Q&A with Yankees 43rd Round Pick Kyle Hunter

We sat down with Yankees' 43rd round pick, Kyle Hunter, for a Draft Day Q&A session. Find out what the left-handed pitcher from Kansas State University says about his stuff, his favorite player and how he'll fit into the Yankees organization, and more!

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

Kyle Hunter: It's an honor. The Yankees have one of the best programs in the major leagues. Any time you get drafted by a team like that it's exciting.

PinstripesPlus.com: You were actually drafted before by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008, what was that like?

Hunter: Well it was the first time I was drafted so it was a really great experience. But we couldn't come to an agreement on the money so I went to college.

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

Hunter: I talked to one of the Yankees scouts quite a bit so I had some idea. I thought they were going to take me a lot higher though. I guess I dropped a lot at the last minute. I thought I might go in the top 10 rounds, I guess some teams might want to see me one more year.

PinstripesPlus.com: Do you have any idea what the Yankees' organization or farm system is like?

Hunter: I really don't. I'd like to start, but whatever team in the future sees me as a reliever I'll do whatever it takes to move up faster.

PinstripesPlus.com: What type of pitches do you throw and at what speeds? Give us a scouting report please - what are your strengths and what do you need to work on the most?

Hunter: The scouting report on me would say he mixes his fastball in an out well, throws his changeup to righties and curves to lefties. My fastball is consistently 87-89, but it touches 90, 91, and 92 at times. My changeup is more of a circle-change and it dives away from righties usually in the high 70's. I keep working on everything, I've been working a little with a cutter. It's still a work in progress though.

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

Hunter: I moved around a lot when I was little so I never really had one team. I've been a Cardinals fan since junior high though and I've always been a Tom Glavine fan. I liked him because he's a lefty that throws somewhat like me and he's had a successful career.

PinstripesPlus.com: Tell me more about moving around your entire life, did it affect you as a baseball player at all?

Hunter: No I don't think it had much effect. I've always played baseball every year from the time I was four or five. My dad played college baseball and he has good knowledge about the game so he's always been able to help me.

PinstripesPlus.com: 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?

Hunter: I don't want to say that I compare myself to Glavine, I haven't earned the right to say that I pitch like him, but I guess you could say that I compare myself to him a little bit. Maybe a little bit of Mark Buehrle too. He and Glavine both don't have overpowering stuff, but they try to stay consistent and hit their spots.

PinstripesPlus.com: You are related to White Sox's Hall of Fame infielder Luke Appling, what's that like?

Hunter: He passed away before I ever got a chance to meet him, but it's cool when you go to the White Sox's stadium and you see his number on the wall. It's pretty cool. It really didn't have any effect on me though. I learned a lot from my dad who played college ball, but other than that there were no other family influences.

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

Hunter: That probably had to be when I beat no. 1 Texas this past year. It was a real close game and we ended up winning and it snapped a 21-game winning streak.

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

Hunter: It might take some time. They said they want to watch me this summer. Maybe if I have a good summer and they give me the money that I want I'll sign. If not I'll go back to school and get drafted next year.

PinstripesPlus.com: As a draft eligible sophomore, you are in kind of a unique situation. Is that going to come into play here?

Hunter: Yeah a little bit. I feel like I'm kind of in a win-win situation. If they like me they'll give me the money I'm looking for and sign. If not I have two more years left in college to fall back on.

PinstripesPlus.com: Does getting a chance to work with professional coaches have any sway as to whether or not you are more likely or less likely to sign at all?

Hunter: The program at Kansas State has really been on the uprise for the past five or six years. Our pitching coach is one of the best in the nation and he's always there to help. I'm more of an individual guy though. I like to work on stuff by myself, but the coaches at Kansas are always there to help.

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

Hunter: Maybe a little bit. I've seen people pitching in New York and it seems like it gets pretty crazy. But I've pitched to big crowds before so I'm kind of used to it in that aspect.

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Pinstripes Plus Top Stories

\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\nKyle Hunter: It's an honor. The Yankees have one of the best programs in the major leagues. Any time you get drafted by a team like that it's exciting.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: You were actually drafted before by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008, what was that like?
\r\n
\r\nHunter: Well it was the first time I was drafted so it was a really great experience. But we couldn't come to an agreement on the money so I went to college.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Were you surprised it was the Yankees that selected you? Had you and the Yankees talked much before the draft?
\r\n
\r\nHunter: I talked to one of the Yankees scouts quite a bit so I had some idea. I thought they were going to take me a lot higher though. I guess I dropped a lot at the last minute. I thought I might go in the top 10 rounds, I guess some teams might want to see me one more year.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Do you have any idea what the Yankees' organization or farm system is like?
\r\n
\r\nHunter: I really don't. I'd like to start, but whatever team in the future sees me as a reliever I'll do whatever it takes to move up faster.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: What type of pitches do you throw and at what speeds? Give us a scouting report please - what are your strengths and what do you need to work on the most?
\r\n
\r\nHunter: The scouting report on me would say he mixes his fastball in an out well, throws his changeup to righties and curves to lefties. My fastball is consistently 87-89, but it touches 90, 91, and 92 at times. My changeup is more of a circle-change and it dives away from righties usually in the high 70's. I keep working on everything, I've been working a little with a cutter. It's still a work in progress though.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Did you have a favorite team growing up or a favorite player?
\r\n
\r\nHunter: I moved around a lot when I was little so I never really had one team. I've been a Cardinals fan since junior high though and I've always been a Tom Glavine fan. I liked him because he's a lefty that throws somewhat like me and he's had a successful career.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Tell me more about moving around your entire life, did it affect you as a baseball player at all?
\r\n
\r\nHunter: No I don't think it had much effect. I've always played baseball every year from the time I was four or five. My dad played college baseball and he has good knowledge about the game so he's always been able to help me.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: 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\nHunter: I don't want to say that I compare myself to Glavine, I haven't earned the right to say that I pitch like him, but I guess you could say that I compare myself to him a little bit. Maybe a little bit of Mark Buehrle too. He and Glavine both don't have overpowering stuff, but they try to stay consistent and hit their spots.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: You are related to White Sox's Hall of Fame infielder Luke Appling, what's that like?
\r\n
\r\nHunter: He passed away before I ever got a chance to meet him, but it's cool when you go to the White Sox's stadium and you see his number on the wall. It's pretty cool. It really didn't have any effect on me though. I learned a lot from my dad who played college ball, but other than that there were no other family influences.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: What would you say is your best moment in baseball and why?
\r\n
\r\nHunter: That probably had to be when I beat no. 1 Texas this past year. It was a real close game and we ended up winning and it snapped a 21-game winning streak.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Are you looking to sign quickly and get your professional career started right away?
\r\n
\r\nHunter: It might take some time. They said they want to watch me this summer. Maybe if I have a good summer and they give me the money that I want I'll sign. If not I'll go back to school and get drafted next year.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: As a draft eligible sophomore, you are in kind of a unique situation. Is that going to come into play here?
\r\n
\r\nHunter: Yeah a little bit. I feel like I'm kind of in a win-win situation. If they like me they'll give me the money I'm looking for and sign. If not I have two more years left in college to fall back on.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Does getting a chance to work with professional coaches have any sway as to whether or not you are more likely or less likely to sign at all?
\r\n
\r\nHunter: The program at Kansas State has really been on the uprise for the past five or six years. Our pitching coach is one of the best in the nation and he's always there to help. I'm more of an individual guy though. I like to work on stuff by myself, but the coaches at Kansas are always there to help.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Do you think the pressures of pitching in New York might be a problem?
\r\n
\r\nHunter: Maybe a little bit. I've seen people pitching in New York and it seems like it gets pretty crazy. But I've pitched to big crowds before so I'm kind of used to it in that aspect.
\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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