Padres Draft Interview: Ryan Hill

With patience a virtue, Ryan Hill fits right in. An outfielder that doesn't strike out much, works the count, and is able to hit for power, he will have no trouble settling into the Padres plan for their hitters.

Talk about being selected by the San Diego Padres and what the feeling was like for you.

Ryan Hill: I felt great. I didn't expect to go as high as 15th but I was very excited when they picked me.

You mentioned being a little surprised in the 15th-round. Were the Padres a team that showed interest in you?

Ryan Hill: The Padres definitely seemed interested. They seemed the most interested. I talked to the guy right before we went away to the Regionals and he was talking to me about certain things. A couple of other teams also showed interest but the Padres showed the most.

After talking with the Padres scout, has he told you anything on the expectations?

Ryan Hill: He said he felt I was a good player and he would like to see me go to the Padres. Fortunately, it was able to work that way.

Now that you are about to embark on your professional career, do you have any expectations, especially since you just ended a long season? Are there any worries about stamina in August?

Ryan Hill: I am not worried about that at all. I feel like I am in good enough shape to handle it. I am looking forward to it.

One of the things that the Padres stress is patience at the plate – it appears that is one of the strengths of your game. Talk a little bit about that and was it stressed to you at an early age.

Ryan Hill: I was taught to jump all over your pitch. You always look for your pitch and if you get it then swing at it. If not, be selective. There are three strikes so you have to wait for one of them to be yours.

At the same time, you can put yourself into bad counts. You did not strike out a whole lot – does your two-strike approach change?

Ryan Hill: I don't go hacking away at those bad pitches. That comes from waiting to get your pitch. If you don't swing at bad pitches early in the count you find yourself in a hitter's count and you won't strike out as much.

Specifically at the plate, what is the strength of your game?

Ryan Hill: I feel the strength of my game is having a good eye and not striking out a lot while being able to turn on a good fastball.

You had nearly as many homers as doubles. Is power a big part of your game?

Ryan Hill: Not so much hitting for home runs – when I hit a home run it is pretty much a line drive home run. My power is to the gaps.

You have some speed too. Is that something you hope to take advantage of?

Ryan Hill: I have definitely gotten faster since going to college. I feel like my speed has been much better.

What is it like to play with your brother?

Ryan Hill: It is pretty cool. We played with each other briefly in high school but playing with him this past year and the year before was cool.

Sometimes it is (nerve wracking since he was a pitcher).

How has your defensive game evolved over the last few years?

Ryan Hill: My defensive game has gotten much better over the years. I feel like due to my increased speed I can get to the ball better now. I definitely feel better out there.

What is it about the game of baseball that you love so much?

Ryan Hill: I just love being able to go out there and play everyday. Good days, bad days, whatever. You get to play the game and hope for the best.

You mentioned several areas of your game have grown over the last few years. Talk about the maturity you have undergone from high school through college.

Ryan Hill: I was fortunate to play with a lot of great players at Rutgers. Todd Frazier – thanks to him I improved so much – just watching the way he played. His older brother Jeff was an outfielder when I was a freshman and watching him helped me so much. My coaches also helped me. Having all of them to help me out – I was very fortunate. It improved my game so much being there.

Who was your favorite team and player growing up?

Ryan Hill: My favorite team was the Yankees, I have to say. And my favorite player – Derek Jeter.

What would you say was your best moment in baseball and why?

Ryan Hill: I would have to say winning the Big East Championship was my biggest moment in baseball. After losing a game in the second round and having to come out of the loser's bracket and having to undefeated, especially against Louisville who we had never beaten – the whole atmosphere and how everyone came together was the best feeling in the world. And to finally win it was remarkable, the best thing ever.

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