Padres Prospect Interview: Drew Macias

MOBILE- BayBears' outfielder Drew Macias is another in a line of successful "draft-and-follow" selections that the Padres have signed. "Draft and follow" refers to when a team selects a player in a previous year's draft and then signs the player before the start of the subsequent draft, provided they went to junior college and have not committed to a major college program. George Kottaras, Jared Wells and Drew Macias are just a few who were added to the organization through this method.

The Padres always knew Drew Macias would be a gifted defensive player, what they weren't sure about was if he could hit. Every year, Macias has improved his offensive numbers, with last year at Lake Elsinore, .289/.355/.396, his best season yet.

This year, Macias has emerged as not only of the better players with the BayBears, but in the Southern League, hitting for both increased power and average - .278/.387/.422 with eight doubles through Monday.

The first thing that jumps out about you is how much size you have put on. How were you able to do it? You put on at least ten or fifteen pounds, is that correct?

Drew Macias: I've always wanted to put on weight, but its been hard for me growing up. I always been able to eat whatever I wanted, but have never seemed to be able to put on weight.

Drew Macias last year at 167 pounds.
Grady [Fuson, the Padres Director of Player Development] and some others in the organization wanted me to put on fifteen to twenty pounds in the off-season. So I got together with Dan our strength training coach and ended up putting on about 25 pounds. I started out at 167 and ended up at 195. [Editor's note - Macias is 6-foot-3 and although he is much bigger, he is still pretty lean.]

Were you eating seven meals a day?

Drew Macias: [laughs] Something like that. Eating every three hours, about three protein shakes a day, sleeping a lot and limiting my cardio. It was tough.

How has this affected your game? You've always described yourself as more of a defensive player first who kind of grinds out at-bats.

Drew Macias: I'm still the same guy. I take pride in my defense, they have me in left field right now, which I don't mind. I have a little more pop on the bat and I'm driving the ball a lot more. Balls that could have been weak fly balls are going a little bit further.

I'm proud of what I was able to accomplish.

What type of hitter do you see yourself eventually becoming? More of an on-base guy with speed or a gap type hitter who drives in runs?

Drew Macias: I like to drive guys in. I'm hitting in the six hole right now and really enjoying that.

What is the biggest difference between the Southern League (AA) and the lower leagues? We always read and talk to players that the competition and the pitching is so much better at this level than at others it will "make a man of you". Or is it just the difficulty of playing in the heat and humidity of south Alabama?

Drew Macias: I think its really all of those factors. To me it just feels the same. One of the biggest problems is the heat, humidity and the grass, it does as you say "make a man out of you."

It hasn't even gotten that hot, yet.

Drew Macias: Oh yeah, I'm just getting ready for it [laughs]. At this level you might see different pitches in different counts because the pitchers have better command. For example, you might see a 2-0 curveball, while at Lake Elsinore you would always see a 2-0 fastball with most guys.

I'm enjoying the change and challenge.

What is the biggest aspect of your game that you need to work on?

Drew Macias: I just want to be more consistent, on an everyday basis, not giving away at-bats and playing solid defense.

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