In the 6th round of the 2016 MLB draft the New York Yankees selected RHP Brooks Kriske from USC. Kriske was ranked as the 295th best prospect by Baseball America, and the 41st best in the state of California. Kriske is described as a fastball-slider reliever, who has a chance to be a late inning reliever. Below is a short interview with the righty.
First off I would like to congratulate you on being drafted. How did you find out the Yankees were drafting you in 6th round of the draft?
“My parents came down—I’m still living in LA—and we just set up the computer and hung-out. There was talk I was going to get drafted on day 2 so we just followed it and heard my and was very excited.”
Were the Yankees, the team that showed the most interest in you as a draft prospect?
“I don’t know if I’d say the most, it’s tough because teams handle the scouting differently. Some will talk to you a lot, some not as much. The scout that drafted me was Dave Keith, and I know he had watched me in high school as well so I had a little bit of a relationship with him. He’s an awesome guy and I’m extremely grateful that he grabbed me where he did, I’m excited to wear the pinstripes.”
Do you know anyone in the Yankees system?
“Actually, my teammate Tim Robinson just got drafted in the 21st round by the Yankees. He was my roommate in my sophomore year. We came in together four years ago, so it’s really exciting for the both of us that will both get to head out and start our professional career together.”
Did you also know Jake Hernandez well?
“Yes, he’s a good friend of mine, saw him pretty regularly this last spring and then the fall. He’s kind of a big brother to me, when I was called up freshman and sophomore years. So there’s been a good line of Trojans that have gone on to play in the Yankees organization.”
Can you give us a quick scouting report on yourself as a ballplayer?
“I’d say I’m an extremely confident right handed pitcher, I take pride in staying very stoic and almost emotionless I don’t get to high or low. I just compete, and just want to win.”
Who has been the most influential person/player in your baseball career?
“Obviously my Parents were a big influence. They always supported me and drove me to games, and they always watched. Growing up they let me take pitching and hitting lessons.
In the baseball I am actually named after Brooks Robinson, and we’re family friends with the Robinsons. So I probably talk to him once a year and go to dinner with him. He’s really influential to me, not necessarily on the field but off the field he really showed me how to be a good person; to respect everyone and always have a smile on my face.”
Did you have a favorite player growing up; was it Brook Robinson?
“I would say it was probably Brook Robinson, I loved the game of baseball and was always respectful of what Robinson did. I liked the history of baseball and really enjoyed the traditional values of baseball. That’s the reason I went to USC; it’s a traditional school. And obviously now I’m going to Yankees which is a very traditional organization that’s so storied and has a rich history.”
What was your biggest moment of your career?
“I would say graduating with my degree, it was pretty awesome I got it done in four years while juggling baseball, family and all that stuff. I got my degree in economics, I was very excited that I got it done in four years and don’t have to come back. It’s something I’m very proud of, I put a lot of emphasis on my education.”
Do you know if they would want you to start, is that something you discussed?
“We didn’t really talk about that too much, but I’m willing to do anything. I started a few games in college, but this last year I was used strictly out of the bullpen. But like I said I’m willing to do whatever they ask me to do to help all the teams in their organization win.”
Do you expect to sign quickly?
“Yes, I am flying out to tomorrow (Sunday) morning to Tampa so hopefully we can get everything situated, yes I am trying to sign as soon as possible and make an impact in the organization.”