"The Yankees are the best in the business," an interview with Yankees' 2019 sixth-round selection, Hayden Wesneski

With their sixth-round pick, 195th overall, in the 2019 draft, the New York Yankees selected right-handed starting pitcher, Hayden Wesneski, out of Sam Houston State. He was a 33rd round pick in the 2016 draft, but decided to go to college instead, where he thrived. Wesneski played three years as a Bearkat and threw at least 84 innings in each.  His best year in school was certainly this past season, where he posted a 3.32 ERA in 105.2 innings, including two complete games in 15 starts. 

Standing at six-foot-three, Wesneski has a plus fastball, as well as an average slider and changeup in his arsenal, according to scouts.  In his three years at Sam Houston State, Wesneski compiled a 25-9 record in 51 appearances (44 starts).  To go along with his 288 IP, he had an ERA of 3.56 and struck out 224 while walking only 76 men.  We were fortunate enough to get to speak with Wesneski and get to know him a little bit better as a person and a player. Below is an interview managing editor, Ryan Thoms, had with Hayden. 



Photo: Brian Blalock, Houston Chronicle


Ryan: Describe your arsenal on the mound, your delivery, and how you approach opposing hitters.




Hayden: I am someone that comes at you with a sinker/slider combo. My sinker is my best pitch. My delivery is a little different than anyone else, but some say it helps deceive hitters. I come at a low 3/4 arm slot and open up early in my motion. My approach to hitters is that I am going to come at you with strikes. My stuff is better than they are until they prove it to me. 



Ryan: You were drafted by the Rays out of high school in the 33rd round, and are now a sixth-round pick by the Yankees. How did you grow as a person and a ballplayer from when you were originally drafted until now? 



Hayden: As a person, college taught me how to be a man. Coach Deggs and his staff worked many hours on improving not only the player, but the man. They taught me to be a well-rounded man and to not have your identity in baseball. Along with that, I feel I can handle failure. In baseball, it’s not if you are going to fail, it’s when. As I grew up in college, you learn how to handle failures and respond to them as learning opportunities. 

Ryan: Did you have any idea the Yankees were interested in you or were you surprised? What does being drafted by the Yankees mean to you? 

Hayden: I knew they had a little interest in me, but I felt that there were more teams that had more interest than the Yankees. The Yankees are the best in the business. They are a class act from the top all the way down, and I plan on continuing that tradition. 

Ryan: Did you idol any MLB player growing up, and is there a hitter you hope you have the chance to face one day in your career?

Hayden: Justin Verlander is someone I grew up watching. He goes about his business the right way and that’s something that I try to copy. The hitter I hope to face one day is Alex Bregman. He is an exceptional competitor, and I would like to give it a try. 

Ryan: What are you most looking forward to as you start your journey in the Yankees' farm system? 

Hayden: On the journey, I look forward to meeting new people and seeing new places. 

Ryan: Was there a saying or speech by a coach or teammate that has really stuck with you throughout your time playing baseball?

Hayden: While coach Deggs has said many memorable things, the speech that sticks with me is, Inky Johnson “it’s not just about you.”

Ryan: What do you anticipate being the biggest adjustment you have to make transitioning from college ball to the Yankees' farm system?

Hayden: The pitch to pitch adjustments will be the biggest transition I think in moving from college ball to the farm system. You will face the hitters more than once a year and they will adjust to what you do. As a pitcher, you have to be able to adjust at a fast rate. 

Ryan: What was your most memorable moment while playing at Sam Houston State?

Hayden: My most memorable moment at Sam Houston state was winning the Lubbock regional in 2017. 

Article by: Nick Simonelli and Ryan Thoms
  

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