Jorge Salgado

MadFriars’ Interview: Manuel Margot

EL PASO, Tex.: When San Diego made the Craig Kimbrel trade with the Boston Red Sox this off-season two of the primary components that came back were centerfielder Manuel Margot and shortstop Javier Guerra, who were big reasons why the Padres’ system moved out of the bottom third in baseball.

Margot, 21, is a near five-tool player who was so impressive in spring training that the  organization re-configured it’s plans to start him in Double-A and sent him directly to Triple-A El Paso.

We don't think he is that far away from contributing on the big league level,” said the Padres’ Director of Player Development Sam Geaney before the season on the reasons for his promotion.

Margot was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2011 at 16 and made his debut in the Dominican Summer League the following year hitting .285/.382/.423. Since moving stateside he has put together solid years hitting .271/326/.419 in Double-A Portland at twenty years old last season.  He also stole 39 bases in 52 attempts between Portland and High-A Salem.

So the simple question is why would the Red Sox give him up?

Boston needed a closer and between Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley, Jr. on the big league roster and top centerfield prospects Andrew Benintendi and Luis Alexander Basabe below, the Red Sox had some spare parts to move despite Margot ranking as one of Baseball America’s Top 100 prospects. (#56).

Margot got off to a slow start with the Chihuahuas but is now hitting .302/.357/.429 after getting his timing back from a short spring training lay-off.

We caught up with him after a workout to talk about the trade and what skills he brings to the table.

How did you hear that you were first coming over to the Padres?

Manuel Margot:  I had an idea that I was going to get traded sometime, but I had no idea it was going to be the Padres.  It took me completely by surprise when it happened.

You impressed quite a few people in spring training.  What did you do to prepare?

Manuel Margot: I did a lot of mental training in my house, mental skills to help me focus on being sharper in my workouts.

How would you describe your game?

Manuel Margot: I try to focus on the little things, really get the details correct.  I try to bring as much energy as I can everyday, so I can get the most out of my ability.

You’ve stolen a lot of bases in your career.  What are some of the things that you focus on to be successful?

Manuel Margot:  I focus on the pitches as soon as he comes in the game.  I try to observe everything that I can about him so when my chance comes, I am ready.

You had a little bit of an injury in a Spring Training game against the Tijuana Toros.  How long did it take you to come back from that injury?

Manuel Margot:  It was about nine or ten days that I was out in Spring Training before I could start playing.  

How did it affect your timing?

Manuel Margot: It affected me a little bit, but now I am back in the everyday grind.

What is your biggest goal coming into the season?

Manuel Margot:  The same as it always is finish the year in the big leagues.

Special thanks to Carlos Asuaje for assitance in transaltion.

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