Padres Draft Q & A: LHP Brent Carter

Brent Carter is trading his Crimson Tide for the warm waves of San Diego (with a stop in the Peoria desert, and the mountains of Eugene...and a couple other places first) and MadFriars talked with the Padres 16th round pick about a developing slider, pitching inside, and when exactly he is going to sign ('s probably already happened by the time you read this).

MadFriars:  The SEC is a fantastic baseball conference, do you think that level of competition helps you in the transition to the pro game?

Brent Carter:  Without a doubt.  The SEC is the premier baseball conference in America, and that give you a lot of advantages.  The biggest thing is that for the entire ten week season you play tough competition.  There are no 'off' weekends and that really helps prepare you for the grind of the pro season.

MadFriars:  You had an injury that kept you out of the first half of your junior year, what was that?

Brent Carter:  Actually it was my sophomore year.  I had a torn ligament in my non throwing elbow.  It was really a weird play, there was a guy trying to go from second to third and I dove at him to tag him.

MadFriars:  I know that's not going to be as bad as your throwing elbow, but what is that rehab like?

Brent Carter:  It's not quite the same rehab, the first thing is the doctor told me that there would be no surgery, but it was still a lot of rehab.  Even though it's not the arm I throw with, it still makes it tough to throw.  That's the lead arm, and for a while it messes with your mechanics.  It's about 100% now, I mean, it's never going to be 100%, but it's as good as it's going to get.

MadFriars:  You've shown fantastic control, which is a big key for young pitchers, is that something you've always had, or did you develop it?

Brent Carter:  I've always been able to throw strikes, even back in little league ball.  I just think that's something you have or you don't, and fortunately I was blessed with good control.

MadFriars:  How important is that to your game?

Brent Carter:  I've always seen myself as a Tom Glavine type pitcher as opposed to a Kerry Wood type pitcher.  I'm going to rely on control and keeping the ball down. 

MadFriars:  Do you do a lot of studying of hitters?

Brent Carter:  Sure, anytime we can get video on guys I always look at it and of course we have scouting reports on every hitter.  Our coach calls the pitches, but if I know that a guy struggles with a fastball inside, or with the change up away, I know that can help me on the mound.

MadFriars:  What do you throw?

Brent Carter:  Fastball, change up, and I throw a slider to lefties.

MadFriars:  Is that slider something you're working on still?

Brent Carter:  It's just a third pitch that works because it runs away from lefties.  For some reason I've always struggled throwing strikes to lefties with my change up, and you need another pitch when that's happening, but I feel a lot more comfortable with the change to righties.

MadFriars:  I'm assuming you got to see Arnold Hughey from Auburn, whom the Padres also took in the draft, what were your impressions of him?

Brent Carter:  Well, he cut us up, I think he threw seven or eight innings against us, and he changed speeds and did exactly what he was supposed to do, he kept us off balance.  I was real impressed, I don't actually know him, but I've played against him for four years now, so I know of him. 

MadFriars:  With there be a little Auburn/Alabama rivalry if you guys end up with the same club?

Brent Carter:  I'm throwing all that crap out the window when I'm done here.  I'm from Georgia so I've been hearing it about going to Alabama ever since I was in high school.  I just want to get into camp and get going.

MadFriars:  You've pitched in summer leagues, were those wood bat leagues, and do you have to change the way you pitch when you're facing wood vs. metal?

Brent Carter:  Yes, I played in wood bat leagues, but no, I don't personally have to change the way I pitch.  I think you have to throw inside more because they can't get to it the same way with wood as they do with aluminum.  That had been real effective for me in the Virginia Summer League, and it's something you can't do against metal.  If you go inside against metal guys end up getting a lot of cheap hits on inside pitches, and with wood a lot of times those are the ones where they break their bat, so it's good to get away from aluminum, but I don't really change how I pitch except to pitch inside a little more.

MadFriars:  How soon do you think you'll sign?

Brent Carter:  I'm set to fly out on Monday, I guess they said I'm heading to Peoria for five days, and I'll sign when I get out there, and then they told me I'm going to Eugene. 

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