Q&A with Yanks 18th Rd Pick, Chris Carpenter

Chris Carpenter, one of the more intriguing Yankees draft picks, sits down for a Draft Day Q&A session. Find out who the right-handed pitcher from Kent State University has been compared to at the big league level, how he feels being drafted by the Yankees, and if he plans on signing with the Yankees or if he's thinking about going back to school.

PinstripesPlus.com: A lot of scouts and experts were projecting you would be a first round draft pick. Are you disappointed that you fell this far or do you think it might be a blessing in disguise that you eventually were drafted by the Yankees?

Chris Carpenter: Well, I mean I couldn't be happier to be drafted by the Yankees. I knew from the start that the Tommy John surgery I had last year would turn a lot of people off. But, I can't say that I'm disappointed. Being drafted by the Yankees is just a tremendous honor and I'm looking forward to what's to come in and start my career.

PinstripesPlus: So do you think that having the Tommy John surgery was the main reason you fell this far or do you think there were some other reasons in play?

Carpenter: I'm sure there were other reasons. I think that people were a little leery to pick me because of the surgery. But, I feel I came back this year really strong this year and I feel I'm at 100 percent. Maybe some people just did not want to take the risk.

PinstripesPlus: Were you surprised that it was the Yankees that selected you. I mean, had you and the Yankees talked much before the draft?

Carpenter: No, I wasn't surprised at all that the Yankees took to me. I have been talking to their area scout for a while now and they've been sending scouts to all of my games. So, I really wasn't surprised at all that the Yankees picked me.

PinstripesPlus: Do you have any idea what the Yankees far system is like and how do you think you fit into the plans of the organization?

Carpenter: I know that the Yankees organization is run very professionally and I think I will fit into their plans nicely. I know that their first round pick is just like me, a right-handed power pitcher. They seem to like right-handed power pitchers, so I'm sure I'll be in a lot of competition with other guys. I'll just try to do my best.

PinstripesPlus: Talk about your stuff if you wouldn't mind. What type of pitches do you throw and at what speeds?

Carpenter: Well, I'm a fastball, changeup, curve ball type of guy. I look to add a slider to that mix of pitches in the near future. My fastball usually clocks in between 92 to 95-96 MPH. When I come out of the bullpen I can sometimes hit 97-98, but I tend to keep my fastball in the 93-96 area.

PinstripesPlus: Did you have a favorite team growing up or a favorite player?

Carpenter: I really didn't have a favorite team, but mostly everyone in my family is a Tigers fan just because of where I grew up. As for favorite player, it was definitely Ryan Sandberg from the Cubs. I have no idea why, but he was my favorite player when I was younger.

PinstripesPlus: Who would you compare your stuff to at the major league level so the Yankees' fans can get an idea of you're like on the mound and why?

Carpenter: I know that people in the past have tried to compare me to Kris Benson. I'm a power right-hander who can throw offspeed stuff, so that's where the comparison comes from. I have never tried to compare myself to anyone else, that's just what people have told me in the past.

PinstripesPlus: What would you say is your best moment is baseball and why?

Carpenter: My best moment was probably a couple of weeks ago when we won the MAC Championship. That's the first championship I ever won in college and that weekend was one of the best moments of my life.

PinstripesPlus: Are you looking to sign quickly and get your professional career started right away?

Carpenter: My goal is to get into the organization as quickly as possible. I'm definitely looking forward to signing and finally getting the ball rolling.

PinstripesPlus: Do you think the pressures of pitching in New York might be a problem?

Carpenter: I don't know. I haven't really pitched under that much pressure before. I know that there is a lot of pressure in New York, but there's pressure everywhere you go. I'm just going to come in and work as hard as I can. I know if I do that things will take care of themselves.

PinstripesPlus: In 2004, you were drafted by the Detroit Tigers. What was your thought process at that point of opting to go to school and do you believe you made the right decision?

Carpenter: Absolutely, I know I made the right choice. Coming out of high school, I knew I wasn't mature enough or mentally tough enough. I know I made the right decision and I'm really looking forward to starting my career with the Yankees.

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\r\n \r\n\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: A lot of scouts and experts were projecting you would be a first round draft pick. Are you disappointed that you fell this far or do you think it might be a blessing in disguise that you eventually were drafted by the Yankees?
\r\n
\r\nChris Carpenter: Well, I mean I couldn't be happier to be drafted by the Yankees. I knew from the start that the Tommy John surgery I had last year would turn a lot of people off. But, I can't say that I'm disappointed. Being drafted by the Yankees is just a tremendous honor and I'm looking forward to what's to come in and start my career.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: So do you think that having the Tommy John surgery was the main reason you fell this far or do you think there were some other reasons in play?
\r\n
\r\nCarpenter: I'm sure there were other reasons. I think that people were a little leery to pick me because of the surgery. But, I feel I came back this year really strong this year and I feel I'm at 100 percent. Maybe some people just did not want to take the risk.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: Were you surprised that it was the Yankees that selected you. I mean, had you and the Yankees talked much before the draft?
\r\n
\r\nCarpenter: No, I wasn't surprised at all that the Yankees took to me. I have been talking to their area scout for a while now and they've been sending scouts to all of my games. So, I really wasn't surprised at all that the Yankees picked me.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: Do you have any idea what the Yankees far system is like and how do you think you fit into the plans of the organization?
\r\n
\r\nCarpenter: I know that the Yankees organization is run very professionally and I think I will fit into their plans nicely. I know that their first round pick is just like me, a right-handed power pitcher. They seem to like right-handed power pitchers, so I'm sure I'll be in a lot of competition with other guys. I'll just try to do my best.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: Talk about your stuff if you wouldn't mind. What type of pitches do you throw and at what speeds?
\r\n
\r\nCarpenter: Well, I'm a fastball, changeup, curve ball type of guy. I look to add a slider to that mix of pitches in the near future. My fastball usually clocks in between 92 to 95-96 MPH. When I come out of the bullpen I can sometimes hit 97-98, but I tend to keep my fastball in the 93-96 area.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: Did you have a favorite team growing up or a favorite player?
\r\n
\r\nCarpenter: I really didn't have a favorite team, but mostly everyone in my family is a Tigers fan just because of where I grew up. As for favorite player, it was definitely Ryan Sandberg from the Cubs. I have no idea why, but he was my favorite player when I was younger.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: Who would you compare your stuff to at the major league level so the Yankees' fans can get an idea of you're like on the mound and why?
\r\n
\r\nCarpenter: I know that people in the past have tried to compare me to Kris Benson. I'm a power right-hander who can throw offspeed stuff, so that's where the comparison comes from. I have never tried to compare myself to anyone else, that's just what people have told me in the past.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: What would you say is your best moment is baseball and why?
\r\n
\r\nCarpenter: My best moment was probably a couple of weeks ago when we won the MAC Championship. That's the first championship I ever won in college and that weekend was one of the best moments of my life.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: Are you looking to sign quickly and get your professional career started right away?
\r\n
\r\nCarpenter: My goal is to get into the organization as quickly as possible. I'm definitely looking forward to signing and finally getting the ball rolling.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: Do you think the pressures of pitching in New York might be a problem?
\r\n
\r\nCarpenter: I don't know. I haven't really pitched under that much pressure before. I know that there is a lot of pressure in New York, but there's pressure everywhere you go. I'm just going to come in and work as hard as I can. I know if I do that things will take care of themselves.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: In 2004, you were drafted by the Detroit Tigers. What was your thought process at that point of opting to go to school and do you believe you made the right decision?
\r\n
\r\nCarpenter: Absolutely, I know I made the right choice. Coming out of high school, I knew I wasn't mature enough or mentally tough enough. I know I made the right decision and I'm really looking forward to starting my career with the Yankees.
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

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\r\n

\r\n

Become an annual subscriber today!

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