Padres Draft Interview: Robbie Blauer

Robbie Blauer had quite a breakout after transferring from Orange Coast College. The team MVP for UC Santa Barbara, Blauer led the team in hits (84), doubles (17), RBI (43), total bases (117), slugging percentage (.555), and on-base percentage (.480) and was the only player to start all 54 games for Santa Barbara in 2007. He was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 18th-round.

Talk about what it is like to be drafted by a professional baseball team.

Robbie Blauer: It is amazing, a dream come true. It has been my goal since tee ball. It was a good feeling.

Talk about the strength of your game and what you profile as with the bat in your hands.

Robbie Blauer: Controlling the strike zone and hitting for average. I am not much of a power guy, even though I am a corner guy and that may work against me.

You mentioned that power isn't something that is part of your game. Do you consider yourself to be someone who will hit the gaps and create some havoc on the bases?

Robbie Blauer: I am definitely more of a doubles guy but I have been working all year on getting a little bit more loft and power in my swing. It wasn't much but I did double my home run output from last year. Hopefully, I can keep building off of that.

What do you look forward to coming into professional baseball?

Robbie Blauer: Living the dream. Now it is kind of my job. It will be fun to play with new guys and go to new places. Better competition and hopefully I can step up and hang with them.

Talk about your defensive game at first base.

Robbie Blauer: My defense is one of my strongest points. I don't have the strongest arm but around the base on bad throws – defense is definitely one of my better tools.

How can professional coaches – many who played in the big leagues – help you advance your game?

Robbie Blauer: Tell me what worked for them. It is a big advantage since they have been there, and hopefully they can give me insight they learned along the way.

Did you feel like you were drafted in the appropriate spot?

Robbie Blauer: It was definitely a comfortable spot. I went down to San Diego on Monday and worked out for them. A couple of people who got taken were down at the workout. It is definitely a good fit and I am looking forward to it.

When you go to a workout like that – what are you doing?

Robbie Blauer: We ran the 60-yard dash, took around five ground balls and took batting practice. The coolest part about it was working out in PETCO Park and walking into the stadium. That is the ultimate goal. That was pretty cool.

The Padres stress patience at the plate and love guys who can command the strike zone. How do you come to be so advanced in your approach at the plate?

Robbie Blauer: Good question – I think it is good coaching. I had good coaches in high school and watched my at bats throughout junior college and college.

Do you also change your approach with two strikes? If I remember right, you only struck out 10 times this year.

Robbie Blauer: I like to choke up and move up in the box. I try and take away the curveball to make them throw me a fastball. I definitely try and change my approach to put the ball.

Recounting some of your words – you are not the fastest, you are more of a doubles guy, do you think at some point you might end up in the outfield since first base is traditionally a power position?

Robbie Blauer: If that is what I need to do to keep playing I would definitely be open to trying it. I would say that defense is one of my better things. It wouldn't be my first option but I would definitely not be opposed to it.

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