In the 21st round of the 2018 MLB Draft, the New York Yankees selected INF Mitchell Robinson from the University of British Columbia. I got the chance to interview the newest member of the New York Yankees organization hours after he was drafted.
Q: What was your reaction to being drafted by the Yankees?
A: I was excited to be fortunate enough to get drafted, and then I heard it was the Yankees and I’ve heard nothing but good things about the organization, I knew they were a first-class organization so it was an added bonus but it was just really exciting.
Q: Who were you with when you got the call?
A: I’m still on campus so I was sitting with my girlfriend watching the draft go by and I saw my name first before I got the phone call a couple of minutes later, so I actually saw it first on the screen.
Q: Did they tell you how they were going to use you?
A: Not yet, they know my main position is as a third baseman, but I can also play first and both corner outfield positions.
Q: What does it mean to you to have an opportunity to represent Canada playing for the Yankees organization?
A: There have been guys before me just trying to make a name for Canadians and showing the states what we have up here and showing them that there is a lot of unrecognized talent north of the border and you have that extra sense of pride representing your home country.
Q: How would you describe your work ethic?
A: I think I’m just really gritty, giving everything I got, up here, we don’t always get the looks but I think there’s a certain style of play up here, kind of like a hard-nosed, gritty player, we almost have that Hockey player mentality, we’re all a little rough and tumble and grinders, and I think that’s something I bring from a mentality aspect at least.
Q: What assets of your game do you consider to be the best?
A: I think my best would be offense first, I’ve always hit for average over the last couple years, last two years I’ve led my conference on average, not just average but in the last couple years I’ve been getting bigger and stronger so there’s been a little bit of power and I think that’ll grow even more for me.
Q: How would you describe your progression as a player?
A: I was fortunate enough to be drafted out of high school by the Marlins in the 22nd round but I think I definitely wasn’t ready to play professionally at that time, I was a little raw so I wanted to go somewhere to figure it out, so I think I’ve just become a much more mature player and kind of understand what my role is on the field offensively and defensively and I’ve settled into that role as a senior now, and I’m a much more mature and polished player.
Q: Who was your favorite baseball player growing up?
A: I have always been a Blue Jays fan, I live close to the border, so I was kind of a Mariners fan too but Toronto has always been my favorite team and guys like Vernon Wells, Brett Lawrie was actually one of the guys I looked up to because he played for the club team I played for so he was somebody you wanted to be like.
Q: What big leaguer would you say you tired to model your game after?
A: I’d say like Nolan Arenado, I really like the way he plays, he’s an incredible athlete that I wish I would be half as good as one day but I just like the way he plays offensively and defensively and he’ll give you his all no matter what so I’d say Nolan Arenado.