Tim Giel is a right-handed pitcher who was signed by the Yankees out of Columbia University after going undrafted in the 2013 MLB Draft. The righty graduated with a degree in computer science and now pitches in the Yankees organization. Giel has done just about everything on the mound, serving as Columbia's closer (2.05 ERA, 8.89 K/9) for his sophomore season, then moving to the rotation for his junior (3.83 ERA) and senior (3.20 ERA) seasons. Tim was nice enough to answer a few questions for me.
Were you surprised when the Yankees offered you a contract or had they been looking at you for awhile?
I was very surprised they offered me a contract, I didn't have any idea that the Yankees were even looking at me until I was contacted.
How is pitching out of the bullpen different than pitching in the rotation?
It's a little different mindset. Out of the bullpen you have to come in ready to throw strikes and you can throw with a little more effort too, knowing that you won't be out there as long as you would be as a starter.
Do you have a preference or are you comfortable in any situation?
It doesn't really matter to me where I'm pitching from, just as long as I'm getting innings. I was a starter 3 of 4 years in school and was a reliever last summer in the Cape League so I am comfortable anywhere.
What would you say is the strongest part of your game?
I think the strongest part of my game is my ability to throw strikes. Being able to attack the strike zone with all of my pitches is a big advantage. A lot of the times, good location is better than velocity, but it helps to have both.
What will you be concentrating on improving in your first year of pro ball?
I will definitely try to improve the consistency of my changeup this year. Having a good changeup can help a pitcher go a long way so I'd like to add that to the mix.
How has the transition gone from pitcher in college to a profesional where baseball is your main focus?
It's been a lot of fun going from college to pro ball. There's a lot of great players down here and we're all striving for the same goal, which I think makes everything you do a lot more important. The first few days were kind of exhausting just because there was so much to do and so many people to meet, but once I got used to the schedule it was great.
How did the signing process work?
I actually got a call from Matt Hyde, the Northeast Area Scout for the Yankees, telling me that they wanted to sign me. They flew me down to Tampa the next day where I completed a physical and then signed the contract. It all happened very quickly, especially because I was preparing for workouts with other teams since I didn't know who was going to offer me a contract. It worked out great, though, since the Yankees have been my favorite team since I was little. It might sound cliche, but it really is a dream come true!
Giel has just started his professional career with the Gulf Coast League Yankees 2 team, so be sure to follow him throughout the season and on Twitter @TimmyGiel.
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