Q&A with Yankees 7th Rnd Pick Kyle Higashioka

We sat down with Yankees' 7th round pick, Kyle Higashioka, for a Draft Day Q&A session. Find out what the catcher from Edison High School says is his greatest strength, how he feels being drafted by the Yankees, who he would compare his game to at the big league level, and more.

PinstripesPlus.com: Tell us what it feels like to be selected by the New York Yankees?

Kyle Higashioka: It's a really great honor to be drafted by the New York Yankees. They are known to be the best organization in baseball history and I also think that they will really give me a chance to prove myself.

PinstripesPlus: Talk about your game a little bit. What type of player are you and how do you see yourself fitting in with the Yankees?

Higashioka: I see myself as a very skilled defensive catcher. I hope to stay at catcher and hopefully move quickly.

PinstripesPlus: What are your strengths and your weaknesses?

Higashioka: My strengths are my defensive skills, my arm, and calling a game. I called all of the pitches in the game, they didn't come from the dugout. My weakness would probably be conditioning and durability, which just comes from not playing everyday. I think that's probably the biggest adjustment I'll have to make.

PinstripesPlus: Who would you compare your game to at the Major League level so the Yankees' fans have an idea of what your game is like?

Higashioka: I know Yankees fans won't like this, but I would probably say Jason Varitek. Varitek is really intelligent out in the field and does everything he can to help his team win.

PinstripesPlus: Were you expecting to be drafted by the Yankees or were you surprised when they selected you?

Higashioka: I had talked to the Yankees a pretty good amount and wasn't really that surprised when they picked me. They had expressed interest in me in the conversations we had.

PinstripesPlus: Do you see yourself staying at the same position or do you think you'll be moved to another position?

Higashioka: I definitely see myself staying at catcher and in the conversations I've had with the Yankees they never talked about me switching positions.

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

Higashioka: That would probably be winning the Sunset League Championship in 2007. We knew we had a good team but we were pretty underrated by everyone else. Winning a championship is always huge, regardless of the level.

PinstripesPlus: Who was your favorite team and player growing up?

Higashioka: I'm from Southern California so I would have to say the L.A. Dodgers and Jeff Kent is probably my favorite player right now, he went to my high school.

PinstripesPlus: What are your immediate plans now that you have been drafted by the Yankees? Is it your intention to sign now and start your professional career immediately?

Higashioka: I'm probably not going to start playing for the Yankees until they offer pretty close to what I'm asking for, so I probably won't be playing in the organization until the late summer at the earliest. I'll be playing in a wood-bat league though called the California Collegiate League [Higashioka is committed to UC-Berkeley for the fall if he does not sign with the Yankees].

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Pinstripes Plus Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Tell us what it feels like to be selected by the New York Yankees?
\r\n
\r\nKyle Higashioka: It's a really great honor to be drafted by the New York Yankees. They are known to be the best organization in baseball history and I also think that they will really give me a chance to prove myself.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: Talk about your game a little bit. What type of player are you and how do you see yourself fitting in with the Yankees?
\r\n
\r\nHigashioka: I see myself as a very skilled defensive catcher. I hope to stay at catcher and hopefully move quickly.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: What are your strengths and your weaknesses?
\r\n
\r\nHigashioka: My strengths are my defensive skills, my arm, and calling a game. I called all of the pitches in the game, they didn't come from the dugout. My weakness would probably be conditioning and durability, which just comes from not playing everyday. I think that's probably the biggest adjustment I'll have to make.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: Who would you compare your game to at the Major League level so the Yankees' fans have an idea of what your game is like?
\r\n
\r\nHigashioka: I know Yankees fans won't like this, but I would probably say Jason Varitek. Varitek is really intelligent out in the field and does everything he can to help his team win.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: Were you expecting to be drafted by the Yankees or were you surprised when they selected you?
\r\n
\r\nHigashioka: I had talked to the Yankees a pretty good amount and wasn't really that surprised when they picked me. They had expressed interest in me in the conversations we had.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: Do you see yourself staying at the same position or do you think you'll be moved to another position?
\r\n
\r\nHigashioka: I definitely see myself staying at catcher and in the conversations I've had with the Yankees they never talked about me switching positions.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: What would you say is your best moment in baseball and why?
\r\n
\r\nHigashioka: That would probably be winning the Sunset League Championship in 2007. We knew we had a good team but we were pretty underrated by everyone else. Winning a championship is always huge, regardless of the level.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: Who was your favorite team and player growing up?
\r\n
\r\nHigashioka: I'm from Southern California so I would have to say the L.A. Dodgers and Jeff Kent is probably my favorite player right now, he went to my high school.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus: What are your immediate plans now that you have been drafted by the Yankees? Is it your intention to sign now and start your professional career immediately?
\r\n
Higashioka: I'm probably not going to start playing for the Yankees until they offer pretty close to what I'm asking for, so I probably won't be playing in the organization until the late summer at the earliest. I'll be playing in a wood-bat league though called the California Collegiate League [Higashioka is committed to UC-Berkeley for the fall if he does not sign with the Yankees].
\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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