Fresh off signing his first professional contract, the New York Yankees fourth-round selection in…
Q&A with Yankees' 4th Round Pick Matt Duran
Matt Duran: Being from New York, it's like the hometown team, so it's a dream come true.
PinstripesPlus.com: Were you surprised when the Yankees selected you for the draft or had you talked?
Duran: I mean, we had talked a lot before the draft. I had been talking to scouts for a couple years, but I was still surprised cause I thought it wasn't going to happen. I was very excited when I saw my name called.
PinstripesPlus.com: Can you describe yourself as a player?
Duran: Well I'm a third baseman. I hit for average, I'm going to hit for power. I've got a pretty good arm and I just gotta take a couple more ground balls and get better as an all-around player.
PinstripesPlus.com: Do you see yourself staying at third base throughout your professional career?
Duran: They haven't told me anything otherwise, so I would assume, yeah. But I could play the other corner easily.
PinstripesPlus.com: Can you talk about just your hitting? What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses at the plate?
Duran: My biggest strengths are, I'm a great fastball hitter, I can adjust to the offspeed stuff and I can hit the ball to all fields. I've got some pop. I think an adjustment I'm going to have to make is from hitting high school pitchers to hitting professional pitchers. I'm gonna have to be a little more compact and quick.
PinstripesPlus.com: Who's been your favorite team growing up?
Duran: Originally I was a Met fan but a couple years ago I started rooting for the Yankees.
PinstripesPlus.com: Is there anyone you can compare yourself to at the MLB level? Style-wise is there anyone you model yourself after?
Duran: Well I model my swing after A-Rod, to the cue actually. I studied him with my dad and we've been looking at his swing for years now.
PinstripesPlus.com: How similar do you think your swing and his are now?
Duran: They're pretty similar. You know, he has the great resume but it's been working well for me lately so I'm going to stick with it.
PinstripesPlus.com: What's been your best moment in baseball so far?
Duran: My best moment, well aside from Tuesday, would be playing in Yankee Stadium last summer and we played Mariano's kid's team and I hit a double off him. I always say I got a hit off Mariano Rivera, even though it was his son.
PinstripesPlus.com: Can you talk about your high school career [at New Rochelle H.S.] a little bit?
Duran: My high school career, I started off on the varsity as a freshman and I played four years. I started off at the bottom of the order my freshman year but I kept hitting and I moved up to fourth by the end of the year and I never looked back. The past two years have been really good.
PinstripesPlus.com: Talk about the coaching staff and teammates. How have they helped you as you improved a lot over the past couple years?
Duran: All my coaches would always stay after and help. I mean, extra BP and ground balls. And my teammates have always been supportive, especially this year.
PinstripesPlus.com: You have a commitment to Fordham University. What impressions have you gotten from the school?
Duran: Well it's a great program and it's a great school as you know, it has great academics. They have a competitive team and it was definitely a good school to commit to. It's close to home.
PinstripesPlus.com: How much is Fordham going to come into play when it comes to signing? Is that going to be a quick process? What does it look like for this summer?
Duran: That's a good question. I have no idea what it's looking like. I haven't talked about it with them or anybody yet. I'm still trying to let the glamour wear off from Tuesday cause it's been a crazy couple days but I'm excited to be a Yankee right now.
PinstripesPlus.com: How does your family feel about this whole thing?
Duran: They're excited. My dad's been training me since I was like seven. This is all he's been talking about for years and it finally came true.
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