Padres Prospect Interview: Justin Baum

Eugene, OR-- When Justin Baum left the Eugene Emeralds for Fort Wayne he was leading the team in RBIs and doubles and tied for the team lead in homers. We caught up with the third baseman prior to his promotion to the Midwest League.

How is the season going for you in Eugene since the beginning of the year?

Justin Baum: The team is doing well, which always makes it easier. It is a good environment to be in. The coaches and players are a good group to play with and we also have a solid team. It is a lot more fun to win.

I am starting to feel better everyday. It is an adjustment process – getting used to the wood bat and playing everyday. Getting your body used to doing that but I am starting to feel better and hopefully it will continue to get better.

Have you felt like you have had to make some changes because of the early struggles you had?

Justin Baum: Not necessarily changes. Baseball is a game of constant change so there are always little things you are switching up whether it be at the plate or in the field. No major changes. A little bit of hand placement when I am hitting to be shorter to the ball with the wood bat but other than that it is the same approach I had before.

You have had some good days and bad days at third base when I got to see you. How do you continue to make that progression defensively at third?

Justin Baum: There were a couple of balls that I didn't read right off the bat. It is something you have to come out and work on everyday and see it in games. The funny thing was those are balls I usually don't have problems with. For some reason I didn't make the right decision at the time. It happens. You have to go out and work everyday to get better.

Have you met your own expectations thus far?

Justin Baum: I have high expectations for myself. I wouldn't say I have done that. I would say I am pleased with the progress I am making in continuing to get better. That is my main goal – continuing to get better as the season progresses.

Is it viewable that progress for you? Can you see it?

Justin Baum: I think it is more of a feel. You can look at the tape, but I think it would be more of a feel for the game. How do you feel at the plate? Comfortable?

We talked about meeting your early expectations, but what are the expectations for you the rest of the way?

Justin Baum: I am just going to go out and do what I can do. As for my expectations, I just want to do what I can on the field and control what I can control and that is coming out and preparing everyday, working hard, and doing the best I can.

Some days you give everything you have and it doesn't look good at the end of the day but it is all you had. To be able to come out and do it everyday is all I can control. The other stuff is out of my hands. I try not to worry about it too much.

As a seventh-round guy coming in, do you almost put too much pressure on yourself that you have to prove your worth because the clock has begun to tick?

Justin Baum: Not really. I just try and go out and do what I can. It is interesting that you asked that. In college my sophomore year I did that and it didn't work out too well for me. I think I learned from that and just go out and play the game the way it is supposed to be played. It seems like I have learned from that.

How is working with Coach Riddoch?

Justin Baum: I love it. Rid is a good guy and I have never had a manager who knows so much about the mental side of the game. He has a degree in psychology. It is interesting and definitely helps.

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