Padres Prospect Interview: Jorge Reyes

Jorge Reyes made waves in his first professional season when a long-time baseball man, Greg Riddoch, saw him as a future big leaguer. He was elevated to Lake Elsinore in 2010 after a few scant innings. While his innings have been limited, his effectiveness has been stellar at times.

Jorge, obviously you came into the system late, but you're having a great year. During the off season, one of the things you wanted to work on was the change-up progression. How do you feel it's coming along, and where is it today?

Jorge Reyes: Real good, I think. Coming to instructs was a great step for me. Obviously, Cooch taught me a lot there. All the coaches worked with me on that, slowing my body down. It really worked. I ask every pitcher how they hold their change-up and work on it. I found one today, and it's moving a little bit and the velocity came off of it a little bit. There's always room for progress, but I like where it's at right now.

How many different grips do we go through when we're looking for that pitch?

Jorge Reyes: I think way more than I'm supposed to. I've probably tried about 10 different things. There's days when one works, and I go out and say it worked. I come back the next day, and all of a sudden, it doesn't work. I just kind of change it up until I find the rhythm and the right thing. I'm pretty excited about where it's at right now.

You talked about slowing the delivery down. What was happening?

Jorge Reyes: I think when I come out there, I'm a pretty quick paced kind of guy. My front side was getting a little excited, kind of sliding out. My upper half was going with it. Now, Coach Razor (Dave Rajsich) and Cooch (pitching cooedinator Mike Couchee) have worked with me on slowing it down a little bit, and I feel a little bit stronger. It's a downhill sort of thing. That's fixed itself.

Yet, you have a quick tempo. Slow delivery, quick tempo.

Jorge Reyes: Tempo is still quick, which they like. They say they like that aggressiveness. The tempo, I'll definitely keep, keep going ready to face hitters and challenge hitters. As far as not screwing up the mechanics, that has to be there, as well.

Interesting. Did you talk to the hitters? Do they hate facing you just because you are fast?

Jorge Reyes: Yeah. They say it definitely screws them up. I talked to our hitters about it. Our fielders say they love it, the tempo. They love when I go out there and just get after it. It makes them better because they're on their feet and ready to go. They definitely like that. Like you said, the hitters do not like it. When you're up there ready to go before they're ready to go, it's hard for them. You have the advantage.

Which is worse the guy who takes 45 seconds between each pitch or the guy who takes 3 seconds? Have you ever seen Greg Burke throw? Painful. He lulls you to sleep.

Jorge Reyes: I definitely don't like watching slow games, so I don't want anyone to have to go through it when I'm pitching.

Is there any pressure in professional baseball now that you have new bosses as opposed to maybe the ones who drafted you last year.

Jorge Reyes: Well, it's interesting to come out here knowing that there could be one day when you just get let go or whatever. I really enjoy this baseball field. I have a lot of fun out here. There's a great group of guys. I really don't think that's on anybody's mind. Everyone comes out here and there's one goal: to be up in San Diego. We're all working for the same thing and having fun. As far as pressure, it's very fun. I don't feel any pressure at all.

You're a guy who wears your emotions on your sleeve, maybe not in the Frankie Rodriguez mold. Is there positives and negatives to that?

Jorge Reyes: There is. Yeah, there is definitely. It's baseball, though, so you have to forget real fast and work on the positives and stick with that.

You've been kind of a work horse since entering the system. Even one of the coaches felt like, "Here's a guy who can go deep into games." When you hear something like that, what does it make you feel like?

Jorge Reyes: It's good, you know. It definitely means you're doing what they like. That's what college coaches prepare us for. Ever since I was a little kid, that's what every coach prepares you for. They all try to get you ready. You get a lot of advice coming up through the system, college baseball, high school. They tell you to show up to the field early, leave late and work as hard as you can. That's definitely what I try to do. Hopefully someone does see that and it comes to your advantage.

While there was a limited sample last year, the leadoff hitter of an inning had a 462 on-base percentage against you. How do you change it?

Jorge Reyes: They're aggressive. I've already learned a lot just coming here. One of the differences between lead-off hitters getting on in college and lead-off hitters getting on in pro-ball was that last summer if they did get on, I got a lot of ground ball double plays, because my mentality was don't worry about it anymore. It happened. Now go get the next guy, get a ground ball and you're out of the inning just as if that guy hadn't got on. But as far as changing and not letting it happen, it just means being more aggressive. Pro ball, baseball hitters are ready to go. They're ready to start hitting the first pitch. In college, you kind of went out there and just threw the first pitch, getting the first strike, hoping they wouldn't swing. Here, people are ready. As far as changing it and getting ready, I'm just more aggressive.

What are the goals moving forward?

Jorge Reyes: There's one goal and that's to get to San Diego, obviously. You set your goals high and wherever you land, you land. I'm not the kind of guy who tries to go with small goals and tries to have a good season wherever I'm at. I definitely want to get to San Diego as fast as I can. My 2011 goal is to move through the system, impress some coaches, have some good numbers, and hopefully get there as fast as I can.

We all know you have a lot of great teammates and this does not take away from anyone you don't mention. If you could have one pitch from anyone of your teammates to put into your own arsenal, what would it be, from who, and why?

Jorge Reyes: That's a hard question. I come out here and watch people all the time. Thankfully, the Big League bullpens are right in front of our clubhouse and I go out there and watch. One guy I have watched is Wynn Pelzer. He works hard every single day. I got a little taste of how hard last season. It was the first game of the playoffs last season, and he went eight innings strong. Just a work horse, just working hard every day. Every day, I see him come out here working hard. I mean, it's a good example he sets for all these young guys like me, our first year, you know. If I'm following someone next year, it's going to be follow his steps and working as hard as he does.

Who is the one hitter that you are glad you have as a teammate and why?

Jorge Reyes: Mitch Canham. He was my college teammate, and it's the same thing. He does the exact same thing as Wynn, but he's a hitter. Today, he caught my bullpen, which was pretty interesting. It had been a while since I threw to him. He comes out here and works hard every day. We have a lot of great hitters in this system. He's a guy that I think is pretty cool. He's on my side of the squad, and he gets some hits for us.

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