Padres prospect Q&A: James Darby

He didn't get a chance to show what he could do for his country but at twenty years old he may have plenty of opportunities in the future. James Darby, a native of Australia was a member of the team but the squad that went to represent them was the top players from the country and Darby was struggling in Eugene.

As a native of Australia what have you done baseball-wise over the past year?

James Darby: I played in Idaho Falls my first year, then played a lot in New Zealand last year, and then I'm back in Eugene this year.

Are these the first three years you've been over here from Australia?

James Darby: Yeah, basically. The only time I was in America was to play baseball.

You come over here and get your first taste at Idaho Falls, and now Eugene. How's the introduction to American culture?

James Darby: It's pretty different. I didn't expect it to be so different. I spent a bit of time in Las Vegas after the start of Spring Training, playing in a short-season league. It's definitely different where I'm living and making the adjustment from season to off-season with the way you live.

You go back home every offseason, is there any baseball competition, or do you attempt to get away and take a break from the game?

James Darby: Well, last year I didn't have much of an off-season or any time off. I went straight into practice with the Australian Olympic team, and here the Olympic qualifiers are in January, so getting ready for that stuff. I played for the Australian national championships in January and then went off to play again for the South African City Lights qualifiers.

Was your interest in the Olympics higher since you were a member of the team?

James Darby: Yeah, definitely, because I was a member of the team. We had the largest squad before they went to the smaller squad for the Olympics. Even after all the training I was still there for the boys.

You are a bit younger than some of the guys and don't have as much experience, how do they pick who gets to go?

James Darby: It's based on performance and I had been struggling a little bit. They had guys like Graeme Lloyd and Ryan Rowland-Smith, who's a young guy with the Mariners, who's quite a good pitcher. They decided to go with experience and who was playing the best at the time.

You saw fellow Padres farmhand Chris Oxspring throw eight innings of one-hit ball then, right?

James Darby: Yeah, that's right. I've seen Ox do it a few times. Me and Chris played club ball together for years in Australia. I rank him pretty highly.

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