Madfriars Interview Blake Tekotte

PEORIA, AZ: Blake Tekotte was a third round pick by the Padres in 2008. After being named a Cal League All-Star in 2010, he finished the year with a .276/.367/.478 line with 18 home runs and 28 stolen bases.

In 2011 he again improved his performance against better competition that resulted in his first call-up to the major leagues and he began to appear on the radar to Padres' fans that only casually follow the minor leagues.

Tekotte finished the year in San Antonio hitting .285/.393/.498 with thirty-six stolen bases in forty-eight attempts. He is considered a plus defensive centerfielder with an ability to hit the ball into the gaps.

We caught up with Tekotte in spring training to talk about his experiences last year and his plans for 2012.

Take us through what it was like being called up to the majors.

Blake Tekotte: It was exciting. I didn't think it was going to happen as quickly as it did, but obviously I didn't complain. I was able to go up there and see what type of things worked and what didn't work at a higher level.

This way I know what I need to clean up over the offseason, so I can hopefully get back up.

What was it like playing in your first big league game in Washington?

Blake Tekotte: Wow, man, it was pretty cool. My whole family got to be there and it was my niece's 1st birthday so it was special. I was actually sick at the time, so I was surprised and excited by the outcome.

It was just a great experience and I was really glad I was able to come up and give an immediate spark to the major league team. I just hope that I am able to come back and contribute and become an everyday player at the major leagues.

Speaking of cleaning things up, how did you spend your off-season?

Blake Tekotte: I went back to my hope in Missouri and spent a little bit of time just relaxing and reflecting. Then as soon as I could I got back into the batting cages and weight room as often as possible to work on staying in great shape and game ready.

I actually came back out in January and worked out daily at Athletes Performance. It was nice but I was glad when spring training started.

What is your main goal for the 2012 season?

Blake Tekotte: Of course my goal is to get back to San Diego as quickly as possible, and then show the staff that I can be an everyday starter. Doing that means I need to cut down on strikeouts and other aspects that will allow me to be more consistent on an everyday basis.

What was it like being in San Antonio when they won the Texas League championship?

Blake Tekotte: It was a great experience. We had a great group of guys that had been working really hard all year.

A couple of us were able to go to San Diego for awhile, but it was nice to be back in San Antonio to help them win it all. It was really a full team effort, and was nice to get that ring.

Was the Texas League championship, or the promotion the highlight of your 2011 campaign?

Blake Tekotte: It is hard to say, they were both amazing experiences. The ring was great to get as it rewarded us for all our hard work for the entire season, but getting to the majors is every baseball player's dream.

Let's just say, that my overall goal is to help win a world series. Hopefully I can help bring one to San Diego.

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