Q&A with Yankees 17th Rd Pick, Ryan Zink

Zink has already signed with the Yankees

We sat down with Yankees' 17th round pick, Ryan Zink, who has already signed with the Yankees, for a Q&A session. Find out who the right-handed pitcher from the University of Illinois-Chicago compares his game to, if he plans on signing with the Yankees, what he felt like being drafted by the Yankees, and more.

PinstripesPlus.com: What was it like to be selected by the Yankees on draft day?

Ryan Zink: Well first and foremost, playing professional baseball is just a dream come true. And not to mention, if you're going to start a career with anybody, the Yankees are the most prestigious organization in all of sports, not just baseball. It was an honor and I was totally speechless for days.

PinstripesPlus: Were you surprised the Yankees selected you? Had they shown interest?

Zink: Yeah, I was drafted out of high school by the Brewers. So the area guys, I've known since I was in high school and we kept in contact. I mean it was still a surprise but at the same time I knew there was some interest being shown.

PinstripesPlus: Do you have any idea what the Yankees' organization or farm system is like?

Zink: A little bit. I know the different levels, but I definitely don't have first-hand information. I'm just exciting to get going. As far as what it's like, I'm not completely sure.

PinstripesPlus: What type of pitches do you throw?

Zink: I'm a fastball, slider, change for the most part. I'll mix in a curveball once in a while. I'm upper-80s low-90's with my fastball. I'm pretty consistent with both my slider and changeup.

PinstripesPlus: Who was your favorite player or team growing up?

Zink: I was a big Roger Clemens guy. I've been a pitcher ever since I was ten. Being at the top of the game for as long as he has, there's just so much to admire in him in his worth ethic and the way he goes about his business. Being a Wisconsin kid, I've always been a Brewers fan. When I was younger, Robin Yount and [Paul] Molitor were still around. But for much of the mid to late-90's, we didn't have too much to brag about.

PinstripesPlus: What has been your best moment in baseball?

Zink: Game-wise, it was probably just a couple weeks ago out at Long Beach, being able to go out there and be the underdog. That's the best position in sports, being the underdog, knowing you have a chance. We went up there and knocked off an undefeated Long Beach State team, which was just an absolute thrill.

Writer's note: Zink was dominant in that start, pitching eight innings of one-hit ball and striking out five, on route to University of Illinois-Chicago's upset win against sixteenth-ranked Long Beach State in the 2007 NCAA Long Beach Regional.

PinstripesPlus: Is there any added pressure playing for the Yankees' organization?

Zink: Honestly, I think it's more of a challenge and even more of an opportunity. You get a chance with the premier organization to make a mark. You know you're going to be challenged, playing with the best guys and I have the best opportunity as far as facilities and the people working with me. It's more of an opportunity than anything to really start career.

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