PinstripesPlus.com: What was that moment like for you being drafted by the New York Yankees?
Andrew Abbott: It was great! The whole process was awesome. The Yankees are a top notch organization and team so I respect them deeply and been fans of them for years. Words can’t describe the feeling.
PinstripesPlus.com: Give me a scouting report on yourself and what do you see as your stregnths and weaknesses?
Abbott: As a pitcher I’m not the biggest guy in the world. But I like to get ahead of [the batter] and put you away with my offspeed pitches. I like that I can work backwards, I can throw any of my pitches in any count. I have trust in all of [my pitches] to get a move for strikes and strike someone out or get a ground ball, whatever the situation applies to. I like to work ahead and stay ahead, don’’t like to fall behind a lot.
PinstripesPlus.com: What type of pitches do you throw exactly?
Abbott: “I throw a 4-seam fastball, a 2-seam fastball, and then a curve [ball], and a changeup.
PinstripesPlus.com: Lot of recruits and prospects like to model their game behind a player at the major league level, is their a pitcher in the major leagues you like to model your own game behind?
Abbott: I like to model my game towards a Tom Glavine or a Cliff Lee. When I grew up I was watching them pitch, and they didn’t have a 98 mph fastball that can overpower everybody. They just had a lot of movement in their pitches, and didn’t walk anybody when they pitched. They just knew how to pitch really, and that’s what I wanted to do.
PinstripesPlus.com: Were you shocked at all the Yankees drafted you or did they scout you a lot?
Abbott: I have been talking to the Yankees for a while. I think it was ever since I started to pitch in East Coast Pro last summer down in Tampa [Bay, Florida] at Steinbrenner Field. I think ever since then they’ve been watching me and calling me and my dad. I’ve seen some scouts at almost every high school game this season so I knew they were really interested.
PinstripesPlus.com: Before getting drafted, what would you consider your best moment in baseball in your career?
Abbott: I think my best moment was winning the Jupiter Florida Tournament down in Jupiter, Florida for the World Wood Bat Championships (WWBA). I was on the Evoshield Canes 18U team, I got called up and we won that tournament, and I think that was my biggest moment.
PinstripesPlus.com: Who was your favorite team growing up?
Abbott: My favorite team growing up was definitely either the Yankees or the Pirates. I had an American League team and a National League team.
PinstripesPlus.com: You decided right away to stick with your commitment to the University of Virginia. Was there any decision to that or was it a no-brainer?
Abbott: My family is very big on college education. You never know what could’ve happened. I could’ve been drafted higher and gone to the majors and threw one pitch and then blew my arm out. I just thought about going to UVA and getting my education and playing under Brian O’Conner, and then coming out three years later and being a higher draft pick and having a college education with me, if things were to go south I will be more prepared.
PinstripesPlus.com: The Yankees are known to re-draft players down the road, is that something you see as a big possibility for you?
Abbott: I definitely wouldn’t mind at all if three years later they drafted me in college here. I just respect them, they really can’t do anything wrong. They’re nice people, they treat you the right way. Overall they are just a great organization.
PinstripesPlus.com: Playing in New York comes with a lot of pressure from the fans and the media, especially on the pitchers, is that something you see embracing if you were drafted again down the road?
Abbott: Yeah I’ve been through high school and travel ball career, I can handle pressure pretty well. I’m only the kind of guy who can give you a straight forward answer. The media if you have a good game can get on you a little bit, but you just got to stay true to yourself and keep it going with your approach. Can’t let it faze you at all.