Padres Draft Interview: Kellen Kulbacki

Going to the dentist isn't something most people enjoy, but a chipped tooth may need a mold to make it fit. Kellen Kulbacki is that prospect that fits the San Diego Padres' mouth perfectly.

Talk about being picked by the Padres, whether they were interested and how you are feeling now.

Kellen Kulbacki: Throughout the year they showed a lot of interest in me and we were hoping they would have a chance to select me. It is a great feeling for me to know that I got drafted by an organization that showed I could be a huge part of the organization and help them out a lot. It is a great feeling for me.

What is your best baseball moment? What sticks out for you?

Kellen Kulbacki: Other than the draft on Thursday because that is monumentally the best moment of my baseball career – I think the phone call I got last year when I was named National Co-Player of the Year. For me, that was one of the most amazing feelings I have ever had. When I sat back and took a hard look at it and looked at it from a different perspective – I was named the best player out of thousands and thousands of college players across the country. It just was mind blowing for me to be considered and named the best player in the country that year. Other than getting drafted, that would be the one that sticks out in my mind.

Who was your favorite team and favorite player growing up?

Kellen Kulbacki: My favorite player was Ken Griffey Jr. All through little league, I loved the way he played. We have the same birthday, which is kind of awesome. We are both lefty hitters and he has one of the smoothest swings of all time. I loved the way he played, and he was a role model for me growing up.

Did you try and emulate his swing?

Kellen Kulbacki: I tried. It was definitely not as good as Griffey but I try and model it as much as I can after him.

What was the favorite team?

Kellen Kulbacki: I was a Giants fan and also a Phillies fan – but am a Phillies fan now.

I was a (Barry) Bonds fan too growing up. I think I was more of a Bonds fan than a Giants fan. I was more of a Phillies fan but liked Barry Bonds too.

What is it about baseball that you love so much?

Kellen Kulbacki: Baseball is such a unique sport in so many ways. There are a lot of things about baseball that is so different from other sports that you really just have to love it. You can fail seven out of ten times at plate and you are an All-Star. There is not many sports you can say the same as that. You meet so many personalities and is a sport where everyone can come together and enjoy playing. The excitement of knowing anything can happen at any given moment. Usually in other sports the team with the better players will win most of the time but with baseball that is not the case. One day you can come out as a team and win 15-0 and the next day lose 15-0. The excitement that comes along with that makes it so much fun today and the reason I love it so much.

You seem to be the prototype player for the San Diego system. Can you talk about your game and give us an idea of what your game is all about.

Kellen Kulbacki: I think my patience is definitely the strength of my game. I worked hard over the years to make sure I have a patient approach – not be a wild swinger, just hit the ball where it is pitched and not try and do too much with it. That has helped me out to be the hitter I am today.

At the next level, I have to make sure I use the same intensity and approach to not try and do too much and the power will come and the average will come to the Padres' organization.


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