On Friday afternoon, I had a chance to visit, for the first time, the Padres advanced A affiliate Lake Elsinore Storm.
Due to extended batting practice, Javier wasn’t available after all.
I did, however, find out a lot about Ruddy Giron. He’s a very interesting young man, and I was completely blown away by his knowledge of the game being that he is such a young player.
So without further ado, here’s a little bit of my interview with the Padres’ Dominican infield prospect.
EVT: Ruddy, what are the biggest differences between playing ball in the California league and playing in the Dominican Republic?
RG: To me the biggest difference is- In the Dominican winter leagues, a lot of pitchers have major league experience, and I think that prepared me for this level of play.
EVT: What do you think is the one adjustment you have to make in order to continue your development as a hitter?
RG: I think it comes down to being more selective as a hitter. Sometimes I can be anxious in the box and that is when the struggles come. So, I think that staying patient is something I need to work on.
EVT: Obviously there have a lot of great major leaguers from the Dominican. Growing up, was there any particular player that you admired?
RG: I’ve always had a ton of respect for all major league players, especially Dominican players, but I’ve always wanted to model my game after Miguel Tejada and Jose Reyes. Tejada was a tremendous hitter, with power to all fields, and Reyes just knows how to make contact with the ball, so those two are my favorite players.
EVT: Right now you’re playing third base, do you envision yourself at that position?
RG: Well I’ll play wherever they put me, I just love to be out there, but to answer your question, I’m relatively new to the position and I think that I’m learning every day how to be better. I’m a good enough athlete to play 3B, SS, and even 2B, so wherever the manager decides I’ll give it my best.
EVT: Does the fact that a lot of your teammates (with the Storm) are Latinos makes it more fun for you to come to the ball park?
RG: (Laughs) Well you know how we Latinos play this game, with a lot of passion and emotion. So yes, playing with people from the Caribbean and Mexico is a guarantee of a good time in the field and in the clubhouse.
EVT: Lastly, if you could choose one thing to do in the sport, what would it be?
RG: That’s tough, but if I can only pick one accomplishment, I would say playing for my country in the WBC. I would just love to put my nation’s colors on and represent my country to the best of my abilities.
I want to thank the Lake Elsinore Storm for being gracious enough to host me.
I especially want thank Matt Rodriguez, and his hard-working staff, for allowing me to walk around the facility and talk to a lot of the Storm players. I definitely look forward to seeing the team again very soon.