[INTERVIEW] Getting to Know 10th Round Pick Mitch Spence

To conclude Day Two of the MLB Draft, the Yankees selected Right-Handed Pitcher Mitch Spence in the 10th Round. We had a chance to speak about his draft experience, why he chose Division-II USC-Aiken for college, and his current pitching style. We also spoke about the future, and the type of player he hopes to become in the Yankees organization.

Mitch Spence (US Aiken Athletics

Krieger: What were your thoughts about being drafted, especially by a team like the Yankees?

Spence: It’s honestly just and honor to be picked by a team that has so much history, and so much background. I’m excited to start my career with suck an historic team.

Krieger: How did you hear that you were selected?

Spence: I actually got a call from my adviser, that the Yankees were interested in me in the 10th round, and I told him that was awesome. About five minutes before the pick actually happened, he called me and told me that they are going to go ahead and take you.

Krieger: Can you provide some background about your baseball career? Why did you choose Division II USC-Aiken?

Spence: Coming out of high school, USC-Aiken was my best opportunity. Being a D-II school, I knew that was something that was going to define me, but I did my best there, and things turned out great.

Krieger: What about you developed during your three seasons at USC-Aiken?

Spence: Development pretty much came from our coaches. Our coaching staff did a great job, helping develop our players and pitchers. I not only grew as a player, but also as a person. That is something I think they do a great job at, and they set me up to have a great career in pro ball.

Krieger: Can you give a scouting report about yourself? What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Spence: I throw four pitches. A fastball in the low 90s, a curveball, a slider, and a changeup. I think as a pitcher, my strengths are that I am a competitor, and will give my all every game.

Krieger: Are there certain areas you are looking to develop?

Spence: Yeah, you can always develop as a better player. I think on the mental side, I think that is something I can get some work on. My changeup is definitely a pitch I want to develop further. Better command of all my pitches too.

Krieger: Do you have a professional comparison for your game? Did you model your play off someone in particular?

Spence: No, I wouldn’t say so. I like to think of myself as my own player. There is no one I really look and model my game off of because I feel like I am different than everyone. I just try to improve myself, and be the best that I can be.

Krieger: Were you a fan of a particular team growing up? Who were some of your favorite players?

Spence: Growing up, I was born in Seattle, so my favorite team growing up was the Seattle Mariners. I always loved Ken Griffey Jr. He was always my favorite player.

Krieger: Have you spoken with the Yankees about professional assignment/affiliate?

Spence: I’m not sure yet. I am flying down Thursday morning to Tampa, and I think I will get assigned after that.

Krieger: Given that you were a starting pitcher this season, logging over 90 innings, did the Yankees mention how they would use you this summer?

Spence: No, I haven’t heard anything about that either. I hope I am going to be able to get a chance to start.

Krieger: What do you think will be the biggest expected adjustment from college to professional life?

Spence: Definitely having more free time, and having more free time and more opportunity to spend honing my craft in baseball.

Krieger: Who was the toughest batter you faced in your career so far?

Spence: That’s a tough question. When I was in college, there was a kid at Columbus State. I forget his name, but he played third base. He had my number. Everything I threw at him, he hit the crap out of it.

Krieger: Is there a reason why you went to school in the Carolina area instead of in the Seattle area where you were born?

Spence: My family moved around a lot growing up. I was born in Seattle, moved to California, and when I was about 12, we moved to North Carolina. That was all because my parents got new jobs.

Krieger: How do you want fans to know you, and how do you want to be recognized?

Spence: I was to be recognized as a guy who will go out, give everything I have, and work hard. I will be a good team guy.

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