A lead-off hitter is one of the most important hitters in the lineup. They set the tone for the game…
Q&A with Yankees 11th Rnd Pick Raymond Kruml
Raymond Kruml: It's a dream come true! It's the best sports organization in America and playing in this organization is an absolute dream come true. My family and my friends are jealous of me playing here with the Yankees and it's just an awesome feeling!
PinstripesPlus: Talk about your game a little bit. What type of player are you and how do you see yourself fitting in with the Yankees?
Kruml: I'm a leadoff type hitter, a centerfielder that can hit the ball on the ground and hit line drives. I like to run the bases and put pressure on [opposing] defenses. I'm one of those quick, fast guys that other defenses don't like. I don't hit a lot of home runs but I'm a good contact player and I don't strike out much - that's the type of guy I am.
PinstripesPlus: What are your strengths and your weaknesses?
Kruml: My defense is one of my strengths. I'm a pretty smart player, I'm 23 [years old] and I've been playing for a while now. I've learned a lot over the years and I'm a smarter player [now] than I was a couple of years ago. [As for my weaknesses], I guess it will be a little different hitting with wood I guess, I mean I don't know really. I'm not really sure off-hand what my weaknesses are.
PinstripesPlus: Have you ever played in a wood bat league and how do you think the adjustment will be going from an aluminum bat to a wooden bat?
Kruml: I've played in the Northwood Leagues and I've played in the Plains League. [On the difference between bats], it's a lot smaller margin for error with wood than aluminum. With aluminum you can get jammed and hit a home run and with wood you got to really concentrate on the sweet spot. You have to be more accurate with your swings and you have to have more contact on the barrel to make it go.
PinstripesPlus: Who would you compare your game to at the Major League level so the Yankees' fans have an idea of what your game is like?
Kruml: I guess like a Grady Sizemore or somebody like that; a leadoff type centerfielder that can steal bases, put the ball in play and stuff like that.
PinstripesPlus: Were you expecting to be drafted by the Yankees or were you surprised when they selected you?
Kruml: I went to the pre-draft workouts at Legends Field so I knew that they were interested but I wasn't really sure. On Draft day they were one of the few teams I heard from, I was happy but I wasn't really expecting it.
PinstripesPlus: Do you see yourself staying at the same position or do you think you'll be moved to another position?
Kruml: I see myself staying here.
PinstripesPlus: What would you say is your best moment in baseball and why?
Kruml: Probably this last Draft, I mean it's just a dream come true to play pro ball and to get this opportunity. This was probably my best moment.
PinstripesPlus: Who was your favorite team and player growing up?
Kruml: The Chicago White Sox was my favorite team and I my favorite players growing up were Carlos Beltran and Ken Griffey Jr.
PinstripesPlus: What are your immediate plans now that you have been drafted by the Yankees? Is it your intention to sign now and start your professional career immediately?
Kruml: Oh yeah, I mean I'm down here right now [Tampa], I've been here at the mini-camp for a couple of days and then I'm heading to Staten Island to play for the Staten Island Yankees.
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