind of a soft spoken guy and not really a big cheerleader type. (laughing) I'm not the type of guy to do a whole lot of talking. But, I just go out and play hard everyday and, for me, that kind of leadership is just as good as a lot of talking.\r\n

\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: You've mentioned that you really do like hitting with the wooden bat. Do you still feel that way after playing a season of pro ball?\r\n

\r\nKyle Larsen: Yeah, definitely. I actually like hitting with the wood better than the aluminum. I have hit a couple long shots this year and got them right on the sweet spot. I think it just makes me concentrate on my game a little bit more instead of coming out of my element. You can definitely do some things with aluminum that you can't do with the wood. But, I think the wood bat teaches you to hit a lot more. It teaches you not to screw up too much or your going to be breaking a lot of bats and not hitting balls that hard.\r\n

\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Obviously, pitchers at this level are a lot tougher than college pitching. But, you seem to be handling them quite well. What type of pitchers have given you the most trouble?\r\n

\r\nKyle Larsen: There's been a couple lefties that threw the ball pretty hard that gave me some trouble. You didn't see that too much in college. It's the lefties that throw harder up and in that are a little bit troublesome. I've never really seen much of that so it has been a bit of a new thing for me. But, you know, I'm just trying to keep getting in there and relax. And, as I see more guys like that, it will come easier.\r\n

\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Are there any specific improvements you'd like to make heading into the 2006 season?\r\n

\r\nKyle Larsen: Oh yeah. I just want to keep getting better everyday. Obviously, I'm not in the big leagues so any improvements I need to make to get there, I'll do. 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