Padres Prospect Interview: Kennard Jones Q&A

Everyone in the San Diego Padres organization talks about the defense of Freddy Guzman. His speed and prowess on the basepaths add to his excitement. The Padres' system is also blessed with another talented centerfielder who many had tabbed as a possible fit for the Padres future – Kennard Jones.

Jones didn't perform nearly as well upon his ascension to Mobile, but his defense remained the same.

There was one play in particular that defined the type of player Kennard Jones is. It happened way back in June while he was patrolling centerfield.

Kennard Jones: Guy hit the ball, I forget what inning it was. Maybe the sixth inning and I was playing shaded over that way. The pitcher was late in the count and guy the just smashed the ball and I just happened to get a great jump on it. I believe I did everything perfect on the catch. It was kind of windy out and I was playing a little deeper than normal. I still had to run a long ways because left center is kind of deep back there. I just got on my horse and I had a pretty good read on it. I knew it was hit hard. I didn't know if was going to go off the wall or not. I looked back at the wall as I was running and looked back at the ball to track it again. Last minute just leaping after it and ended up catching it on the track.

How were the rug burns after a play like that?

Kennard Jones: Huge adrenaline rush. You don't feel the dirt or the strawberries all over your forearm and your body. You are just happy you came up with that great play for that pitcher.

How do you consider yourself defensively overall?

Kennard Jones: I would say arm I am above average. Range I am above average. I think my outfield skills are above average. There still is that factor of me maturing into the game. Learning more about the game mentally. I think athletically, it is all there. I just have to continue to mature with the game.

Ten errors this season – how do you explain having so many?

Kennard Jones: I had been kind of antsy at the beginning of the year. In spring training, I believe I went errorless. Then I came out to Elsinore. Elsinore is pretty quick and I think I got my first two in my first couple of home games. Then we were on the road and I just had this thing there for a minute. It is just about slowing it down. Doug Dascenzo I did early work with him. Every time I get out in a game I am overly excited and overly aggressive. I just think I need to tone it down – a lot.

Is going to the field as early as possible part of your normal routine?

Kennard Jones: Yes. Everyday I try and get out there as early as I possibly can. We got on the road one day and I got up (to the park) at around six in the morning up at the gates and they looked at me like I was crazy. It is part of the game. I like getting out there by myself and preparing myself for the game in the evening. It is just part of the routine. If I can put in the extra work and do everything I possibly can to get to the big leagues - that is what I will do.

Who is it that has been able to keep you so focused and who do you look up to?

My dad. I looked up to my dad a lot growing up. He was always in my corner. He is the one that stuck a bat in my hands. When I was three years old, I wasn't even allowed to play and coaches pitch – he changed my birth certificate so I could play with four year olds. I have been going ever since. I look up to that guy. We are thick as thieves. We are real tight and that is my main guy right there.

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