Padres Prospect Interview: Matt Buschmann

Matt Buschmann sure didn't pitch like a 15th round draft pick and if baseball teams could pick again Buschmann would go in the top rounds. A solid season in Eugene ended in a playoff run with the Lake Elsinore Storm, where he earned a win in his lone postseason start.

Talk about getting a chance to go out to Eugene for a week prior to the start of the season – the first time they have done that in recent memory.

Matt Buschmann: It was good to get in and know the Padres' organization and what they want their players to do and how to act on the field and off. As a team, I was kind of surprised how quickly we gelled. All the guys have taken to each other very well.

Was it pretty much sign for a peanut butter and jelly sandwiched after getting picked by the Padres?

Matt Buschmann: As a senior, I wanted to go and just get a shot. I talked to the Padres the day before and talked to Ash Lawson, the scout that drafted me. Talking to him and getting to know him – I liked him a lot – and I talked to Mike Baxter who is another Vanderbilt alumni, he had nothing but good things to say about the Padres and it kind of made me more and more excited when they selected me on draft day. I was happy. This was the place I wanted to be. It was definitely very exciting.

Talk a little bit about your repertoire.

Matt Buschmann: I am more of a sinker, slider kind of guy. I throw a little bit above side-arm. I have a two-seam, four-seam, slider and changeup. The thing with me is I have been able to throw my changeup in any count. I got really comfortable with that and I think it is something the Padres like.

What speeds do you regularly work at?

Matt Buschmann: My two-seam runs about 88-89. My four-seam at Vanderbilt was clocked anywhere from 90-94 – 94 was on a good day, though. My changeup is around 80 and slider is 80-84.

Is there a pitch you are working on and how has the Padres' philosophy on pitching played into your game?

Matt Buschmann: I think just for me it is to throw the two-seam and get a lot of ground balls, being aggressive in the zone and not being afraid of pitching to the bat. Just getting to talk to Wally Whitehurst and knowing what the Padres expect – their biggest thing is attacking the zone early and limiting walks. Pitch to contact, really. I think that kind of works to my advantage. Getting comfortable throwing the changeup in any count and throwing my two-seam will have guys falling over the ball.

You got a chance to play with Mike Baxter at Vanderbilt. What can you tell us about him?

Matt Buschmann: He is a funny guy because he is a hard-nosed player. He plays as hard as he can. If you ever see him running down the first base line it looks like he is not saying much but next time you are there keep your ears perked up because he is saying a lot. He will run down the line and get emotional – which is a good thing. He played with me in the Cape and we had a great time together.

When the minicamp came around, Vanderbilt teammate Brian Hernandez was out in Eugene with you but was sent down to Peoria before the season. Did you talk to him and what did you say?

Matt Buschmann: I talked to him and he gets emotional – he took it hard at first – and we talked about it. I said, ‘you really can't look too hard into it. You didn't get a chance to play so it is not like they saw you play and then said you need to go down. Look at it as a chance to get innings and a chance to get better.' He is going to take it in a positive light. I think the toughest thing was we had a very comfortable setting. We roomed together; we didn't have to really change anything. He knows what he has to do and we talk all the time.

Has it been difficult working with different catchers?

Matt Buschmann: That was the one thing if I pitch to Hernie that will be good. Not that much would change. I think the biggest thing is the catchers getting to know what kind of pitcher I am and getting to know my two-seam with a lot of movement on my pitches cause sometimes I don't even know what my movement does. I think that is the biggest thing and knowing what they should call in certain counts with me as opposed to other pitchers.

Talking with the catchers, Valverde is from the SEC, – they are all smart catchers. They definitely know what they are talking about.

What were the expectations for the season?

Matt Buschmann: I wanted to go out and not really change my game per se. . . I think the best thing I could do is take all the positives from my Vanderbilt career and run it into the season. A lot of the hitters are college guys getting drafted, especially with the wood bat, and my job os to go out there and throw strikes and challenge some people. Take whatever confidence I have from college and take it over.

Were you tired when you arrived in Eugene?

Matt Buschmann: Not really because I had a couple of weeks where I didn't start because of an oblique strain. That coupled with a week off before I got there regained some strength in my arm.

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