Padres Prospect Interview: Chris Tremblay

Will the real Chris Tremblay please stand up? The San Diego Padres prospect did just that in his second season, changing his swing entirely during the 2009 instructs and seeing the results with a very productive year in Eugene. His goal for 2011 – build on it.

How frustrating is it… you're having a great year and you get hit by the injury bug. Literally hit, actually.

Chris Tremblay: It was frustrating. There's nothing you can do and when it comes to an injury with the head they're pretty precautious. Just trying to deal with it and stay as up as I can and just try to come back to where I was and finish strong. That's really all I could do.

Where were you?

Chris Tremblay: I felt good. I was coming out of a little slump that I was in, and I had three straight games where I was 2-for-4, hitting the ball well. I felt like I was coming out of it and that happens. It's just something that happens in the season and you have to deal with it.

Who are you from last year to this year?

Chris Tremblay: Defensively, I'm better. I'm more consistent and, offensively, I'm a totally different person. I think I took my failures from last year and learned on it and built my swing into what I do well. I've done a good job at not trying to be someone who I'm not. It just kind of all translated and I've had a successful year and it's something I need to, just like last year, take this year and learn on it and build on it for next year, too.

Do you feel like there were times where you were trying to be a big guy last year? During Eugene you didn't have any extra-base hits and had one in Antonio but was it because you trying too hard and not letting it just come naturally?

Chris Tremblay: Not really. In all honesty, it didn't feel natural at all last year. Nothing seemed like it came together at all for me. It was really frustrating last year because I knew I could do a lot better than what I showed, and I just dug myself into a hole. This year it felt like it came together and now I'm starting to show the organization who I really am as a player. It feels good.

When did it click? In extended?

Chris Tremblay: I started, offensively, to get a grip on things in instructs of last year. It took a little while in extended and working with Shawn Wooten here, he's been outstanding for me, personally. We've worked on certain things, and it really started to click right at the end of extended and then right when we got here I started hot, so that was a good thing, and it gave me some confidence to keep going on the season.

When you said you worked on some things, what were you working on?

Chris Tremblay: A bunch of stuff. I've changed my swing a lot from last year and obviously a big thing with me was always my direction. Now my direction is straight line towards the pitcher and really just my whole set-up in general has changed. My stance, my weight, my weight shift is a little different, a lot of other things. I'm getting more stride separation with my hands. It's really helped me out in the long run just to realize that it's going to take a while to change and not to try and force or rush things and just let it happen.

Can you be the wise man coming to Eugene? You're seeing some of these guys and you've been in their position last year, where you can give them some advice and maybe they will actually listen. There's a point as a player where you're like "Yeah, I hear you, but I'm not necessarily ready to listen."

Chris Tremblay: Yeah, I think that was me last year, really. People told me some things and I was like some guys here "I've done this my whole career and this has worked" and before you know it it's the end of the season and it's not working and you feel like you're in a hole. I've talked to a couple of guys and let them know where I was last year and where I am now and told them how I got through it mentally and physically a couple of things I've done. Everyone is their own person, and they're going to figure out how to change themselves one way or another. I've tried when they've asked me to.

Was instructs the point where you don't have the pressure anymore. You're not playing for stats. You're playing for the actual change to happen. Was that the biggest benefit where now "whatever I do it really doesn't matter"?

Chris Tremblay: It was that and also mental benefit to know they cared enough to invite you to instructs and give you another shot. It really came together in extended because I really just said to myself I need to work on what I need to work on and not worry about the results. It built up to the season I'm having now.

We all know you have great teammates. If you could take one hitter you'd throw behind in the order who would it be and why?

Chris Tremblay: I'll tell you right now who I had earlier in the season was Jedd, Jedd Gyorko, and I think he had a big part to do with why I was having a really successful season because they wanted to come at me first instead of having to come at Jedd. He's a talented player, and he's having a great year as well. I loved hitting in front of him. It was nice.

What's the off season going to be like now that you have this base down and you know what to expect? You're going into next season looking at full season ball.

Chris Tremblay: It's going to be nice to end the season knowing I accomplished some goals of mine and had a great season. It's going to take some pressure off and make me want to work just as hard as I did last year because I want to repeat it. I don't want people to say I'm a one year fluke. I'm going to work hard just like everybody is. It's nice to know I have something to build off of.

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