PinstripesPlus.com: What went through your mind when they called your name today?
Dalton Lehnen: This was an unbelievable day. Pure excitement. I worked out with the Yankees before the draft and I was absolutely impressed with the Yankees. I was super excited to be a Yankee. It was an unbelievable experience.
PinstripesPlus.com: Were you surprised at all when it was the Yankees who had called you or did you know after training with them?
Lehnen: No, not really. I know they had expressed interest and I talked to them a lot too. I think it was a perfect fit, so it wasn’t too surprising.
PinstripesPlus.com: Who was your favorite team or player growing up? You’re not from New York, but your social media seem to suggest it was the Yankees.
Lehnen: I’m from Minnesota so the Twins were always one of my favorite teams growing up. The Yankees won when I was growing up so I was always a fan of Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon and those guys too, so I liked the Yankees when I was growing up.
PinstripesPlus.com: Who would you compare yourself to at the Major League level?
Lehnen: I looked at the mechanics and I always felt like my mechanics mimicked that of Scott Kazmir in his prime when he was with the Rays and the Angels, and then a little bit of Jon Lester as well, not as much as Scott Kazmir though. Just the way they throw the ball and the way their pitching delivery is, it’s somehow similar to mine and the most similar that I’ve noticed from any of the Major League pitchers before.
PinstripesPlus.com: What are your top pitches right now, and what speed are you maxing out at?
Lehnen: As a fastball, I’ll be anywhere from 93 to 96 [mph]. I throw a curveball and a changeup, then I’ve been working on a slider as well. The changeup is right around 82 to 84, the curveball is right around 80 miles an hour. And then the slider, I haven’t really thrown that much for it to get clocked but the couple times it was, I think it was 84, 85. I’m not 100 percent on the slider velocity.
PinstripesPlus.com: What is your biggest strength on the mound?
Lehnen: Biggest strength would definitely be my fastball velocity. The fastball is my bread and butter pitch. It has been my best pitch forever, since I started throwing a baseball.
PinstripesPlus.com: What is your biggest weakness?
Lehnen: Biggest weakness would probably be the inconsistency of the offspeed pitches. Some days they are plus pitches but some days they are just average, but if I could get a more consistent offspeed arsenal I think that would really help out my pitching repertoire.
PinstripesPlus.com: What is the single best moment that you have had in baseball? What do you think is your biggest accomplishment so far?
Lehnen: Definitely this one right here. This has been my dream ever since I was four years old. Ever since I can remember picking up a baseball I wanted to play professional baseball, and to be a part of the Yankees’ organization is a surreal moment.
PinstripesPlus.com: Are you looking to sign immediately and get your professional career started right away?
Lehnen: Yeah, I’m looking to sign quickly and get my professional career going as soon as possible.
PinstripesPlus.com: Now pitching in New York, do you think the pressure is going to become a problem?
Lehnen: I don’t think it’ll be a problem. I know about being a New York Yankee and stuff like that but I think I will rise to the challenge of the pressure.