Padres Prospect Interview: Seth Johnston

To say Seth Johnston is on a wee bit of a tear would be an understatement. The second baseman has reached base safely in 18 straight games to open the year and sports a 13-game hitting streak.

He already has eight multi-hit games and is pummeling right-handed pitching to the tune of .456.

It all starts with confidence – one that was evident in spring training.

Seth Johnston: Playing four years in Texas, you have to build that confidence if you want to play there. I felt like I had as much confidence my senior year as I have had there.

It was kind of a building process. You had to start all over because whatever you did in the past, wherever you played in college or high school or where you went in the daft. None of that matters once you get into pro ball. Whoever is playing the best gets the job. So, you have to start over and obviously the way I was playing to start last year was not the way I drew it up. The start 5-for-54 – whatever it was, was terrible.

I ended the year strong and felt like the second half of the season I played really well. I still felt like I had something to prove.

They call it an off-season but for a lot of guys it is not. I put a lot of work in and when you put a lot of work in you come out hoping to get something out of it and I have so far.

Talk about the off-season preparation and working towards playing full season ball.

Seth Johnston: I was lucky enough to work out with some guys – one guy in the Big Leagues, one guy in Double-A, guys that I know from back home and working out at the University of Texas, some of the best facilities in the world. You have to prepare your body for a long season and I felt like I did that this off-season. I feel pretty good.

What is the goal you set out to accomplish this season?

Seth Johnston: Consistency. I need to work on my defense. I feel like the offense will be there. I need to cut down on my strikeouts. The whole philosophy here is getting on base – on base percentage. I am really trying to focus on that, cutting my striking outs down and walking a little bit more.

Since last year, there had been talk of moving you to second base and now that is the only position you have played this year.

Seth Johnston: I played first three years at Texas at third base and mostly second base. My senior year was the only time I played shortstop. I don't care where I play. Wherever they put me I am going to want to do my best at. I feel like I can play all four infield positions and if I had to I would play in the outfield. Right now I am focusing on second base and shortstop.

How do you go about improving your defense?

Seth Johnston: A lot of it is repetition but more than that it is mental. Coming to the field everyday prepared and wanting the ball hit to you every single play. I know a lot of people say that but if you sit there and tell yourself between pitches, ‘hit this ball to me' than you will already be prepared for it. And it is time and repetition. It is a long season so the repetitions will be there. Footwork is another thing. Agility drills can never hurt you. For me especially, being a big guy I have to work extra hard on those agility drills, maintain that quickness side to side.

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