Padres Prospect Interview: Colt Hynes

Sidearmers are en vogue. Every system has a few, looking to capture the magic of a different arm angle that so few hitters see. San Diego Padres prospect Colt Hynes is that man in Eugene, holding down a 1.34 ERA over 25 appearances.

Talk a little bit about being drafted first off and what the experience was like for you.

Colt Hynes: It was relieving. I always thought I deserved a chance to play pro ball. It was more relieving and exciting – the satisfaction that all the years of doing this paid off. It was amazing.

You come from a good program and come to Eugene – what are the changes you have seen from a coaching perspective from the college ranks to the professional level?

Colt Hynes: In college they kind of look at the whole picture and make sure everything is working together. Rid (Manager Greg Riddoch) is really into the little things and doing the little things no one else does. I like that a lot because I think it is the reason we have won as many games as we have. We are doing the little things that separate ourselves from everyone else.

I like it a lot more from college because they let you play. There is not as much pressure on you. They know you can play and let you do your thing.

At the same time, it is a little bit more about you. While everyone wants the team to do well it is a little more about you as a professional.

Colt Hynes: That is true. That is in the back of everyone's minds, but when you get on the field, if the team is doing well than you are going to be doing well. It works both ways. If you go out there trying to please yourself there is that chance something will go wrong, but if you are working together it makes everyone look good.

Give us a scouting report on yourself.

Colt Hynes: Bread and butter is the two-seam run. Throw it over the middle of the plate and let it run inside. Keep pitching inside and mix in some changeups here and there.

As a sidearm style pitcher, do you play around with where you stand on the mound to get different looks and perhaps that angle that will afford you success against lefties and righties?

Colt Hynes: I stand on the third base side of the rubber every time. Coming down three-quarters on a lefty is hard enough already because they have to look behind the pitcher and you come out three-quarters it is even farther. I just stick to the right side because it works and I don't mess around with it.

How difficult is it to keep a consistent arm slot from that angle and keep the release point consistent?

Colt Hynes: It is difficult, especially when you start. I didn't start throwing like that until about a year ago. One day you come you are throwing too far down and then the next day you are throwing straight over the top. I have it down pretty much. Some pitches my body will like to move my arm lower to get more movement and then I drop my elbow and it is just a bad pitch. You have to be aware every time where your arm is so you feel it and know what is good and what is bad.

Why did you end up changing?

Colt Hynes: It was my junior year at Tech. Everything was going all right. I was getting the hitter out but my ball was flat and I didn't throw a two-seam. About a week before the season started in the spring, our pitching coach, Coach Brown, said, ‘Try and throw this next ball sidearm with a two-seam grip' and I did and it took off moving. He told me if I wanted to keep playing and pursue a career this is what I would have to do and I stuck with ever since.

What were your impressions of playing in Eugene and the Northwest League?

Colt Hynes: It was a blast. The competition was good. The hitters started to get used to the wood bats and made it tougher on the pitchers. I think the first part of the season it was pitcher dominant. The hitters we faced the second time around were much more confident and started to figure things out.

What are the expectations you place on yourself?

Colt Hynes: Keep doing what I have been doing, which is get guys out and put us in position to win.

Is the reliever role something you are accustomed to?

Colt Hynes: I have started all through high school and college. I had a few relief appearances at Tech. I like it. You get to throw more often. Yeah, you don't throw as many pitches but the situations you come into have a little more pressure and get you going. I like that. I would have no complaints if they kept me in this role. It is almost more than starting because it is so intense.

How difficult is it to prepare to come in. One of the things with starting is you can get into a set routine. As a reliever, you are on call and there is no set routine.

Colt Hynes: That is probably the toughest adjustment. You have to know your arm and what you can do with it. Another tough part is we are sitting down basically in the stands. That is a mental part to stay in the game and know what is going on. Having a plan before you get in is a big key and knowing how much time you need to get hot.

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