Padres Prospect Interview: Simon Castro

Simon Castro got better as the season went along in the Dominican Summer League and the Padres felt he would do the same in his first season in the states. He has not disappointed. We caught up with Castro, using the help of a translator.

What do you remember about signing with the Padres and working out for them?

Simon Castro: I remember when I was trying out. It was a very nice moment for me because I was never a pro. When they told me I was picked, I was very excited. I'm very excited to be a part of the Padres family.

You were in the Padres Instructional League last year. What were you working on out there?

Simon Castro: In the Instructional League, similar to right now, I was working on my release point and my accuracy, which I've had difficulty with. I'm working on that right now as well so I can do a good job here.

In the instructional league, only 35 percent of your first pitches were strikes. How do you improve?

Simon Castro: I have been improving lately. I felt pressured since this was my first time in the United States. It was the emotions, or maybe the nerves that got to me.

When we talked last year, you mentioned working on a slider and a changeup. How has that progressed?

Simon Castro: Thank God my slider has changed drastically, from night to day. My changeup I'm still improving. My slider is at 100 percent and my changeup is at 80 percent.

What are your expectations for the rest of the year?

Simon Castro: My expectations for this year are to work well here in Arizona. I have to work on some finishing details to do a magnificent job here.

You throw a fast fastball. Do you feel as if you have to slow it down to throw strikes?

Simon Castro: No I don't think so. Much of the time when I try to throw slower, I throw more balls. When I throw normal, I have more control.

How much have you improved from last year to this year?

Simon Castro: I have improved about 90 percent from last year to this year. I feel surer of myself now and I know I can play better than last year.

How do you forget about the pressure?

Simon Castro: I have to look within myself and be able to trust myself. I have to trust in God and in myself that I can do the job.

And if not? Are you going to talk to Jesus?

Simon Castro: (Laughing)

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