Q&A with 8th Round Pick Sam Elam

Elam grew up a Yankees fan

We sat down with Yankees 8th round pick Sam Elam for a Draft Day Q&A session. Find out what the left-handed pitcher from the University of Notre Dam says about his stuff, who he would compare himself to at the big league level, what he'll bring to the Yankees organization, and more.

PinstripesPlus.com: Can you give us an idea of what is going through your mind after being selected by a team like the Yankees?

Sam Elam: I feel very, very honored to be selected by a club with such tradition and legacy like the Yankees. I grew up loving them and caught so much grief as a Yankees fan when I was younger.

PinstripesPlus.com: So you grew up as a Yankees fan?

Elam: Yeah I did. The first game I went to was Rangers vs. Yankees and I've loved both teams since. I was pretty young then.

PinstripesPlus.com: Were you surprised to be selected by the Yankees? Had you had any ongoing conversations with the team prior to the draft?

Elam: My advisor had told me the day before to be on the lookout for the Yankees taking me, and that they had some strong interest in taking me so I had some knowledge of it.

PinstripesPlus.com: Are you familiar with the Yankees farm system at all?

Elam: I have some former teammates in Charleston so I know the cities, but that's about it.

PinstripesPlus.com: Who are the players you know from the RiverDogs?

Elam: David Phelps and Dan Kapala.

PinstripesPlus.com: Can you give readers an idea of your pitches and what speeds you throw at?

Elam: I'm a fastball, changeup, curveball guy. My fastball is in the low 90's and in relief I'll throw a little bit harder. In the Big East Tournament I hit 96. Most times I'll sit at about 90-92. I have a curveball that's more like a slurve than a curveball, and my changeup.

PinstripesPlus.com: Did you have a favorite player growing up?

Elam: I absolutely love Mariano Rivera.

PinstripesPlus.com: Do you have anyone on the Major League level you would compare yourself to so that Yankees' fans can get an idea of what you're like on the mound?

Elam: I don't want to be as arrogant as to compare myself to a big league player yet. But I would like to think of a big, hard throwing lefty like CC Sabathia.

PinstripesPlus.com: What would you say is your most memorable moment in your career?

Elam: I threw a one-hitter against Purdue and that was a lot of fun. It's either between that or this year when we played South Florida, we were down 6-0 and I came in and pitched 4.2 scoreless innings and we ended up winning 7-6.

PinstripesPlus.com: Do you remember what happened on the one-hitter?

Elam: I made a good pitch that was a curveball low on a 1-2 count. The guy went down and hit it over second base in the 8th inning.

PinstripesPlus.com: Are you looking to sign quickly and get your professional career started right away?

Elam: I'm definitely looking to sign quickly, get under the coaches and get going as quickly as possible.

PinstripesPlus.com: Do you think the pressures of pitching in New York might be a problem?

Elam: Not really. Obviously I have limited exposure to it at this point, but I like pressure and I like performing at the highest level, when everyone's eyes are on you, that's when I want the ball. I think in that sense, it's the greatest team in the world to play for just because everyone cares so much and the media and fans are so involved.

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