Daniel Procopio, the Angels 10th round selection out of Niagara University, was kind enough to take some time to answer some questions about his draft day experience and tell us a little about himself.
Brent Maguire: What was your draft day experience like? Did you have any idea of where you may be selected at and when you were selected, how did you feel?
Daniel Procopio: “My draft day experience was unbelievable. I wish I could say that being drafted before would make the anxiety and excitement go away but it doesn’t. I was told by a couple of teams that I would go on the second day of the draft. So I just sat by the computer listening to the names being chosen.”
Brent: You struck out 75 batters in 58 innings this past season. Why do you feel like you were so successful with missing bats?
Daniel: “I felt like I was successful with missing the bats because I worked a lot over the breaks with hitting my spots and working my breaking balls in advantage counts. I kept the batters guessing a lot more this past year than in recent years.”
Brent: Can you elaborate on your pitch repertoire? What is your best pitch and which one would you like to work on?
Daniel: “I have a fastball that runs a lot, a cutter and a curveball. The best pitch I would say is my fastball, it runs up there in the mid 90’s and over powers some guys. The pitch I need to work on is my cutter. It has really sharp break to it but sometimes the break isn’t there.”
Brent: What is your gameplan as a pitcher? Do you like getting ahead with the fastball or are you a pitcher who likes to always keep hitters guessing?
Daniel: “I don’t really have a game plan. There are some days I like to get ahead with a fastball and other times I like to get ahead with a breaking ball. I don’t go in thinking I’m going to throw this certain pitch to get ahead because batters usually pick up on it.”
Brent: You’re listed at 5’11”, which is generally deemed undersized for a pitcher. How have you sustained success given you’re smaller than some other pitchers?
Daniel: “I’ve always gone off the saying “height doesn’t measure heart”. Yeah I’m 5’11” but I’ve been clocked at 97 this past season. But not being tall you just have to find other ways to get an advantage. My advantage is that I have very strong legs. It’s where I get most of my velocity.”
Brent: You grew up in Toronto so is it safe to assume you grew up a Jays fan? Also, who were some of your favorite players growing up?
Daniel: “You would think I was a Jays fan growing up eh? But not really. I only started watching MLB in 2010-2011 when the Cardinals had that an unbelievable postseason. Ever since then, I’ve been a Cardinals fan. But my favorite MLB players were Mariano Rivera and Daisuke Matsuzaka.”