Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Exclusive Interview W/ Yankees Gosuke Katoh

Today we are very excited to bring you an interview with Yankees second round pick in the 2013 MLB First Year Players Draft Gosuke Katoh! Katoh burst onto the scene in a big way with huge power numbers out of High School after signing quickly out of the draft. Without further rambling from me here is the interview with Mr. Katoh. Enjoy!

TGP:  How cool was it to meet Ichiro, among the other Yankees players, last season? Is he someone that you looked up to as a young baseball player?

Gosuke Katoh: Ichiro was definitely someone I looked up to as a kid and I became a lefty hitter because of him. I modeled my swing after him as well as his lifestyle and work ethic. I obviously grew up watching the bronx bombers on TV so I was extremely nervous when I met them at Angels Stadium after the draft. However as stupid as this might sound, they are all human. They are all very nice and treated me like I was one of their own. It made me want to play along with them.

TGP: Can you share some of your memories with Jerry Coleman? We saw your touching tweet about following in his footsteps.

GK: I met Mr. Coleman unexpectedly through my agent because they both reside in San Diego. Although our meeting was short, I learned many life lessons from his experiences both on and off the field. 

TGP: Do you have a girlfriend/wife waiting for you at home while you are on the road so much?

GK: No but my family and goldfish are waiting :)

TGP: What are you doing this offseason to improve on your 2013 season?

GK: I gained 20 pounds from the end of the season and I also worked on being more balanced and making consistent contact offensively

TGP: What do you do during the offseason to keep yourself occupied?

GK: During my free time I like to just relax, listen to music, and spend time with my family and friends.

TGP:  What were your thoughts when the Yankees lost out on the Robinson Cano sweepstakes?

GK: Contrary to what everyone believes, I was actually very saddened when Cano left the Yankees. I was always a fan of him because we had a lot in common; we were both second basemen that hit lefty. I took many notes from him both defensively and offensively and even wore his number through high school. When I met him in Anaheim he was the funniest and kindest player there. He had me laughing all the time at second base when we were taking ground balls together. He kept me relaxed in front of all the other players and spectators. Even though this scenario might have been impossible, I always dreamed of being his teammate and playing together. But now that he has left I would like to fill in that spot and take the Yankees to another World Series title. 

TGP: Favorite restaurant to eat at?

GK: Chipotle

TGP: Have you seen much of Masahiro Tanaka pitching in Japan?

GK: He was a high school sensation so I had always watched him on tv during his teen years. I also watched him play at USC when Team Japan played USA in a friendly high school classic. I don't remember much but I remember how explosive his fastball was. 

TGP:  As a recent draft pick I am curious as to your thoughts on the new draft rules, draft slots, and such?

GK: I was never too worried about money to begin with. I knew that I couldn't sign because I want the money; I had to sign I wanted to start my career out of high school. The slots definitely brought the pay stubs to some players but in my opinion it was a lot less stressful because I knew what I would get if I got picked. No negotiations and a lot less work for both the advisers, players, and organization. 

TGP: I think this answer may be obvious but in my time around social media I have noticed there are two kinds of fans when it comes to prospects. You have the "prospect humpers" (myself being a self professed prospect humper) and a name yet to be determined (due to my lack of creativity) describing those who want to sell all the prospects off for the 37 year old "sure thing." Which category do you think yourself as a fan falls into?

GK: I like both. When I think of prospects I think of young energetic players like Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, and Yasiel Puig. However they are also obviously immature. These young prospects can learn from the veterans' experiences and wisdom so I think a good balance of both is a necessity for a championship team.

TGP: What current Major League player do you think you compare to the most?

GK: Orlando Hudson

TGP: I know you probably don't think of things like this but how long before you think we could see you in the Major Leagues? I have your ETA down as late 2016, is that accurate?

GK: Obviously the sooner the better but I will do what it takes to get to Yankee Stadium. I've been working hard to make my dream come true

TGP: If you could be the Yankees GM for a day what would you do? Don't have to really be realistic here. 

GK: Permanently change the team name to the Bronx Bombers and sign Mariano to a 1 day contract and put him in center field :)

TGP: Were you a Yankees fan growing up? If not what team did you root for?

GK: I was never a fan of one team; but I always followed all the Japanese players in the league. When Hideki Matsui was signed by the Yankees I quickly hopped on the bandwagon. Ichiro and Kuroda followed so I followed the Yanks even more. 

TGP: Where in the world did all that power come from in the GCL? 

GK: A lot of people assume that a larger frame translates to power but that is not always the case. As we all know, Force=Mass x Acceleration from newtons law of motion. From this we can see that force also comes from quickness or acceleration and not just mass or a large frame. Even though a combination of both is fantastic, I was not necessarily given the gift of mass therefore I try to be as quick as I can to the ball to put more force on the ball.

TGP: Most famous person in your cell phone?

GK: Joe Girardi (can we maybe get that Gosuke?)

TGP: Most embarrassing song in your iPod?

GK: I am proud of every song in my playlist 

TGP: We'll finish with this one, where do you see yourself in life and your career in five years?

GK: No one will ever know my future but I would definitely love to be playing at Yankee Stadium in the next couple years and bring home another World Series title. 

Thank you once again for taking the time Gosuke, there were some great answers here that the readers are sure to enjoy. We wish you nothing but luck this season and nothing but the best with your career and your life both on and off the field. You can follow Gosuke on Twitter by following @GosukeKatoh.  


  1. That was a great interview Daniel. I like this kid, he has his head on straight and priorities in good order.
    Wish him the best of luck, as I think that is one of the toughest things to do...stick with it all the way to the Big Show and stay there!

    I sometimes wonder if the fans ever realise how much competition there is for each infield position? This kid, as with most, is competing with 8 2nd basemen for the Yankees x 32 other teams 256+, 2nd basemen with more every year. As we saw with Didi, one must count the other teams players also!
    I love competition, but baseball is probably the hardest sport to make it to the Promised none!

    This answer to one of your questions was a golden nugget for me... 'I also worked on being more balanced and making consistent contact offensively'. I keep preaching that to the players I work with all the time.

    1. It's absolutely the hardest simply because of the minor leagues. That's before factoring in how hard it is to hit a baseball and all the fundamentals and such.

    2. That is why many of the larger kids go into other sports. Look at MJ, he had such a great talent for basketball...tried baseball and found out he wasn't fast enough and hitting was not his brightest candle. Hand and eye carried him some of the way, but not the Big Time.


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)