Padres Interview: Paul McAnulty

On Wednesday, June 21 Paul McAnulty got the call to the big club. At his last homestand against the Montgomery Biscuts we asked Paul McAnulty about his new found status as a big time prospect, his success in the Arizona Fall League, major league training and his love of summertime in Mobile.

John Conniff: You are looking in much better shape now than in the past few years. What have you been doing to keep off the weight?

Paul McAnulty: I really didn't understand what it would take to play a full season. I was always playing 50 to 60 games a year and I really didn't lift much at Long Beach State either. After my first full season [Fort Wayne in 2003], I lost a lot of strength in July and August, and just decided to make it part of my routine. I now get into the gym three or four days a week now.

John Conniff: Your average has not only improved each year in professional baseball, but your power numbers have increased as well. What do you attribute it too?

Paul McAnulty: You develop power as you get older. I really don't consider myself a power guy. If I was to label myself, it would be a line drive hitter with home run capabilities.

John Conniff: True, but nearly a third of your hits this year are for extra bases, along with ten home runs.

Paul McAnulty: It is, but I don't try to hit home runs. I try to put the ball through the wall, not over it. If it goes over, I'm happy. I'm just trying to hit the ball hard on a line somewhere. If they catch it, they catch it, but I'm running hard. All I can do at the plate is try to hit the ball hard.

John Conniff: This spring you were in major league camp and did real well. I'm not sure if you heard that Tim Flannery called you his favorite Padres' farmhand.

Paul McAnulty -Yeah, I heard about that (laughing, big smile)

John Conniff: You are now getting a lot more attention than when you were at Fort Wayne and Lake Elsinore last year. How has that changed you?

Paul McAnulty: I try not to think about that stuff, just try to work on my game. Everyone has things they got to work on, that is why we are all here. The guys in the big leagues are doing great, so I'm using this time wisely to better myself everyday.

John Conniff -There have been reports that you have improved your outfield play this year. How are you working to improve that facet of your game?

Paul McAnulty: My main thing is during BP is when I really try to work on it. Doug Dascenzo [the Padres roving outfield/base running instructor] and MD [Mike Davis, one of the BayBears coaches] have really been great. They answer any questions that I have without any attitude, you know that is what they are here for.

I try to chase down balls that I think I can't get to improve my reaction times. That way during games I can go get it. If you keep working on your reaction times, its amazing how much you can improve. You start getting to those balls.

John Conniff: You've been out in left field most of the year, have they put you at some other positions?

Paul McAnulty: I've played a couple games in right field, and one game at first base, but the rest have been in left field.

John Conniff: I always ask guys that are right handed, but whom are left handed hitters, how did you end up batting left?

Paul McAnulty: That is a good question. Actually I started out hitting right handed, my first two years. One day my Dad, who is a lefty thrower and a lefty hitter, turned me around and I've been hitting lefty ever since. Ever since I was nine or ten years old I've had the same stance.

John Conniff: When you are in the minor leagues, how tough is it not to think if I do "this, this and this" then I should advance and be in the majors? How much is it on your mind?

Paul McAnulty: People who say it's not on their mind, if they are saying that then they are lying. Of course it's always there in the mind, but the kind of approach I take is that I can't worry about tomorrow. I'm here tonight with these guys, and I have to find someway somehow to help my team win tonight. That is the approach that I have been taking the whole time I've been here.

I've been doing well, and I know I've been doing well, but I can't worry about what I've done in the past or what will happen in the future. I'm trying to find someway to help my team win tonight. I know I've got some good things coming to me, but I can't really worry about it until it happens.

John Conniff: As a Southern Californian, how do you like Mobile?

Paul McAnulty: Honestly? I'm going to give you an honest answer. I would hate to see what hell looks like.

Author's Note - For the record the staff at likes Mobile quite a bit, but we don't have to play day games in the heat and humidity. Besides, it looks like McAnulty got his wish with the call up to San Diego.

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