Padres Prospect Interview: Josh Howard

Josh Howard, a late free agent signing, tore up the Arizona Rookie League and was so good that he earned a promotion to Lake Elsinore for their playoff run, becoming an instrumental part of their late season success.

Talk about how signing with the Padres came about:

Josh Howard: I was a four year guy, expecting to get drafted but unfortunately that didn't happen. I kept training and Bill Bryk called me one day and wanted me to come workout for him in Mobile. I went there in the middle of July and he told me he would see what he could do. I got a call two weeks after that and got on a plane. Here I am.

You mentioned you thought you would get drafted out of college but that did not happen. How did you handle it mentally?

Josh Howard: I am not going to upset me a little bit. I was projected to go between the 20th and 30th round. I was disappointed and knew somebody would give me a chance. I just tried to make the best of it.

You came into the system with Peoria and lit it up, reaching base in every pro game down there.

Josh Howard: I am doing all right. I got picked up about a month ago and was in Peoria and did well there and now I am here.

You were playing centerfield with Peoria but have moved to left field here. Most players who are in center have played that position their whole life. Is there a transition period for you?

Josh Howard: I actually played left field in college for a whole year. It is not that big of a change for me. I have played there so it is not that big of a deal.

Talk about playing in Peoria, the heat and whether how the ball reacts off the bat down there as opposed to here.

Josh Howard: It was hot. Some days it would be 110 degrees and you hated for the wind to blow because it was hot air. It is nice here. That was the nice thing about the heat, you stayed loose. The ball flew kind of different out there. Sometimes it would go a lot farther and sometimes it would just die depending on what kind of day it was. I am used to this kind of weather. I am enjoying my time here.

In your brief stint here in the California League, what have you noticed about the way the pitchers do and how is it different from Peoria?

Josh Howard: This is more like college to me with the pitchers here. In Peoria I was seeing 90-93 every night and sometimes 96. Here it is basically 85-88 and I have to make some adjustments because they don't throw as many fastballs here. I have to make adjustments and get a good pitch to hit. What did they tell you about what to expect out here?

Josh Howard: They told me these guys down here don't throw as hard, they spot their pitches better and don't walk as many people. I am just trying to make an adjustment and do the best I can.

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