We sat down with Yankees' 14th round pick, Caleb Smith, for a Draft Day Q&A session. Find out what…
Q&A with Yanks 19th Rnd Pick Andrew Beresford
Andrew Beresford: It's an honor to be drafted by the most successful franchise in probably all of sports history. It's just really such an honor.
PinstripesPlus.com: Were you surprised it was the Yankees that selected you? Had you and the Yankees talked much before the draft?
Beresford: Yeah, I was pretty surprised. There was a little bit of contact made throughout the season. One of the scouts saw me throw, gave me his card, and said he'd be in contact, but then I didn't hear anything for the rest of the season. But then towards the draft, he texted me on the second day of it and said give me a call when you wake up and that was the first I had heard from him after I had seen him pitch which was three months prior to that.
PinstripesPlus.com: What kind of conversation did you have when that phone call took place?
Beresford: It was pretty much just basic question and answer. He wanted to know about my health and if I inspired to be in professional baseball and start that grind and get ready.
PinstripesPlus.com: Do you have any idea what the Yankees' organization or farm system is like?
Beresford: No. It's been a complete culture shock. Five years of college baseball and then coming out here and starting my career. Like I said, it's nothing what I am used to. I got to meet a whole other group of guys. It's just a journey.
PinstripesPlus.com: What type of pitches do you throw and at what speeds?
Beresford: I like to rely on my fastball. It's in the low 90s but I can get up to the mid-90s. I also throw a changeup that can go around 80 mph. I've also got a curveball that I show but don't really rely on. Going into the Yankee organization, I am hoping to get some better instruction on how to master those pitches, especially the curveball.
PinstripesPlus.com: Which pitch would you say you rely on the most?
Beresford: Definitely my fastball. This year I was transformed into a closer and that position usually relies on fastballs so it is definitely my best pitch.
PinstripesPlus.com: Give us a scouting report please - what are your strengths and what do you need to work on the most?
Beresford: One of my strengths is definitely my mental toughness. When you get hurt twice, there are a lot of obstacles and adversity to overcome and I would say going through that process, getting hurt twice and being off the field for so long, it is mentally painstaking. I definitely contribute any success to my mental toughness. As for weaknesses, I need to develop more on my offspeed. I really need to master my changeup so that I can throw off the hitters.
PinstripesPlus.com: You tore your UCL twice - what have you learned since then and what is your pitching like now?
Beresford: Tearing your UCL twice is something that no pitcher ever wants to face, but since doing so, I've had to completely overhaul my mechanics, especially after the second time. It taught me how to better my craft. Now, instead of having a rather violent pitching motion, I have become more fluent and have raised my arm angle creating more tilt and using my 6-foot-7 frame to my advantage.
PinstripesPlus.com: Did you have a favorite team growing up or a favorite player?
Beresford: One of my favorite teams growing up was definitely the Oakland A's. I started following them around 2002. There was this one pitcher, Barry Zito; he was just an average guy, didn't really throw very hard but he always won. He competed and growing up, that was who I looked up to.
PinstripesPlus.com: Who would you compare your stuff to at the Major League level so Yankees' fans can get an idea of what you're like on the mound? And why?
Beresford: Now being drafted by the Yankees, I would go with Mariano Rivera for his closing capability, his longevity, the way he has been able to throw for so long. He came off of an ACL injury and just being able to consistently do the job of a closer, I'd like to be compared to Mariano.
PinstripesPlus.com: What would you say is your best moment in baseball and why?
Beresford: My best moment in baseball is definitely when I came back and got my first win after being shelved for two years. It is a mental mind game and after I got injured for the second time, I thought I was done for sure.
PinstripesPlus.com: It has been a few days since your selection. Has anything happened?
Beresford: Just meeting all the guys and beginning my career. It's pretty unbelievable right now. It's still very new and I'm looking forward to the rest of my baseball career has.
PinstripesPlus.com: As a fifth year senior I'm assuming you want to get your professional career started right away, no?
Beresford: Yeah, absolutely. Being a fifth year senior, you really don't have many advantages when it comes to signing. If I don't sign, then I don't play baseball anymore. I just feel extremely blessed to be given the opportunity to play for the most storied franchise in sports history, and help the Yankees in any way I can.
PinstripesPlus.com: Do you think the pressures of pitching in New York might be a problem?
Beresford: Not at all. I spent five years in college playing baseball. I think moving up the ladder like that, going all the way from little league to high school to UNLV for five years has helped to develop my mental toughness to where little outside distractions like the brutal fans of New York and loyal fans will be a challenge but something I will look forward too.
PinstripesPlus.com: What else do you want Yankee fans to know about you?
Beresford: That I feel extremely honored and blessed to put on the pinstripes and try to win a championship.
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