Padres Prospect Interview: Corey Kluber

San Diego Padres fourth-round pick Corey Kluber was one of two players taken in the top eight rounds who had yet to sign – until late this week when he inked his contract. He arrived in Eugene, Oregon on Sunday and threw a side session.

The Emeralds plan to ease him into the mix, having him throw another side or two before throwing in a simulated game. Then he will see one inning of work before his workload progresses.

Talk about being picked by the Padres, whether they were interested in you before the draft and how you are feeling now?

Corey Kluber: Yeah, they did show interest. Our coaches set up meetings with all of the area scouts, and a couple of the players who were draft eligible and had some interest. And Joe Bochy was one of the ones that came in here and talked to me. So, I assumed they did have some interest.

I read a quote in a Dallas Morning News' article about you, and you said when referring to the draft "On a 1 to 10 scale of excitement, that moment was a 10". Can you describe the process that led up to you getting drafted?

Corey Kluber: Yeah, it has always been my dream to play pro ball, and actually hearing your name. Maybe not hearing it, but seeing it, it was some what of a relief, and also exciting just to know that all that time you put into baseball finally paid off by being drafted.

You had elbow surgery when you were in Coppell, were there any concerns that teams had about your elbow?

Corey Kluber: Nobody voiced any concern about to, to my or my advisor or anything. It wasn't until right before the draft that teams brought in medical advisors that did have some concern about it, and some teams who might of liked me higher than the 4th round but had to pass on me because their medical guys threw a red flag on it, and said it was a concern. But I haven't had any problems with it what so ever since high school.

Talk a little about your pitches and the speeds you throw at.

Corey Kluber: My fastball is usually low-90s. I throw a fastball, curveball, changeup, and slider.

So what do you consider your out pitch?

Corey Kluber: I would say my fastball, and my slider might be my out pitch.

Who do you compare to at the major league level so we can give fans an idea of what your game resembles.

Corey Kluber: I really don't know. I don't know who people see me as comparable to. I mean, I am not saying I compare to them, but I try to look at guys like (John) Smoltz, and (Roger) Clemens. I look at guys like them, and try to pick up things about how they work, and try to look at the big leaguers who are successful, and try and see if you can do that too.

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

Corey Kluber: As of now, I would probably say being drafted. Playing wise, probably winning back-to-back conference championships probably was up there.

Who was your favorite team and favorite player growing up?

Corey Kluber: I grew up in Texas, so we always went to a lot of Rangers games. So I would have to say as a little kid, my favorite team was probably the Rangers or the Red Sox. Favorite player…probably Pedro (Martinez) growing up.

When dissecting your game, do you feel there is an area you would call a weakness or something in your game that needs a little improvement?

Corey Kluber: I think there is always room for improvement. I probably want to become more consistent, with all my pitches. Be able to put all of my pitches wherever I want.

Now that you are set to start your professional career, what do you look forward to the most?

Corey Kluber: Being able to play baseball everyday, and not have to worry about the other stuff that goes along with it in college. You play baseball everyday, but you have school and other things too. I'm looking forward to just being able to concentrate on baseball, and give all of my attention to that during the day.

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