Padres Prospect Interview: Dustin Delucchi

After hitting .280 with the Mobile BayBears, Dustin Delucchi had to fight for playing time in a crowded Portland outfield. He clawed his way into the lineup with timely hitting and a good eye and has not given way since.

Delucchi has hit .309 with a .446 on base percentage since joining Portland. In 57 games he has walked 44 times while striking out 25 times and he has gotten better as the season wears on, hitting .338 in August.

Do you feel like you got a raw deal in Seattle?

Dustin Delucchi: Not so much the wrong end of the deal. The game is obviously a business and they had a lot of outfielders that they gave a lot of money to and basically there was no room. It was a numbers thing. They had to play a lot of guys. They had to play (Shin-Soo) Choo; they had to play Jamal (Strong); they had to play (Chris) Snelling when he came off the DL and they had to play (Abraham) Nunez who was in the Big Leagues last year. It was basically a numbers thing where they didn't have a spot for me anymore.

You went from Mobile to Portland and a reserve role before getting put in the lineup on a consistent basis. How tough has that been for you?

Dustin Delucchi: I have a pretty good grasp of my role, leading off and playing center, left and right fields. I have to play good defense. The number one thing from the leadoff spot is to get on base, score a lot of runs and let the guys drive me in. It is easier for me knowing my role. I led off all of last year in Double-A so I have a pretty good idea of what to do. It is basically getting on base.

Do you feel like you have been as aggressive as you want to be on the basepaths?

Dustin Delucchi: When the situation arises for me to steal a bag I will definitely take the opportunity and be aggressive. I have the green light here. (The coaches) let me run whenever I want. It is picking the right times and the right situations. I have to stay aggressive on the basepaths.

You have drawn a lot of walks since joining the system. What do you attribute your advanced hitting eye to?

Dustin Delucchi: It all comes from leading off and knowing your role. The more pitches I see, the better hitter I can be. I might take a few pitches here and there that most people might swing at. You will rarely see me swing at the first pitch in an at bat unless it is really late in the game and I have to drive some runs in. Seeing a lot of pitches puts pressure on the pitcher that he has to throw a strike.

The only way you can get me out is by throwing the ball over the plate and strike outs are going to be there but then again if you see a lot of pitches, you have a lot more chances of walking.

You have played all three outfield positions in Mobile and Portland. What is your background in the outfield?

Dustin Delucchi: The majority of the time I was a centerfielder with the Mariners. Coming into Triple-A I knew going into Tacoma that I was going to play all three. I don't care where I play – I love playing center and would rather play center – but I don't care where I play as long as I get my bat in the lineup.

How difficult has it been going from position to position?

Dustin Delucchi: You have to know when you are playing left or right that the ball tails towards the line. You get better reads from center because you see the bat angle and pitch location. It is harder to read pitch location and sometimes the bat angle in right and left. You work on it in batting practice and take a lot of reads. During practice I will take live reads off the bat. I am playing all three so I am used to playing right, left or center.

Can you give us a scouting report on yourself?

Dustin Delucchi: I would say, a lot of Pete Rose in me. I play hard. I am a go-getter. I play the game hard all the time, scrappy.

Do you feel like you are being given more chances in Padres system?

Dustin Delucchi: I will let the chips fall where they may. Keep being aggressive, getting on base and good things will happen. I am just worrying about today.

I feel good though. I like this organization. They are giving me a chance to play. That is all I can ask for.

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