CK: Were you expecting to go around the 16th round? Or was it a surprise?
Mendez: Well when it came to the draft, I had no expectations. I knew that people would get told they go in the top ten and not go at all, some people get no interest at all until their names called, so really I had no expectations because it would only stress me out. I just said "everything happens for a reason" and just went on with my day. I knew that was something I couldn't control so I let the draft take its toll and was extremely happy to know I was going to a great organization who gives opportunities to those who perform and not so much politics.
Mendez: My first few weeks were a little rough. I got away from my three pitches or less and was trying to do too much. but then I just figured out that hitters will get themselves out again and I began to have cleaner and quicker innings. The biggest difference from the AZL to New York- Penn league to me was the discipline on the hitters part. Hitters wouldn't chase as much and guys hit mistakes a little more often.
CK: What pitches do you have as of now? And which one in particular do you hope to improve upon heading onward?
Mendez: At the moment I have four seam, two seam, curve ball and change up. My change up has always been my least effective pitch until instructional league this year, when I got my slider taken away and put more focus on my change. The change going into this year is still my project, I know that with a real good change you can keep guys off of the fastball and make it look a little faster
CK: Goals for 2014?
Mendez: My goals for this upcoming year, is do anything in my power to keep moving up. just want to become a better pitcher, so better command, better pitch selection, and improve my tempo and be a great teammate.
Last but not least my breaking ball that floats between the titles of a slider and a slurve (depends on the day I suppose). I feel like my splitter is the pitch I am looking to improve most of the three pitches. Primarily getting used to the ball change, from college to professional. With the high seams in college I was very comfortable with the grip. Now, I am getting a better feel for the splitter grip with these lower seamed baseballs.