Tyler Mizenko, a pitcher out of Winthrop University, was taken in the 28th round by the Giants in the 2011 MLB Draft. In his last year playing for the Winthrop Eagles, Mizenko posted a 3.79 ERA, made 15 starts, held opposing batters to a .251 average, and struck out 34 batters. He will make his minor league debut this season.
What was your reaction to being drafted by the Giants?
It was a dream come true to be drafted by the San Francisco Giants. The Giants have a great reputation and I am proud to be part of a great organization with so many great players.
What adjustments do you think you’ll have to make to transition from college baseball to pro ball?
The biggest adjustments will have to be being able to locate all pitches on both sides of the plate. When you get to pro ball all the guys are good hitters. Being able to locate my pitches at the knees and on the corners will help me be successful. Also staying ahead of hitters and not falling behind in the count. Keeping the count on my side will be key to having successful outings at the professional level.
Do you see yourself continuing to pitch in the later innings in a set-up man or closer role?
I love coming in with the game on the line and in close situations. Pitching in the late innings is alot of fun and I would love to do that. But I know the Giants will definitely put me in a situation where I can succeed in whether it would be a late inning role or as a starter. [I’m] up for anything and anyway to help the team win.
Were you always a relief pitcher?
I didn’t start pitching till senior year of high school and I closed for my first two years of college and in summer ball. This past season as a junior the coaches converted me into a starter. I felt like I learned alot from starting and it made me a better pitcher. It was a different mentality and you pitched differently then you would if you were in a late inning role.
How do you think that mentality will help you in pro ball?
It will definitely help me slow the game down and stay calm in pressure situations. In the late inning role I get really amped up, but as a starter I was able to relax and stay mentally focused. This helped me out in instructional league while I was relieving out there. I was focused and relaxed, but at the same time ready to go to battle with each batter that stepped into the box.
What is something that fans should expect from you as a player when they go see you pitch?
I want the fans to be able to see my desire to win, im a good teammate and my passion for the game. Baseball is a great game and everyday I go to the field I go for a purpose and that is to get better so I can help my team in anyway I can.
In your life, did anyone stand as a Mufasa figure to you?
As a role model? I’m not quite sure I know what you mean.
Yes, as a role model.
My parents and sister have definitely been a huge support system for me. I owe alot to them and they’ve been there for me through my career since I was 5 years old playing little league. They’ve definitely been great role models to me.
Is there a particular song you would like to use as a walk out song for when you take the mound to pitch?
There are a few songs that I like. Right now I would like to do Levels Party Remix by Avicii. I change my mind everyday though. Any song that gets me and the crowd pumped up is what I’ll go with.
And the final question…
High socks: do you prefer this look or not?
I do prefer the high socks.