PinstripesPlus.com: Tell us what is going through your mind right now after being selected by a team like the Yankees.
Daniel McCutchen: I was drafted by them out of junior college a few years ago, and I was hoping to get drafted a little earlier, but I can't complain being taken by the Yankees, it's a great opportunity and I'm excited.
PinstripesPlus: Were you surprised it was the Yankees that selected you? Had you and the Yankees talked much before the draft?
McCutchen: I've been under control of the Cardinals all year. Had we not won the regionals, I probably would have signed with the Cardinals and be done, since I was still under heir control. But we kept winning, so I went back into the draft, obviously the Yankees couldn't have done anything if I was still in the Cardinals system. But, it's fine by me. The scout who drafted me, I see a lot around the park, I've known him for a while, and I had a feeling I was going to get picked by the Yankees.
PinstripesPlus: Do you have any idea what the Yankees' organization or farm system is like?
McCutchen: You know, I'm 23, I'm second in the nation in innings pitched this year, and I have a lot of experience. I haven't really discussed it with anyone but I would expect they'll throw right in with the 18-year-olds and let me control games there and then hopefully I'll move up the system fast. I'm about the same age of guys who are in the bigs for a while now, so I want to get up as fast as possible.
PinstripesPlus: Talk about your stuff if you wouldn't mind. What type of pitches do you throw and at what speeds?
McCutchen: My fastball is about 90-93 mph, it's been up around 96 mph this year against Oklahoma State, but that was probably because I was really amped up. I have a split-change that I throw a lot and that I rely on a lot. My hard curveball is about 81 mph, and I throw a changeup about 83 mph which as good sink.
PinstripesPlus: Did you have a favorite team growing up or a favorite player?
McCutchen: All through high school and growing up I was a shortstop, so Ozzie Smith was my hero. It wasn't until freshman year that I started pitching. As far as teams ago, I never really had a favorite, just watched everybody and enjoyed the game.
PinstripesPlus: Who would you compare your stuff to at the Major League level so Yankees' fans can get an idea of what you're like on the mound?
McCutchen: I really couldn't tell you. I definitely do not have a smooth delivery and my motion is probably a lot different then anyone else out there; the motion is definitely really unique.
PinstripesPlus: What would you say is your best moment in baseball and why?
McCutchen: Definitely this weekend. I started the Friday night game, threw 8 2/3 IP, 138 pitches, then 2 days later, on Monday, after we worked our way through the losers bracket, since they scored 2 runs on me in the 9th on Friday and we lost, I came back on Monday on pitched on 5 2/3 IP we had a 3 run lead in the in the 9th. I gave up a 2 run homer, struck out the next guy, then I put guys on 1st and 3rd, and then I got the ground ball to win the regional. It was a lot of excitement, especially since I had comeback on two days rest after throwing that many pitches on Friday.
PinstripesPlus: Are you looking to sign quickly and get your professional career started right away?
McCutchen: Yea I want to sign quickly, I'm ready to do it right when our season ends, I'm a senior, its my 4th draft, and I came back to school again and I'm graduating with an economics degree. I've turned down good money in the past, but the money is not what I'm looking for, I'm looking for the shot to move up. The Yankees have great players, but they could always use pitching. I'm 23 and I want to get their fast.
PinstripesPlus: Do you think the pressures of pitching in New York might be a problem?
McCutchen: I haven't experienced anything like Yankee Stadium. OU-Oklahoma State is a great crowd, 16,000, nothing compared to the Stadium, but I've done well in that pressure situation so far. I love the pressure, I love the big crowds. But I'm not going to say I could be ready for Yankee Stadium right now, I still have a lot to learn and I'm ready, I'm ready to work my way up.
PinstripesPlus: What parts of your game do you need to work on the most?
McCutchen: Sometimes I'll get into a groove after I sit a few guys down in a row. I'll get a little too amped up and I'll think I'm untouchable. Then I'll leave a mistake in the zone, like 95 mph fastball belt high, and it'll get hit out. Staying under control on the mound is big. Pitching is not about velocity, it's about control and hitting your spots.
PinstripesPlus: What are the strongest parts of your game?
McCutchen: I feel like I'm a warrior out there on the mound and that I'll always battle. I can locate three pitches well and I'm going in there with an attitude that I'm ready to try anything. I don't care if they want to start me, close me, mid-relief, I'm ready to do anything to help me move up the system.
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