Padres draft pick Q&A: Cesar Ramos

The San Diego Padres selected left-handed pitcher Cesar Ramos in the sandwich round, 35th overall, compensation for losing David Wells to the Boston Red Sox. Ramos was a workhorse for Long Beach State and talked to minutes after his selection in the 2005 MLB Draft.

Talk about being selected by the San Diego Padres.

Cesar Ramos: It is exciting to just be able to say now that I am a professional. It is a great organization. I am happy it worked out with the Padres. I can't wait to put on that uniform that says ‘PADRES' across my chest.

What happens now, as far as the signing period goes?

Cesar Ramos: Today I just got a congratulations call from the area scout. Now we are waiting and will go from there. Hopefully we come to terms pretty quick. I am excited to just go out and play. I am not a player that is going to hold out. I am excited that I am drafted and get an opportunity to go out and play.

Talk about your repertoire for those who have not had a chance to see you:

Cesar Ramos: I have a fastball, curveball, slider and a changeup. I am not the type of guy that is going to overpower a hitter like that other Cesar – the first Cesar the Padres took. I mean he has overpowering stuff. I am more a guy that is going to go out there and pitch. I take pride in my control and am the type of pitcher that is going to put the ball in play. I am not going to get too many strikeouts but will try and go deep into games and will save the bullpen, which was kind of our team philosophy.

As a left-hander, what separates you on the mound?

Cesar Ramos: Just being able to hide the ball. I have an average fastball for a left-hander and I can just kind of hide it and get the ball on the right-handed hitter as best I can. Just pitch down in the zone. Good things happen when you pitch down and that has been my philosophy in three years at Long Beach State.

You have pitched for a full season and now you are set to go forward and, perhaps for the first time in your career, take on all these extra innings. Do the Padres kind of offer you a free pass for this year since you may be pretty tired and not used to the long haul?

Cesar Ramos: They know the amount of innings I pitched. So, I don't know if they are going to have me pitch a lot. That is kind of up to the organization and upper management to decide. If they want me to go out and pitch, I will be happy to do so. I am just pumped to get my pro career started.

What do you do to get the stamina up in the future?

Cesar Ramos: During the offseason just prepare my body and build it – I have to become stronger. I am going from throwing once a week to throwing every fifth day which will probably be the biggest adjustment, taking the grind of a pro season which is throwing every fifth day and to keep that stamina throughout, into late August and being strong at the end of the season, and hopefully not too fatigued.

Is getting over the hump of pitching every fifth day a mental barrier?

Cesar Ramos: It is more mental than physical. Here at Long Beach we throw in the bullpen every fifth day so you have to be mentally prepared. ‘I have to be ready for this day. Today is my day.' It is a mental adjustment and then your arm and your body gets used to it. It shouldn't become a problem.

Video capabilities are pretty solid at Long Beach. How will you do in the lower levels of the minors where the reliance may be more on the stat sheets and you can't check out your delivery on a daily basis?

Cesar Ramos: It is knowing yourself and preparing as best as you can for your next start. I feel like I know my mechanics pretty well where I can keep them intact. You keep building on every outing with the catchers help. We will be watching the hitters the night before and having an idea which way I want to pitch to them. That is the best way in pro ball without the detailed scouting reports. You pretty much have to do your own scouting and recognize the hitters weaknesses, all the pitches that they swing at versus you and make your adjustments pitch by pitch or hitter by hitter.

Is it going to be tough going out there for the first time and seeing guys you have never seen before and there is no scouting report on?

Cesar Ramos: I think it might be a learning experience the first time but it is like life, you learn something new everyday. That is how it is going to be for me in Pro Ball. I am just going to learn and try and get better after every start to get closer to throwing at the Big League ballpark.

Do you consider yourself to be one of the more polished pitchers coming out?

Cesar Ramos: That is what the reputation that has been put on me (says). I just go out and pitch and try and give our team a good opportunity to win the game. If they consider me that than it is great. It is kind of exciting to have that reputation – to be pretty polished. I take pride in my mechanics and trying to do the best I can. If that is what they say, than it is fine and exciting to have that reputation.

What is your out pitch?

Cesar Ramos: For me, I think it is my slider which cuts into right-handed hitters. I get ground balls and hopefully at the next level – in college you jam a guy and they still end up getting a base hit. Now, in pro ball with wooden bats, hopefully it helps me out in getting ground balls and keeps it in the infield instead of a little blooper behind first and third that ends up as a double.

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