Q&A with Yankees 2nd Round Pick, Scott Bittle

We sat down with Yankees' 2nd round pick, Scott Bittle, for a Draft Day Q&A session. Find out what the right-hander from the University of Mississippi says is his best pitch, how he feels being drafted by the Yankees again, and why he chose to return to college for the 2007 season.

PinstripesPlus.com: Tell us what is going through your mind after being selected by a team like the Yankees.

Scott Bittle: It's the best case scenario. They have such a rich tradition of winning, and a great organization all the way from the major league level to the minor league level. And, I think it was the best case scenario for me to go in, and I am just thrilled to be a Yankee.

PinstripesPlus: Were you surprised it was the Yankees that selected you? Had you and the Yankees talked much before the draft?

Bittle: We've been in contact, probably for about a month now. I knew there was a good shot of me going there, but anything with the draft is unpredictable and I was just lucky to get picked up at no. 75.

PinstripesPlus: How does it feel to go from being drafted in the 48th round last year to the 2nd round this year?

Bittle: I put together a pretty decent year and I knew I was going to move up, but moving up this much is incredible. I just want to thank my teammates for helping me out this year and being with me. I also want to thank the Yankees organization for having their trust in me and picking me up.

PinstripesPlus: What made you want to return to college as opposed to joining the Yankees after the 2007 draft last year?

Bittle: Well, I felt like I could put together a better year this year. I gained a lot of confidence at the end of the season last year, and I wanted to have that overflow into the next year and have a full season of solid performance. It happened to work out where I had a good year, and the rest is history.

PinstripesPlus: Do you have any idea what the Yankees' organization or farm system is like, or how you will fit in to the organization?

Bittle: Today they gave me a call, and we talked briefly, but none of that was discussed. Going from last year, I know a little about it, but this year hopefully I'll learn some more and learn where I fit exactly.

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

Bittle: I throw a fastball, changeup and a cutter. Well, I call it a cutter, but its not like a Mariano Rivera cutter, it's slightly bigger and slower and has more life to it because its slower than his. It's my bread and butter and whenever I need to use it, I am definitely going to it. It's been my best pitch this year and I am ready to start using it with wood bats.

PinstripesPlus: Why do you think moving to the pen helped you become more successful and put up better numbers this season?

Bittle: It's just a different mentality. Being a starter, you just have to pace yourself and go after people in a different way. Coming out of the pen, I was able to focus on one hitter at a time and give them my best stuff without thinking about pacing myself later into the game.

PinstripesPlus: When some pitchers move from the rotation to the bullpen, they encounter a spike in velocity. As a reliever last season, did you experience anything like this?

Bittle: I'm not the usual bullpen guy that comes in for one or two innings. I've had several stints where I pitch in five or seven innings and it helped me because I was a starter earlier and this year I've never seen a drop in velocity or an increase.

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

Bittle: I've always looked up to Mariano Rivera for the obvious reasons, the parallels between pitches. I've always been a Yankees fan. I can remember the day I became a Yankees fan. It was when they played Seattle in the ALCS and my parents were Mariners fans, and I was through a rebellious stage.

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? And why?

Bittle: I don't really have many similarities style-wise to Mariano Rivera, but aside from the fact that we both throw a pitch called a cutter, I try to have the quiet confidence that he has. I'm not really sure. There are a lot of pitchers out there, and I really don't know all their styles, so it is really tough to say.

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

Bittle: Probably what happened a coupe of hours ago; being picked up by the Yankees is a pretty good feeling.

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\r\n \r\n\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Tell us what is going through your mind after being selected by a team like the Yankees.
\r\n
\r\nScott Bittle: It's the best case scenario. They have such a rich tradition of winning, and a great organization all the way from the major league level to the minor league level. And, I think it was the best case scenario for me to go in, and I am just thrilled to be a Yankee.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: Were you surprised it was the Yankees that selected you? Had you and the Yankees talked much before the draft?
\r\n
\r\nBittle: We've been in contact, probably for about a month now. I knew there was a good shot of me going there, but anything with the draft is unpredictable and I was just lucky to get picked up at no. 75.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: How does it feel to go from being drafted in the 48th round last year to the 2nd round this year?
\r\n
\r\nBittle: I put together a pretty decent year and I knew I was going to move up, but moving up this much is incredible. I just want to thank my teammates for helping me out this year and being with me. I also want to thank the Yankees organization for having their trust in me and picking me up.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: What made you want to return to college as opposed to joining the Yankees after the 2007 draft last year?
\r\n
\r\nBittle: Well, I felt like I could put together a better year this year. I gained a lot of confidence at the end of the season last year, and I wanted to have that overflow into the next year and have a full season of solid performance. It happened to work out where I had a good year, and the rest is history.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: Do you have any idea what the Yankees' organization or farm system is like, or how you will fit in to the organization?
\r\n
\r\nBittle: Today they gave me a call, and we talked briefly, but none of that was discussed. Going from last year, I know a little about it, but this year hopefully I'll learn some more and learn where I fit exactly.
\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\nBittle: I throw a fastball, changeup and a cutter. Well, I call it a cutter, but its not like a Mariano Rivera cutter, it's slightly bigger and slower and has more life to it because its slower than his. It's my bread and butter and whenever I need to use it, I am definitely going to it. It's been my best pitch this year and I am ready to start using it with wood bats.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: Why do you think moving to the pen helped you become more successful and put up better numbers this season?
\r\n
\r\nBittle: It's just a different mentality. Being a starter, you just have to pace yourself and go after people in a different way. Coming out of the pen, I was able to focus on one hitter at a time and give them my best stuff without thinking about pacing myself later into the game.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: When some pitchers move from the rotation to the bullpen, they encounter a spike in velocity. As a reliever last season, did you experience anything like this?
\r\n
\r\nBittle: I'm not the usual bullpen guy that comes in for one or two innings. I've had several stints where I pitch in five or seven innings and it helped me because I was a starter earlier and this year I've never seen a drop in velocity or an increase.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: Did you have a favorite team growing up or a favorite player?
\r\n
\r\nBittle: I've always looked up to Mariano Rivera for the obvious reasons, the parallels between pitches. I've always been a Yankees fan. I can remember the day I became a Yankees fan. It was when they played Seattle in the ALCS and my parents were Mariners fans, and I was through a rebellious stage.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: 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? And why?
\r\n
\r\nBittle: I don't really have many similarities style-wise to Mariano Rivera, but aside from the fact that we both throw a pitch called a cutter, I try to have the quiet confidence that he has. I'm not really sure. There are a lot of pitchers out there, and I really don't know all their styles, so it is really tough to say.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: What would you say is your best moment in baseball and why?
\r\n
\r\nBittle: Probably what happened a coupe of hours ago; being picked up by the Yankees is a pretty good feeling.
\r\n
\r\n

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

Are you a monthly or 3-month subscriber to PinstripesPlus.com? Why not get two months free AND get 4 issues of our PinstripesPlus Magazine included by becoming an annual subscriber? Upgrade today to get the most out of your subscription.

\r\n

\r\n

Become an annual subscriber today!

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