Padres Prospect Interview: Lance Zawadzki

Lance Zawadzki missed three weeks of the season with a pulled quad, slowing down the statement he wanted to make after being selected in the fourth-round of this year's draft by the San Diego Padres.

Could you talk about being drafted by the Padres? Did they show interest in you before the draft, and how are you feeling now?

Lance Zawadzki: I had met with their scout a couple times before the draft, and I was hoping for them to pick me the most. It's been great so far, even though I have been battling an injury since the first week of training camp. It's been a great experience so far.

Being one of the first players to sign from this years draft for the Padres, how has it been so far for you playing in the Eugene?

Lance Zawadzki: Eugene was awesome, (I was) nursing a pulled quad. I pulled my quad in the last week of mini camp. But Eugene is a great baseball town.

How did the rehab go?

Lance Zawadzki: It went pretty well, but with a quad injury, you can't do much but rest it. All you can do it try and build strength with it. It's really frustrating being drafted, and trying to start a professional career, and having to put in on hold.

You played most of your college ball at San Diego State University. What caused you to switch schools three times, ending up at Lee?

Lance Zawadzki: My first thought when I started thinking about switching was transferring over to another D1 school my senior year, was to go out and try and win a little bit. But things didn't work out that way. I ended up being ineligible to transfer there so I ended up looking at other school, and Lee was a good Christian school and seemed like a good fit. I met with the coaches there, and I talked to them. They seemed like they were going in the right direction and so I signed to transfer there.

You played a few different positions at college, do you know where the Padres are going to want you to play for the long term?

Lance Zawadzki: They want me to play shortstop. I played short my junior and senior year, but I had knee surgery in my sophomore year that pushed me over to third.

Can you talk about your game, at the plate and in the field?

Lance Zawadzki: Offensively, I'm a switch-hitter and more of a gap guy. I try to run out every play, and I like all aspects of the game offensively. I like to be stealing bases, and making things happen on the base paths. Defensively, I enjoy playing shortstop because it is a fun position where you are involved in almost every play one way or another, and I look forward to playing there, and showing people how I play my defense.

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?

Lance Zawadzki: The big things pretty much in college was understanding my arm defensively. I got in the habit of trying to show it off a lot, and it got me in trouble. In pro ball, you get so many ground balls and repetitions when you are playing every day so you can't keep trying to show it off every time, or they put you on the bench with a sore arm. It's actually a good thing getting to play everyday because it makes you take that off and just make the throw, rather than trying to unload it every time.

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

Lance Zawadzki: I don't really know to be honest, but I would say a switch hitting shortstop. It would probably have to be a mix between a bunch of players put together.

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

Lance Zawadzki: I would say being drafted in the 4th-round was quite an awesome experience for me and my family. The College World Series was just a great experience to be able to go with a bunch of guys throughout the season that you get to work day in and day out with. And then being able to experience something like that with them, especially in baseball as pretty special too.

Who was your favorite team and favorite player growing up?

Lance Zawadzki: I have to say the Red Sox. I've always been a fan of J.D. Drew since he was in college. I watched him play a couple times when he was with Florida playing Georgia Tech, because I grew up in Georgia. And then it was sweet when he was traded over to the Red Sox because I got to watch him play a little bit more.

Do you have any idea of the Padres farm system? Where do you think you fit in their system?

Lance Zawadzki: I don't really know yet at this point. It's kind of been a rough start so far, health wise. I'll have to play a little bit. I'm sure guys get a better idea of that after they've been around for a year. So that's something that I haven't thought about so much, as just getting healthy right now. I look forward to seeing where I fit in pretty soon.

Now that you have started your professional career in baseball, what do you look forward to the most?

Lance Zawadzki: I would say just playing baseball everyday. My dad played professional baseball when I was really young, so I've always been around it. So to be able to play it everyday, and get paid to do it is something that I've always looked forward too.

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