We sat down with Yankees 36th round pick Kyle Ottoson for a Draft Day Q&A session. Find out what the…
Q&A with 37th Round Pick Justin Milo
Justin Milo: It's a great feeling. They're one of the teams that I've loved for a long time and I like everything that the New York Yankees stand for. So, it was a real honor to be picked by them.
PinstripesPlus.com: Tell me about your game a little bit. What type of player are you?
Milo: You know it kind of changes when you reach professional baseball, but I try to be a gap-to-gap hitter, try to hit doubles and just be patient at the plate, pick my pitch and just try to drive the ball and try to get doubles.
PinstripesPlus.com: How do you see yourself fitting in with the Yankees?
Milo: You know it's hard to say. They take a lot of great players, but I'm just trying to do my best and that's all I can control, and just see how everything plays out. I'm just going to work hard and try to hit the ball.
PinstripesPlus.com: What are your strengths?
Milo: I'm mostly an offensive player. I like to consider myself a good hitter and defensively I'm just trying to get to the ball quick in the outfield and hit the cutoff, you know not trying to do too much at there, but you know, just help the team win with the bat and drive in runs.
PinstripesPlus.com: What are your expectations for short-season?
Milo: There's a lot of things. The Yankees do things a little differently than what I'm used to and other organizations; just try to learn what they're teaching and kind of integrate that with what I've done to get to this point. I want to try to strengthen my arm, just be a very solid hitting the cutoff man and managing the stakes, and just listen to what they have to say with my hitting and try to incorporate that. They're kind of giving us some time to just watch us first and then after a short period of time they'll start kind of teaching what they want, and telling what kind of player they want me to be, so I'll have an open mind and just listen to what they say.
PinstripesPlus.com: Tell me about your defensive game.
Milo: I play left field mostly and I just try to make the routine plays, balls kind of in the gap and try to cut out early so they don't go into the wall, and just try to get the ball in quick and try to keep base runners from taking extra bases. That's the stuff that I try to focus on.
PinstripesPlus.com: Do you see yourself staying at the same position or do you think you may move to a different one?
Milo: Well, I kind of see myself being a left fielder, but if they want to try me another position, I'm open for that. I'm just doing whatever they tell me to do and try to do it the best I can. It's not really up to me, so we'll see what they do.
PinstripesPlus.com: Who would you compare yourself to who's in the Major League so fans can get a good idea of the player you are?
Milo: That's a tough a question. I mean no one wants to compare themselves to a Major Leaguer, because we're so far away from that level, but at the same time I like to try to be like Dustin Perdoria. Obviously, not defensively because he's a second baseman, but at the plate just be aggressive and drive the ball and just kind of keep proving people wrong being a smaller guy.
PinstripesPlus.com: Were you expecting to be drafted by the Yankees or were you surprised?
Milo: Well it's always a surprise to get drafted, but I had talked to Matt Hyde, the regional scout a few times during the college season and shortly before the draft, so I was hoping to go with the Yankees — that was the team I had talk to the most. After the first two days went by in the draft, even though I wasn't expecting to go high I started to worry a little bit, but they came through with what I was hoping and it was very exciting.
PinstripesPlus.com: You've already signed. Were you wanting to sign quickly?
Milo: It was a pretty easy decision for me. My baseball program at school [University of Vermont] was cut unfortunately. We're one of two schools in the whole country that had they're baseball teams cut. In order to continue my baseball career, I kind of had to sign and also that they're letting me go back and play on the school hockey team, which I've done the past two years, so with them letting me do that and my baseball being cut, it kind of limited my options and made it a real easy choice.
PinstripesPlus.com: What were some of your best moments in baseball?
Milo: I grew up in Minnesota and played for a couple different towns and usually had some good success. One of my biggest moments was making it to the American Legion World Series. My American Legion team won four straight state championships, which is a state record so it was really cool being a part of that…being named Freshman All-American [at Cornell University] was a really great honor and exciting news when I heard that.
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