MadFriars' Interview Cody Hebner

PEORIA, AZ: Cody Hebner was selected in the 4th round (143rd overall) of the 2012 draft by the San Diego Padres from Green River Community College in Washington State. He passed on a scholarship to Arizona State to pitch professionally for the Padres.

At twenty, Hebner got his first taste of professional baseball excelling at Eugene by going 2-2 with a 3.35 ERA. More impressive though was his 9.32 K/9, and his .207 BAA.

We caught up with Hebner as he was taking in his first spring training.

What was it like when you got the call, saying that you were drafted by the Padres?

Cody Hebner : It was unreal! It has been a dream of mine to be drafted since I was a little kid. When I heard my name, and then got the call I was just ecstatic. It was an unreal experience watching the draft and seeing your name displayed. I don't even know how to put it into words the joy of being drafted.

How long did it take to fully sink in that you are now a professional baseball player?

Cody Hebner: I think I was just smiling for about a week straight. I kept on replaying the draft in my head and it just was awesome. But even now, [9 months later] after being drafted, I'm walking around and I can't believe I am getting paid to do this. This is awesome! I have the greatest job in the world!

For us fans, what is it like to be in spring training?

Cody Hebner : It is just awesome. I absolutely love every minute of it. I wake up, play ball, work out with friends, play ball, and go to sleep.

You get a chance to work on new things and build bonds with your teammates. Its great since you know these players will be the ones having your back during the season. It is long days, and more work then it seems, but I wouldn't trade any of it so I am happy.

As a first year player, how did you get to spend your off-season? Did you get to relax?

Cody Hebner: Haha, no. I spent most of the offseason working at my dad's baseball shop. I got to work out every day, teach a few lessons, and just be around baseball. I did have some time to hang out with friends and family, but I never lost sight of baseball.

You dominated in community college, and had good success in Eugene this past year. What was the biggest difference for you between the two levels?

Cody Hebner: The biggest difference for me was you really have to learn how to be a pitcher instead of just a thrower.

The game becomes as much of a mind game as it is a sports game. You have to continually try to outsmart the hitters, and realize that you are against better hitters than you were a few months ago.

Anyone can hit a home run on any pitch if you just throw instead of pitch. You have to study the game, get to know each of the hitters, and really become a student of the game.

What are your goals for the upcoming season

Cody Hebner: Staying healthy is always the biggest goal for any ballplayer. Outside of that, probably really learning how to become a pitcher instead of a thrower. I don't know where I am headed yet, but wherever it is I will just do everything I can to really learn, and do everything I can to help the team win.

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