Last year was a year of learning for you. What does the invite to the early hitting camp mean to you?
Kyler Burke: It means a lot. Just to kind of get a jumpstart on things, get comfortable with it. It's just a good way to start the year off.
What did you take away from last season to build on heading into this year?
Kyler Burke: Really the main thing I think is confidence. I got a little more relaxed at Instructional League and just got to carry that on through this year.
There have been some who call you a bit raw – do you agree with the assessment?
Kyler Burke: Yeah, I guess so. I've got some fine-tuning I need to do.
Working the count has been a mantra within the Padres' minors – did you feel you were pressing to swing because of some initial struggles?
Kyler Burke: I think so, yeah. I kind of got down a little bit and put a little too much pressure on myself. I was jumping at balls and swinging at bad pitches. I've just got to relax and take good pitches to hit.
Hunter did it all last year, winning the Arizona Rookie League MVP award and following it up by winning the Padres' Instructional League MVP. He hit .371 with a .467 on base percentage, scoring 44 runs while adding 44 RBI's. Hunter also drew more walks than whiffs, 40-to-22.
How did your off-season preparation change now that you will head to full-season ball?
Cedric Hunter: It didn't change at all. Just trying to work hard. Just trying to get stronger. I know it's going to be a longer season this year.
Your approach at the plate is pretty advanced for someone your age – when was it told to you to be so patient at the plate?
Cedric Hunter: Well, that's what they taught us. You've got to be patiently aggressive. I just took that thought and looking for your pitch helps a lot.
What did it mean to you to earn Instructional League MVP and the offensive achievement award?
Cedric Hunter: It means a lot. They put a lot on my shoulders. They expect a lot of me. I expect to make them happy.