Padres' Prospect Interview: Aaron Breit

EUGENE- When you move up 38 rounds in the MLB Draft and are taken by the same team as the year before, you are doing something right. Aaron Breit falls accomplished just that and is now in the Northwest League pitching for the Eugene Emeralds, the San Diego Padres short-season Single-A affiliate.

Talk about the Padres taking you two years in a row, first in the 46th round and again in the 12th round as a draft and follow:

Aaron Breit: It is nice to have a team want you as bad that they wanted me.

Talk about the competition level at Garden City community college.

Aaron Breit: It was one of the best JuCo conferences in the United States. We always played some of the best competition around.

How do you equate it to what you have seen in the Northwest League?

Aaron Breit: It is pretty different, night and day. You are seeing more Division I competition here and other professional level athletes here.

Is being a draft-and-follow tough mentally on you?

Aaron Breit: Not really. You just take it in. I am out here playing so. . .

What made you decide to come forward and sign this time around?

I just wanted to get to experience the professional level. I figured I was done with school for a while and wanted to give professional baseball a try.

You have a staff in Eugene with two former major leaguers in Doug Dascenzo and Wally Whitehurst. What kind of differences in coaching philosophy and style have you seen from the Garden City days?

Aaron Breit: They are professionals in what they do and they know their stuff. I just sit back and listen and try to do the best I can.

Talk about your repertoire and speeds.

Aaron Breit: Around 90, curveball, which is a strikeout pitch, hopefully. I am just trying to pound the strike zone.

How is the changeup coming along?

Aaron Breit: It is getting there. It started off a little hard but it is starting to slow down and becoming a pretty effective pitch. It is tough to get a feel for.

I never through a change in Garden City. I threw a split-finger instead of a change. I am just starting to throw it and it is coming around. I am starting to like it.

How tough a pitch is that to command and feel confident in when you are in the mound and in a pressure situation?

Aaron Breit: It started out pretty tough for me to throw in a tough situation but now it is getting easier for me to throw more and I am feeling a lot more confident with it.

How has Wally Whitehurst been able to help you so far?

It is unbelievable how Wally has been able to help me. I can only expect to get better.

Talk about throwing to Luany Sanchez and staying on the same page.

Aaron Breit: Luany calls a good game. He throws a sign down and most times I accept it. He works hard back there and I can't complain at all. He does a great job behind the dish.

I love being on there and controlling the game. He knows what he is doing back there and knows the hitters well. He calls the pitch and most of the time I agree with him and sometimes I may shake off but most of the time I throw what he calls.

What is a typical visit to the mound like when the catcher comes out?

Aaron Breit: He is just out there to settle me down, tell me to get in the strike zone if I am wild and let me take a deep breath.

It has to be mentally tough to prepare for going from starting to relief, back to starting and then relief again.

Aaron Breit: The way it is setup is every fourth day I am starting and four days later I am in relief so I know what is going on. Being a starter my whole life – pitching in relief is a little different for me but I am starting to get used to it.

Relief I have to be ready a little faster and I need to pick the pace up so I can get going.

Does the mentality change since you are setting the tone as a starter as opposed to relief when you come in with the game tied, the Emeralds behind or ahead?

Aaron Breit: Starting pitching and relief pitching are just totally different. There are two different aspects but in the long run it will help me out. Who knows, maybe I will in relief in the long run. I don't know.

What are your expectations for the rest of the year in Eugene?

Aaron Breit: Hopefully the team gets together and we come away with a Championship. Personal goals, I just want to go out and do the best that I can, succeed, and hopefully next year I will be at the next level.

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