Padres Prospect Interview: Eric Sogard

Eugene, OR-- A second-round pick this season, Eric Sogard began the season in Eugene before a promotion to Fort Wayne. We caught up with the glasses wearing Arizona native prior to being moved up.

While he isn't quite sure how his regular glasses – not the sports goggles commonly seen on the basketball court – stay on his head, he is happy to be with the Padres.

What has the whirlwind been like for you since being drafted?

Eric Sogard: It has been amazing so far. The draft was so excited for me. To be taken by the Padres was amazing. I grew up watching their spring training in Peoria. I grew up playing on those fields when I was young so it was a dream come true.

Getting up to Eugene was great. Great teammates and took me in right away, teaching me how to walk the line.

It is kind of funny that you got a locker right next to Mitch Canham when you were in Eugene. Mitch noted that he was really excited to be playing with you. What is that story about?

Eric Sogard: It is that Pac-10 thing. We kind of developed a relationship from that. Every time I would come to the plate we would chat. It was great having a locker right next to him. We got a chance to get to know each other better.

How did you grow since first arriving at Arizona State until now?

Eric Sogard: I have matured so much in the game and in life. Those coaches there did everything – my defense improved so much and I continued to work on my hitting. I am becoming a mature hitter all-around and I give them so much credit. I would not be where I am today without having gone through Arizona State.

You bunt with two guys on for a base hit with the game on the line during one day I saw you – a play you don't see very often. What does that say about you as a player?

Eric Sogard: That is kind of part of my game that I have worked on the last year and have really gotten down. They tell me since I have increased my bunting skills so much that if I want to bunt for a base hit in that situation to just do it. They believe I can get it down. That is helpful. If I can get on base in that situation than great. If not it is still a sacrifice.

What was the opposition like when the bunt dropped?

Eric Sogard: I imagine it did startle them a little bit and caught them off-guard. It turned out the best for us.

How do you define the kind of game you play and what are the strengths?

Eric Sogard: I am a scrappy player. I will do whatever I can to get on base and help my team out there. My defense has really improved throughout the years and feel really comfortable at second base. My hitting is a strength – spread the ball around, hit for a little power, and get on base.

Is there something specific that you want to work on?

Eric Sogard: I just want to continue to learn, continue to improve. Even the little things that will help me – maybe not any certain area but every little area.

Riddoch was an aggressive manager in Eugene. What is the advice he was giving you and how has that helped you?

Eric Sogard: He loved for us to run on the bases and take any opportunity we could. He gave us all the little details about the pitcher. If we had any edge on the pitcher he wanted us to take it. If we got thrown out, who cares. Do it again and you will get it next time. It is really great from a running standpoint. You don't have to be scared. You can do your thing and use your speed.

What are your expectations the rest of the season?

Eric Sogard: Come out here and have fun and try and play my game. I don't want to put too much pressure on myself. If I can be comfortable and play my game I will be fine.

Who was your favorite team growing up and why?

Eric Sogard: The Red Sox was my favorite team growing up. The way they played. They play to win. Some other major leaguers were more individualized but they always played to win when it mattered. They become a unit instead of individuals.

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