Draft Q & A: Neil Jamison

The San Diego Padres went back to Long Beach State in the sixth round of the MLB Draft after selecting a Dirtbag with their first round supplemental pick. Neil Jamison, the closer at Long Beach State, was tabbed and has already signed his pro contract.

Talk about being selected by the San Diego Padres – your hometown team:

Neil Jamison: Being from San Diego, going to San Diego is really, really exciting. I came back to school to get to Omaha. That didn't work out this year but the opportunity to go out and play for San Diego where I grew up makes everything work out in the end.

Is your future as a reliever – perhaps as a setup man or do you see yourself back in the starting rotation at some point?

Neil Jamison: I will do whatever they tell me to do. I really like closing. I have enjoyed it for the last two years. I loved starting in high school. I got an opportunity in fall ball this past year to be a starter and it just didn't work out. If they need me to start I will start. If they need me to close I will close. If they need me to be a setup man I will do that.

You had a pretty impressive year in '04. No earned runs allowed for the entire season. Did that include a little luck, besides your obvious skill, to get through unscathed?

Neil Jamison: A lot went into not giving up an earned run the whole year. You have to get lucky here or there. I threw the ball pretty well, pretty much all year. I give myself some credit as well. It was a good year and I am glad I came back for my senior year. I think I made the right decision.

Talk about the mentality of being the closer. What goes into it and how do you respond?

Neil Jamison: It is knowing that you have the ball and there is really no option after you and you are coming in and you are either going to end the game or the other team is going to end the game by scoring and knocking you out. It is either you or them. I am real confident in myself that I have good enough stuff to get those three outs or four or five every now and then to end the game. It is fun. It is a good feeling.

What are you thinking about between the eighth and ninth innings when the game is on the line and you are warming up in the bullpen knowing that your jersey will be called?

Neil Jamison: I really don't think about a whole lot. I have a routine I have had for four years. You really emphasize having a routine and doing the same thing. I will throw then sit down and get back up with a certain number of outs and sit back down. It is the same thing I have done for four years. You do it for so many years it is just habit. There is not a whole lot of thinking going on.

What can you tell us about Cesar Ramos, a fellow Dirtbag and San Diego Padres draftee?

Neil Jamison: I am really excited for him. He is a great pitcher and he deserves everything he gets. The fact that he went so high is awesome. He did a good job in keeping our bullpen fresh by going deep into the games every Friday night.

It is nice to have someone you know and have been with for three years. If we are together on the same team it is someone you can talk to everyday or if we are split up it is someone you can call on the phone and talk about things. It will be good.

The pitching coach over at Long Beach said he could have used you more. Do you believe that you should have been used more regularly?

Neil Jamison: I didn't get a whole lot of innings this year. But they used me in my role where I fit in. It worked out where I only got about 30 innings. I am ready to go. I am ready to go out there and throw some innings.

We had five guys drafted today. That says a lot about the program and the coaches. They are doing the right thing over there.

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