Padres Draft Interview: Robert Perry

Being a Dirtbag isn't all that bad. While some may remember the 80's ripped jeans and long hair, these Dirtbags are baseball players that work hard and don't mind if their uniforms are stained at the end of the day. Robert Perry joins an elite list of Dirtbags sprinkled throughout the San Diego Padres system.

Did you feel like you were selected at an appropriate slot? Would you have preferred to go higher or was this about where you imagined?

Robert Perry: I think a lot of guys wish they were in different slots but me being selected in the 16th-round – if that is what San Diego thought I should have been selected than that is where I should have been selected. When I go out there and play I will do my best and hopefully open some eyes to show I can play with the best of these guys.

You come in to an organization that already has five or six guys from Long Beach. The history is there – is there a part of you that has the ‘carry the torch' mentality since you come from a top program?

Robert Perry: Of course. It shows that San Diego has an interest in the Dirtbag mentality. Me being selected doesn't put pressure but adds a little excitement of wanting to carry what the tradition has been with the selecting of Dirtbags.

How much have you grown from high school through college, specifically on the diamond?

Robert Perry: I think I have grown a lot. I have learned a lot of the game. In high school I was a pretty raw player who was doing whatever, going on my talent. I came to realize it is a lot more mental than a lot of people think and it gets strenuous throughout the season. We had a sports psychologist working with us and learning the game – to play it the right way. I have grown a lot since high school.

Talk to us about the strength of your game and how everything comes together for you on the field.

Robert Perry: It first starts on the practice field and keeping a hard work ethic, which translates over to the baseball field. I am kind of at full speed with everything I do.

It appears that you don't strike out a lot and make consistent, hard contact. How does that fit into the Padres system and who you were selected by?

Robert Perry: I stress, as the type of player I am who is looking to hit at the top of the order and get on base, putting the ball in play. It is a lot more important than striking out because a lot more can happen. I think it is really important for me as I play in this organization.

How do you change your two-strike approach?

Robert Perry: It is kind of simple. I just get a wider base by spreading my feet and it is almost a mentality of wanting to put the ball in play and not wanting to strikeout. Battle as hard as you can.

You mentioned being a top of the order guy but you led your team in RBIs this past year. Talk about that.

Robert Perry: I would say the role that I fit for Long Beach, hitting in the five-hole helped the team out. We had a pretty good leadoff hitter there and I just think that gave me the opportunity to drive in runs, and I showed I was able to do that also. It just worked out that way that I was able to hit in the middle of the order and drive in runs.

You likely didn't get many opportunities to steal some bases hitting fifth, but is speed part of your game?

Robert Perry: Yes it is. The opportunities weren't there as much. At Long Beach we played a lot of small ball and that worked out well for us in scoring those runs. The coach was calling the shots and we trusted him and just played the game.

Talk about your defensive work in the outfield.

Robert Perry: I pride myself on my work in the outfield. Defense is one of the most important things and it has been stressed to me. I try to make every play on balls that are hit to me and try to be fundamentally sound. Before games, I get in the outfield working on jumps and make sure I get a feel so when the ball does come to me I am making that play and not that weak link.

What is it you look forward to most about going into professional baseball?

Robert Perry: Every college baseball player, high school baseball player dreams about playing pro ball and eventually getting to the big leagues. That is kind of where I am headed. I enjoy the competition and enjoy the whole atmosphere of being on the field. It is going to be awesome experience.

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