PinstripesPlus.com: Tell us about that moment you were drafted by the New York Yankees and what that was like for you and your family?
Canaan Smith: I was actually leaving vacation to come back home, and I get a call from the Yankees’ scout Mike, he said ‘Hey Canaan, want to be a Yankee?’ Right then and there I put my hand on my head and said ‘Thank you for the opportunity.’ My family was going crazy, my friends were going crazy, just a surreal moment. Couldn’t be happier to be a Yankee right now.
PinstripesPlus.com: Talk about the type of player you are and how you will fit with the New York Yankees?
Smith: I’m a young strong kid who can run a little bit but hasn’t grown into his body yet. When the Yankees mature me and get my body right I should be up there with the Yankees, and hopefully get the call up. I am very disciplined, I show leadership skills just like the Yankees want. I am part of their organization and it’s exciting.
PinstripesPlus.com: What are your strengths that you bring in to the Yankees and what are some of the areas you look to improve on?
Smith: You can always improve on almost every bit of your game. I can always improve and right field is always weird for me because I played centerfield in high school. So obviously I’m going to have to work a little harder in right field, get bigger, stronger, and faster. Hitting; just get my timing down. Throwing; got to have a lot stronger arm in right field and in any other positions.
PinstripesPlus.com: What player(s) at the Major League level have you looked up to and model your own game towards?
Smith: Kirby Puckett, he fits me really really well. New school, I guess Kyle Schwarber, but I think I hit a lot better than him, I will.
PinstripesPlus.com: With outfield being your primary position, do you feel you may need to expand to any other positions?
Smith: I think outfield is my strong suit, I’m really good out there, but I want to be great. To be a Yankee you got to be great at everything you do, so I got to be great.
PinstripesPlus.com: Were you expected to get drafted by the Yankees and were you shocked at all?
Smith: No I wasn’t shocked, I wasn’t shocked at all. I knew the Yankees really liked me. I had a lot of teams on me but when the Yankees were up I was nervous, I was like ‘ahhhh I could possibly be a Yankee.’ I was excited, the Yankees were my first team, the Yankees are always somebody’s first team. When the Yankees drafted me I was just excited and overwhelmed. I wasn’t shocked, I was just excited that I was a Yankee. Everybody wants to be a Yankee.
PinstripesPlus.com: Before getting drafted, what was the best moment for you in your baseball career?
Smith: My summer ball team [Dallas Tigers] winning the national championship two years in a row.
PinstripesPlus.com: You’ve spoke highly of the Yankees throughout the interview, but who was your favorite MLB team growing up?
Smith: Favorite MLB team growing up was the [Texas] Rangers. I’ve always watched the Yankees, I know everybody from the Yankees, I love the Yankees. Derek Jeter is the greatest of all time, if I see him I’ll probably run up and give him a hug. I love the Yankees a lot, they are better than Boston I’ll tell you that.
PinstripesPlus.com: What went in to the decision to forgo college and start your professional career out of high school?
Smith: If I went later in the rounds I probably would’ve gone to college, the Yankees got me at the right time. We made the deal, the deal I wanted, the deal they wanted. It’s just the fact of being a Yankee. It’s an historic team, they have so many legends, I just want to be a part of that.