Padres' Prospect Interview: Pablo Menchaca

The winning pitcher in the Arizona Rookie League Championship, right-hander Pablo Menchaca is looking to continue his ascent up the San Diego Padres prospect rankings.

After John Hussey battled it out the day before to win the league outright, Pablo Menchaca closed the door with two runs allowed over 5.1 innings on four hits and two walks while striking out seven, picking up the win.

When Matt Huff and Matt Handley combined to throw 3.2 scoreless frames to settle the game, Menchaca was one of the first to swarm the mound.

"I am just happy," Menchaca said of the win. "It was a very good season for me. I was struggling a little bit at the beginning but came on towards the end."

He was promoted to the Eugene Emeralds where he saw action in one game, allowing one run over three innings of relief.

The real work came in Peoria. Menchaca pitched in 13 games, including seven starts. The Padres plan of piggybacking starters didn't work out so well with the Mexico native. The difference between the two was night and day.

Menchaca had a 7.41 ERA in his six relief appearances with a .354 average against. He couldn't find any comfort coming out of the pen.

In seven starts, the righty posted a 1.32 ERA and .205 average against. A starter in his native country, Menchaca never adapted.

"I feel more comfortable starting," Menchaca admitted. "I had always been a starter. Being a reliever I have more pressure on me I feel like."

With an above average fastball and a prototypical pitcher's build, the right-hander is believed to have a high ceiling.

He went to the Padres' Instructional Leagues this fall, continuing the lessons he was taught throughout the year.

"My mechanics," Menchaca said he worked on. "I was opening up too much and not following through. I am working on my mechanics. Razor is helping me. He is helping me extend more and not open up as much."

He has some deception in his delivery but, as with most young pitchers, command is dictated by repeating proper mechanics.

His changeup remains a work in progress but he hopes to compliment his repertoire with a cut-fastball.

With a strong grasp of the English language, there are many who believe he is ahead of the development curve.


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