Padres Prospect Interview: Matt Huff

Eugene, OR-- Matt Huff thought he would be in Fort Wayne by now. Fastball command, however, has kept him from reaching the potential he knows he has.

Talk to me about this year. You started in extended and made it out to Eugene – what has been the progress for you?

Matt Huff: It has pretty much been about my fastball command. It is something that I have had trouble with all year. I had so many innings last year and putting down the ball for a few months I had a feel for all my pitches except my fastball.

I have been waiting for it to click and that command and release point to come around, hopefully sooner than later. I know I don't have a lot of time being an older guy and they are trying to rush me through, but hopefully one day it is going to click. I am surviving right now with a duo of breaking balls and a changeup. It is basically been about my fastball command. That is all I have been working on.

I am helping the younger players in the organization to develop a core of great baseball players in low-A.

Do you feel like you are an elder statesman and can impart your knowledge on them?

Matt Huff: I do. I like to stir the pot a little bit coming out of the pen. The pen is usually a mix of college graduates and four-year guys so we kind of anchor the bullpen and when we get a chance to get our kicks and punches in against the younger guys we do that. We keep it fun. We throw jokes at one another.

It is our job at the end of the ball game to throw strikes and go shut them down. The younger guys have done a heck of a job keeping us in the ball game and getting the ball to us. That is all we can ask for them.

You mentioned time running short and your age is a number that will at some point matter. Does that weigh on you – knowing you have to step it up?

Matt Huff: I came in here last year not expecting to be in Arizona to tell you the truth. I wanted to be (in Eugene) and they had a heck of a squad last year so things just didn't work out for me last year.

In the last week of the season I got an appearance in but I kind of got in a roll down in Arizona and wasn't surprised that they kept me down there. We had a heck of a team and won a Championship. That was a good introduction to pro ball.

Now being here, I do realize...it kind of gets to you mentally. You don't have as much leeway. You don't have as much room for error as say a guy that just got drafted. They are bringing in a new core of guys every June and I understand that. I have to go out there and I have to produce, throw well and get out of here.

What are the expectations based on what you just said?

Matt Huff: I would like to get up to Fort Wayne. Once I get that fastball figured out I feel like I have three or four quality pitches I can throw for strikes. Once I get that command figured out I will be right back where I was when I left college.

Is that just something that one day it comes out of nowhere and comes back?

Matt Huff: I have been battling it everyday and waiting for it to click. It is starting to be a little bit more of a mental thing than it ought to be. It is something I am trying to battle through.

I am obviously not throwing great right now and I can throw a heck of a lot better. Once it clicks I feel like I am going to be head and shoulders above the rest. Once I figure that out I think I have a chance to move. I feel like I have three or four quality pitches for the organization and we will see where we can go with that.


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