“Consistency with your mindset and your body is the biggest thing in baseball”
That’s what right-handed pitcher Nick Green had to say when we caught up with him before preparing for his all-star game start. Green is one of many guys in the loaded Yankees system that is putting together a strong season and planting himself among the names to be considered for a promotion.
Initially drafted by the Yankees in the 35th round out of Fountain-Fort High School, Green decided to attend Indian Hills Community College in Iowa where he was selected in the seventh round by the Texas Rangers in 2014.
“I went to College and was drafted by the Rangers,” Green said, “Then being drafted after all that is insane. I can’t explain the feeling. You kind of feel like your dreams are coming true then you get there and realize you’ve got to keep making your dreams come true”
That realization is something that most players go through when they arrive to their first minor league team.
“You know they say baseball is a mental game first and foremost,” Green recalls. “Well, when I got to Texas, I was trying to throw every pitch as hard as possible. It worked for a while but then you start to realize you’re not as good as you think.”
The Yankees acquired Green in the deal that sent Carlos Beltran to the Rangers for Green and two more prospects.
“Both organizations are outstanding, and I was a kid when I was traded. I think I was 20 or 21 and I had a lot of friends in the Rangers organizations, and it opened my eyes. People tell you all the time that baseball is also a business. Being traded opens your eyes to the business aspect of it.”
The mental aspect of the game primarily for pitchers is one of the last facets that is developed. Knowing this, Green has adopted the right attitude.
“They say the average person can only focus for eight seconds at a time I take that as a challenge. Instead of taking eight seconds at a time I focus on 10 or 11 seconds. Every focus is a quick focus”
Green says that this approach is something that he’s been working since the last offseason and results are there. Heading into the All-Star break, Green is sporting a 5-2 record with a 2.25 era while striking out 54 in 64 innings of work.
Along with his new mental approach, we asked Green if he’s changed anything about his routine physically.
“I’ve been at this for a while, and I’ve gone through at least 30 routines before finding what works for me now. So if its watching film or rolling out and staying loose. I try to always be at my best.”
Coming into the season, Tampa boasted one of the strongest staffs in the Florida State League. With promotions of three starters, Green becomes the high man on the totem. He’ll be tasked with anchoring the staff down the stretch, and Green happily accepts the challenge. Being named an All-Star is great, but Green’s focus is consistency.
“Consistency man, I want [Pat Osborn], and all of the guys to rely on me and I want them to know that I’m the guy.”
Green has seen quite a few of his teammates promoted, and one teammate, in particular, make his major league debut recently. We wanted to know if Green thinks about when or if his chance will come.
“It’s all about the opportunity I’m not really focused on that. I know that in order for me to move up something needs to happen at the next level for me to get my chance. All I can do I focus on what I can control and making sure I focus on what here and now.”
Green is on the right path to fulfilling his dreams, and if he continues to show improvement, he’ll be the fourth starter promoted from the Tarpons soon.