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.
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.