We sat down with Staten Island Manager Gaylen Pitts for a Q&A session to get his read on players. …
Q&A with James LaSala
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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