The Yankees drafted Beck Way in the fourth round of the most recent MLB draft. The young right-hander spoke with Pinstripe Alley about a variety of topics that will be published in two parts. Here is part one:
Dan Kelly - Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. The first question I have is what is it like not having any games to play this summer?
Beck Way - It’s tough, but I basically just turn it into a positive. Yeah this is probably the first summer I haven’t played baseball since T-Ball, but it’s a time to grow and get better. I don’t mind it be it because it helps me reflect a little bit more than maybe I’ve done before. It’s not bad.
DK - That’s a great way to look at it. I noticed on your Instagram that you had been out to Cressey Sports Performance. Eric Cressey is a new name to Yankees fans this year; what is your first impression of him and his team there?
BW - Him and his team, what I liked was that they all had the same mindset towards growth and trying to become a better player. It was a really cool experience to go up there and they are all motivated right now, and it was super cool talking to him about how he has helped a lot of guys in the league today.
DK - Yeah, his clientele list is pretty impressive when you start looking at it. Was there any one thing that you looked at or talked about there, that you left thinking you could incorporate day one, or is it just more of the overall process of things and improving things here and there?
BW - One of the topics we discussed was leg strength and leg mobility and how much that has to do with your velo. We’ve broken down when I was throwing 92-93 mph, and what my legs were doing. We realized when I was throwing harder at like 96-97, my legs work like this, so we basically broke down some mechanics and he picked stuff out right away that I wouldn’t have noticed, and that’s where I got. Right now until hopefully spring training comes around, I’m trying to get the legs stronger.
DK - Normally after the draft and coming out of Junior College like you did, you probably would have been heading to the NY-Penn League, or a similar level. Have you been to any of the Yankees complexes yet in Tampa or Yankee Stadium for meetings with the team and coaches?
BW - No meetings—so how it’s going right now is that we have a mental conditioning meeting once a week, we do a player development meeting once a week, and it’s all through Zoom. But no, I’ve never met anybody in person other than Cressey. I was supposed to be in Pulaski.
DK - Are they just telling you to be ready for spring training, or are they targeting anything in the fall or winter?
BW - It was in talks at the beginning of August to get all the guys together and do an instruct league…and then Miami happened…you know.
DK - Oh yeah we all saw that happen.
BW - I think after that it ruined it for everybody. I don’t blame them, I’m scared to go out too much, I don’t want the COVID.
DK - It sounds like you have a good mindset on the break as a chance for improvement. Looking back a little bit, last summer you were playing in the Cape Cod League which is considered a very high level of baseball. What was the process like getting recruited for that league and what were your thoughts when they first approached you about coming out to the Cape?
BW - Yeah to start it off, I found out about the Cape when I was at school and we had a scout day. A scout asked me where I was playing this summer, and I was like, “Nowhere.” Then he hooked me up with a 10-day contract to play on the Cape. So, thats how that happened.
I go up there as a reliever, and half-way through the season, I picked up an agent and he started relaying information. It was the first time I had been looked at by scouts outside of that scout day in the fall. One scout saw me in the fall, and then the rest of the 29 saw me in the Cape. I was a reliever, and in my head I knew that I would go in the 40 rounds (of the MLB Draft) at this point. But they didn’t know where or how much money would be offered. I was hitting 95-96 every time as a reliever, so they were like, you’re going to go, but we just don’t know where to be exact.
Then after the Cape, with a reflecting period, it was like, “Holy cow, I learned a lot about myself as a pitcher.” And then I turned myself into a starter and went to JUCO as a starter. It was my first time getting recruited, I did not know that relievers don’t get stuff in the draft.
DK - I looked at the roster of your team, and I picked out Nick Gonzales who went in the first round, Kyle Nicolas, Nick Swiney, Casey Schmitt were all second round guys, some of the stuff you learned yourself, was it from talking with these guys from bigger Division One programs and realizing that you fit in right along side of them?
BW - Oh, the answer to that is yes. Talking to those guys that were at those D-1s and their mindset about playing, was great. I’ve said this before, I went to a school in Pennsylvania that played other local schools in our district, and there was not this type of talent. I was never a travel ball wizard, just the average high schooler who went D-2, so when I got to the Cape I had never been surrounded by this many good people before on a consistent basis. So yeah, those guys you named, I could see their patterns, how they go about their business, I just picked up on a lot of things for sure.
We have more of this interview with Beck Way coming tomorrow. Please check back as we discuss draft night, his favorite teams and players growing up and the influences of his grandfather on helping him get to where he is today.