Q&A with James LaSala

LaSala believes he learned a lot in 2006

We sat down with Staten Island catcher James LaSala for a Q&A session to get his thoughts on his season, which position player he believes has the highest upside, which pitcher he thinks has the most potential, what he plans on doing this offseason, and more.

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PinstripesPlus.com: Who on the Staten Island team do you think has the most potential and will have a lot of success in their career?

James LaSala: A lot of these kids, man. I mean, this is a great team so I think a bunch of guys have the ability. I was talking to my friends just the other day and saying how these dudes are all unbelievable. We could be down 2-0 in the ninth inning and, we've won many games coming back. All of them. We're pretty much good throughout the entire team. But to pick one, I'll say Mitch Hilligoss. I really like his overall game.

PinstripesPlus: What do you think he needs to work on the most in order to develop into a big leaguer?

LaSala: I can't really say. But I think, pretty much, just work hard and keep at it. He's a fantastic player and he's got the talent.

PinstripesPlus: Which pitcher on the team do you think has the most potential?

LaSala: Edgar Soto really impresses me. Working with him in the bullpen, I can see he's got the potential. He's got great stuff and I think he'll be good.

PinstripesPlus: Who do you think is the biggest sleeper prospect on this roster? A player that's good but flies under the radar.

LaSala: I couldn't even tell you. I'm trying to think of an answer but I can't. I wouldn't know and I probably haven't been here long enough to know who is really flying under the radar.

PinstripesPlus: What will you work on in the off-season?

LaSala: I'm going to work on my hitting and catching four times a week and lift weights five times a week. I'm going to start in November and go right through.

PinstripesPlus: What types of workouts?

LaSala: I do some squats, but I focus more on flexibility and arm bends. But actually, now the Yankees give you a workout plan so I'm going to follow that.

PinstripesPlus: What would you say is the strongest part of your game?

LaSala: I can throw the ball pretty good, I'll say that. That's probably the best area right now.

PinstripesPlus: How would you describe your season?

LaSala: It's been awesome. I haven't been here long or played much, but I learned a lot. I learned a whole lot from talking with Julio [Mosquera], watching tape and watching [Francisco] Cervelli catch and talking to the pitching coaches, I feel like I've progressed.

PinstripesPlus: To give the fans a better idea of the type of player you are, who would you compare your game to at the Major League level and why?

LaSala: I separate it into two aspects. My worth ethic, I try to be like [Roger] Clemens. Nobody works harder than him and I'm a hard worker myself. I try to keep my cool like Jeter. Whether he's batting .200 or .500, he's always got that smile on his face and that same charisma. I think that's something I do, too. So, not in their game, of course, but with those two things I think I'm like them.

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