MadFriars' Interview: Jace Peterson

LAKE ELSINORE, CA: Remember being in school and there was one kid that was good in every sport and then to top it off he was also one of the top students in class?

Meet Jace Peterson, the shortstop for the Lake Elsinore Storm.

In high school he was the coach's son who played four sports and made the honor roll. At McNeese State he was a very good for not only very good for the Cowboys baseball team but also was a standout defensive back.

And yes if you didn't have enough to be envious of Peterson he was also named to the Southland Conference's All-Academic team.

Since being drafted by the Padres as a first round supplemental pick in 2011 the big question with him has always been would his baseball skills rise to the level of his athleticsm.

Last year with the Fort Wayne TinCaps he hit .286/.378/.392 with 51 stolen bases in 64 attempts. Peterson, who just turned 24, is starting to really heat up in the Cal League and was coming into Wednesday night's game at .305/.371/.455 and seems certain to join his best friend second baseman Cory Spangenberg in AA San Antonio.

You got off to a bit of a slow start but have really started to pick it up offensively. Any reason why?

Jace Peterson: Really I just think its how baseball is. When things aren't going your way you just have to keep grinding and that is what I have always done.

You guys always say you have to keep grinding. What do you do to stay mentally positive?

Jace Peterson: There are so many things on the baseball field that you can't control. After you create your swing path and make contact you don't have a lot of control. You can hit the ball really solid and make an out or dribble one out for a hit.

What is going to happen is going to happen. I really try to work hard on what I can control and part of that is my mental approach. The big key is just to not let frustration build up because then you start trying to do too much and get away from your approach.

How are you able to process negative information to improve without getting down on yourself?

Jace Peterson: You just have to have a short memory. Learn what you can from your mistakes and move on. It's the toughest game you can play..

And you have some experience with the amount of sports that you have played.

Jace Peterson: No doubt. If you have never played it at this level you aren't aware of what a true grind this really is.

It will kick you when you are down and reward you when you don't expect it. I guess that is why we keep coming back to it, it's so tough.

When you were playing in college baseball if you have a bad three games over the weekend, say you go 1-12 - you can come back and really practice at getting better.

Here you don't have that luxury. How do you make adjustments?

Jace Peterson: You just have to be prepared to play everyday and know that you need to have the same attitude regardless of what you did the night before.

You have your swing mechanics worked out in the spring. You are not making adjustments to that part of your game in the middle of the season?

Jace Peterson: Yeah I don't think there is any reason to rework a swing. You can tweak things here and there but mainly you want to be on time with your swing.

You are also playing shortstop, one of the toughest defensive positions on the field. How much more does that add to the things you need to do mentally to play?

Jace Peterson: Defensively I am feeling fine. I think I have made some good plays and messed up a few easy ones. I've gotten better from last year.

Just getting more reps at the position has really helped me. I really think the more I play the better I will become.

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