Padres Prospect Interview: Steve Delabar

Taken in the 29th round of the 2003 draft, Steve Delabar was a draft and follow out of Volunteer State Community College in Tennessee. He spent the majority of the season in Peoria, AZ at the Padres Instructional facility and Arizona Rookie League club, getting a taste of Eugene late in the year. Back home in Kentucky for the offseason, caught up with Delabar to check in on what (if anything) he's doing this offseason. You went from a small school to the Big Time, how big an adjustment was it for you?

Steve Delabar: The biggest thing was getting to know, and throwing to, wooden bats. It's something I really had never done until last summer. It's just different, you have throw inside more, and these are professional hitters so you have to keep them off balance. What about off the field?

Steve Delabar: You just don't have someone watching you all the time. The pretty much let you do your thing, they tell you what time you have to be at the field and just don't get in trouble, so there's a lot more time where you're on your own. You're a big guy, 6-foot-5, how do you specifically use that to your advantage when you pitch?

Steve Delabar: It's all about leverage and extension. I'm at least ten feet closer to plate by the time I release the ball. The Padres have tried to keep me taller and keep more of a down angle, so it's harder to pick up the ball when I throw. Just staying tall is making me that much more effective. What have the Padres told you specifically to be working on this offseason?

Steve Delabar: Well, they told everybody to come back in shape, but for me they want me to keep working on the same stuff I was working on in the season, staying tall and working on the down angle of my release. The thing is I haven't really had a chance to work on much, because I threw so many innings in the Spring, and this was my first really long year of throwing, so they've told me to shut it down until the New Year. It's been almost two and a half months now that I really haven't been throwing. That's tough for me, I got out and threw a football, but you can't stay away from the game for that long. Now I want to go throw, but it's gotten real cold here in Kentucky, so even now that I can throw again, it's been tough. Anyone in particular who you worked with in '04 that made a difference in your game?

Steve Delabar: Wally Whitehurst and well, we call him 'Razor,' Dave Rajsich both worked a lot with me. Whitehurst was the pitching coach down in Peoria, and Rajsich was in Eugene, and those guys just worked with me a lot. Talk to me about your pitches? What do you throw, what are you working on and where is your progress on each pitch?

Steve Delabar: I came in throwing a fastball, curveball and sort of a change. One of the first things they told me was that I needed to work on the change up, so that was a big thing, just working on the change. They also switched me from a curve to slider. My curve was 12-to-6 and broke into the zone, and the slider breaks off the plate, sort of down and away from righties. So have you gone strictly to the slider?

Steve Delabar: In Instructional League I asked, 'Am I just putting the curve away?' and they were like, 'We didn't say that,' so I think right now they want me working on the slider, but the curve will be another pitch I can use. At Eugene, was there anyone you saw who really stuck out for any ethic, talent, etc?

Steve Delabar: Colt Morton. He's a big fan favorite up there, and he's even bigger than me, like 6-foot-6 or 6-foot-7, so behind the plate he's just a huge target for me, like a brick wall behind the plate. What are some goals for your first full year in pro ball?

Steve Delabar: I'd like to start in Fort Wayne, and see how things go, but the sky's the limit right?.

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