MadFriars' Interview: Blake Tekotte

Washington, DC: Just a few weeks after watching and talking with Blake Tekotte in San Antonio he got the call to the major leagues. We caught up with Blake on his first major league road trip to talk about his adjustment to the major leagues.

Washington DC: CF Blake Tekotte had his major league debut on May 25 against his home town St. Louis Cardinals and on May 28 in Washington DC he got his first hits, a double and a triple, during his first start.

Tekotte, 24, is arguably the best defensive outfielder in the Padres' system and has been able to improve all facets of his game since the team drafted him out of the University of Miami in the third round of the 2008 draft by San Diego.

After watching him just a few weeks ago in AA San Antonio we caught up with him on his first major league road trip to find out how he's been doing since the call-up and and what the Padres' plans for him are.

Media people always ask players when they get called up if they thought their teammates were playing a prank on them? Does that ever happen? I couldn't imagine you and Dan Robertson getting Jaff Decker on the telephone and making him think he got called up.

Blake Tekotte: [laughs] No, I've never heard of that and I couldn't imagine doing it to someone. That would definitely not be cool.

You got called up because Will Venable was struggling, they needed someone with a left-handed bat who could play center. So what did they go over with you, especially since you are used to starting?

Blake Tekotte: When I got here Buddy called me into his office and went over what they wanted to do with me. He talked about easing into it, pinch-hit here and there, going in as a pinch-runner or defensive replacement and an occasional start.

I'm fine with that. I just have to know my role and figure out how to best prepare for what to do. Right now the big thing that I am doing is just watching how everyone prepares for their jobs, especially the guys that have been around awhile.

It must be tough you probably haven't ever sat on the bench. How do you prepare.

Blake Tekotte: It is different. Its kind of good that I came up when I did because it was against St. Louis. I went out to dinner with Jon Jay, who I played with in college at Miami, and he kind of gave me some tips on how to do things.

Also the guys on the bench were helping me with their routines - when they start stretching, when they go into the cage and knowing the situations in the game, when you might come in.

You got your first hits on Saturday and everything you've hit has been hard. Every time we talk you always emphasize that you aren't a power hitter and work on trying to not swing to hard, but the ball is going off of your bat without taking the big wrap that you once had.

Have you just gotten stronger so that ball is going further?

Blake Tekotte: Yeah, I'm just trying to keep it simple, so the strength has helped. I was in a little bit of a funk in San Antonio right before I got here; so I was kind of looking forward to starting over.

How do you get used to all of the information that is available to you here as opposed to in the minors. What to process and how to not take in too much.

Blake Tekotte: You don't want to overanalyze stuff. I kind of want to know what they throw and their velocity. Its nice to be able to watch a little bit of video, know their arm slots - but I don't care to know percentages of what they are going to throw in each count. Some stuff is a little too much.

In your interview with Lee Hamilton on XX 1090, you mentioned that you got some advice from Kyle Blanks on how to act in the big leagues. What was some of the advice that Kyle gave to you?

Blake Tekotte: He was just saying how to handle yourself within the clubhouse. Mainly to watch how everyone does things and not talk too much. Learn by observing and that helped out a lot, but then again I wasn't going to come in here and run my mouth either.

The dress code is a little different too.

Blake Tekotte: Yeah it is a little different. I had to get a few new suits which was all right by me.

Regardless of how long you are up here for, what is the biggest thing that you are trying to learn from being up here?

Blake Tekotte: The experience. Knowing how everything is up here as opposed to just imagining it. Having the guys help you out and its just been awesome to go out and play in these stadiums that you have only seen on ESPN.


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