Padres Prospect Interview: Clint Naylor

You have yet to play in the San Diego Padres' system but remain a high-profile signing from Australia, a catcher, and have seen spring training in Peoria twice. Meet Clint Naylor - currently down in extended spring training.

Talk about the stateside experience and being in the Padres' system.

Clint Naylor: It's awesome. Just unbelievable. I am at a loss for words.

Last year, you were in Peoria for three weeks – how have things changed from last year to this year?

Clint Naylor: It feels a lot different because I got a lot bigger and a lot stronger. Last year, I felt a bit out of place. The guys were much bigger so I did feel out of place. This year, it feels good. What was the off-season like for you?

Clint Naylor: It was pretty good because I went back home and went to the Australian Academy and played in the regular season back home. I came into spring training pretty fit.

Is there a huge difference in competition between the play in Australia and what you have seen in Peoria?

Clint Naylor: It is a lot more - everyone is a good player, not just one or two. Everyone can play.

You come into a system that is stacked with catchers. How do you make your mark?

Clint Naylor: Indeed. Work hard, give it your best and see how it goes.

Who have you been able to learn from over here?

Clint Naylor: Carlos Hernandez and Joe (Ferguson), especially Joe, helped me out a lot last year and now Carlos this year. A lot of the veteran catchers, the Double-A and Triple-A catchers.

Talk about your defensive game and what you are striving to be behind the plate.

Clint Naylor: I want to be a good defensive catcher, block, throw people out. Do all the fundamentals right. The main thing is defense and I hope the offense will come.

You are still just 17 years old - how tough is it to go to the mound and give a pitcher advice?

Clint Naylor: That is pretty tough at the moment, especially when you have a 23, 24-year old pitcher out there. You have to try and bite your tongue a little bit and go out there and tell them - tell them to throw strikes or calm them down. It is pretty tough to do that.

How does it differ from Australia?

Clint Naylor: Back home, if you are signed, people look up to you and you can tell people to do whatever and they will do it. Here, everyone is signed.

How has your hitting progressed?

Clint Naylor: It is getting there, slowly. I would like to have a good year. Defense is number one and hitting will come.

You have to be able to do everything. I probably do more defensive work than offensive but hopefully we will find more time to do offensive drills because that is important to.


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