After being drafted in the 16th round of the 2014 First-Year-Player Draft by the New York Yankees Derek Callahan went on to make his professional debut in the Gulf Coast League this past summer. The young lefty starter split the season between three teams, both of the Yankees Gulf Coast League teams and a one-game start in the Florida State League. At the end of the season he owned a 1-0 record with a 2.87 ERA in 11 games, 8 starts.
What is your expectations coming into 2015?
“My expectations for myself coming into my first spring training is to compete and work hard. The two things you can control in baseball and in life are effort and attitude. So I try not to over-think or predict things that are out of my control.”
You played for the GCL Yankees and Tampa Yankees in 2014, where do you see yourself playing in 2015?
“I’m not worrying about any of that. My job is to get hitters out and that is what I am focused on. We have a excellent player development staff, that will place me where I need to be, to challenge myself.”
Have you worked on any other pitching mechanics this offseason?
“Yes, I’ve worked hard on my breaking ball this winter. Its a lot sharper, and I’m excited to see how it translates to live hitters and games. Now I have 4 quality pitches and two different breaking balls that I can throw for strikes, which is a big advantage in pro ball.”
Do you have a certain workout regimen during the offseason, and meal plans to stay in shape?
“Yes, our Strength and Conditioning staff met with me before the end of last season, and together we set a target weight of reporting to Spring training at 225lbs. That’s about 20 to 25 pounds heavier than where I finished the 2014 season at. I’m happy to say I have reached my goal and I will be reporting to camp at 6’4 225. I squatted 3 to 4 times per week and also ran a lot of stairs in the off-season to build up my leg strength.”
If you get sent to the Pulaski Yankees in 2015, a rookie league club, you will be playing for Tony Franklin, what is your thoughts on that?
“I haven’t gotten to talk to any older guys who have played for him. However, I know that he has had lots of success in his playing and coaching career, and is known as a great coach. Wherever I am placed this year in the Yankee Organization I’ll be in good hands. The player development staff is really top notch all the way across the board.”
What is the hardest thing about playing in the minors?
“I think the hardest thing about the minor leagues and really baseball is consistency. Baseball and the minor leagues is all about routines and staying focused on the big picture. If you get into a good routine and keep an even keeled mindset then you will be successful in this sport. Consistency also builds confidence and brings your game up to that next level.”
All of us here at Pinstriped Prospects want to thank Derek for taking time out of his busy schedule to sit down with us for a few minutes. We wish you the best of luck in 2015.