Charley Short was signed by the Yankees as an undrafted free agent in 2012. That season he had a 4.41 ERA, but also a 12.7 K/9 in 16.1 innings for Low-A Charleston. In 2013 he had a 0.41 ERA and a 14.9 K/9 in Charleston before being promoted to High-A Tampa and pitching to a 2.51 ERA and 12.6 K/9 in 28.2 innings. He was nice enough to talk about his pro ball career and his pitching.
Do you think being an undrafted free agent hurts your chances or do you not worry about prospect rankings?
Being undrafted has definitely been a motivational force for me, I want to prove to the Yankees that I can help the organization because they took a chance on me. I graduated college in 2010 and obviously went undrafted and didn't sign with the Yankees until 2012, so I definitely want to show them they made a good choice in signing me.
How are you able to strike out so many batters? Is it something you try to consciously do?
I just go out there trying to keep the ball down and get ahead of hitters. If I'm ahead 0-2 or 1-2 then, yeah, I'm trying to strike a guy out. It's not something I go into an at-bat with though. I enter each at-bat trying to get the hitter out.
How has the game changed between Charleston and Tampa? Has anything changed?
The game is the same anywhere you go. The gameplay when I'm on the mound doesn't change, still trying to get ahead of hitters and ultimately get them out.
How does your approach against lefties differ from your approach against righties?
Fundamentally nothing changes when facing a lefty or a righty. Pitch sequence may change or pitch location, but the mind set never does.
Do you approach a save situation differently than a normal relief appearance?
Save situations are no different than any other Appearance on the mound. The energy level is different, you feel the urgency and the focus from the other side, but the game plan never changes. You still have to go out and throw strikes and be competitive with your pitches. You're approach never changes, just the circumstance.
What has been the greatest moment of your professional career so far?
The coolest thing professionally hasn't even been an on-field occurrence. I recently signed the Topps contract in case they decide to make a baseball card of you. I collected baseball cards as a kid and I thought that was the coolest thing, that Topps may make a card of me.
I asked him a follow up questions as well.
Where were you pitching after graduating?
After I graduated I didn't play right away. I played a year and a half later in the Pecos League. [Short had a 0.60 ERA with 28 strikeouts against only one walk in 15 innings for the 2012 Roswell Invaders.]
Could you tell us about how the Yankees signed you and what it was like to know that things worked out, even if it took a little longer?
I was pitching well and I got a call at the end of our season there from the Yankees and they told me they were going to sign me. It was a dream come true, not only to get to play professional baseball but also to sign to such a storied club. You couldn't ask for anything more.
You can follow Charley as a member of the Tampa Yankees and you can follow him @Charleyy29