Taylor Garrison is a reliever who was selected by the Yankees in the seventh round of the 2012 MLB Draft out of Fresno State. He pitched in Staten Island to a 2.28 ERA and 2.26 FIP that year and he started 2013 with Low-A Charleston, impressing with 0.69 ERA, 1.43 FIP, and a 11.08 K/9 before being promoted to High-A Tampa, putting up a 1.74 ERA, 2.86 FIP. Garrison was nice enough to talk to me about his game, being promoted, and his brother.
What is your main goal for your second season in professional baseball?
Well my main goal for my second season in pro ball is no different then my goals throughout my baseball career: go out there and work as hard as I can, in the weight room, on the field and on my mental approach. Also compete at the highest level. I go out there and try to make the best pitch I can one at time. I can only control what I can control. Nothing else matters. I am a competitor, so obviously I'm looking for the best results possible. I want to continue to do well and move on up through the system.
What steps have you taken to achieve that goal so far?
So far I have worked harder than I ever have in the weight room this season. Working to get stronger is a direct result of being able to stay healthy and staying healthy is one of my main priorities. I have continued to work on my mental approach and mechanics throughout the season, but when I get out on the mound it's all about competing and being a warrior out there.
What do you think is the strongest part of your game?
The strongest part of my game would be my ability to stay mentally strong, when things don't go my way on the mound I find a way to make those one pitch adjustments and get out of trouble. I try to minimize the bad situations.
What is the main difference between being a middle reliever and being a closer? Is there a difference? How do you approach each role?
Being a closer is different from any other spot in the bullpen. The last three outs of the game are the hardest outs to get. It takes a certain person to be able to do it. When the game is close and it's the last chance for the opposing team to try to win the game, you get the best from them. They are concentrated more than ever, motivated more than ever, ready to do their best to win the game. The guy on the mound trying to get those guys out has to be a warrior. Nothing can affect him. I go out there with the utmost trust in myself, I'm focused on making quality pitches one at a time.
How does it feel to have your ex-teammates Aaron Judge and your brother Trent also get drafted by the Yankees?
It's an amazing feeling having my former teammates coming into the Yankee organization. All the credit goes to those guys and the coaching staff over there at Fresno state. They do an amazing job and have had alot of players drafted the last couple years. I'm excited to have them be apart of this great organization. To be playing with them again is amazing, not to mention my twin brother, how awesome is it that! I will now have played with my twin brother at every single level of this game!
What is the best part about being promoted to a new level?
The best part about being promoted is that your one more step closer to the big leagues. It's also a direct result of your hard work and success. When you're promoted you know that's for going about your business on and off the field the right way.
What is the hardest part?
The hardest part is not trying to do too much. When you get to a higher level you know the hitters are better, so people tend to go out there and try to do something different. The key is to continue to be confident in your ability and keep doing what you've been doing to get promoted in the first place.
I want to thank Taylor for taking the time to talk to us and hope you will follow him in Tampa this year because I think he can be something special. Be sure to check him out on Twitter @T_Garrison11.
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