Padres Prospect Interview: Jhonaton Spraud

Jhonaton Spraud made his debut stateside in the San Diego Padres fall Instructional League. The shortstop impressed some with his ability to put the bat on the ball and should improve as his strength increases. We talked to Spraud, a July 2 international sign, with the help of a translator.

Talk to me about working our for the Padres and then signing with the Padres.

Jhonaton Spraud: This is the team I always wanted to be with. Thank God I was able to sign with them. Now that I am here, I am working hard every day to reach my goal and my dream of making it to the big leagues.

You are very young and coming to the United States for the first time – is it overwhelming?

Jhonaton Spraud: It has been difficult but I came here with a goal and a purpose to get better everyday and work hard. That is what I have been working on, even though it has been hard to make the adjustment. I am making it work.

Is there something specific you are working on with fielding or hitting?

Jhonaton Spraud: I am working more on defense than hitting – but since this is my first time here I am working on everything, defense and offense.

What are your expectations going into next year?

Jhonaton Spraud: I am ready to start in Rookie Ball and will keep working hard to keep moving up levels.

What are the strengths of your game?

Jhonaton Spraud: Hitting is my strength. I have some pop, can hit it out of the park and use the whole field. That is what my strengths are.

The ultimate goal is to be a big leaguer – what is the shorter term goal and smaller steps for the off-season?

Jhonaton Spraud: My defense is something I need to work on a lot. My arm strength isn't what I would like it to be and I want to work on strengthening my legs this off-season.

What is it about defense that you need to improve upon?

Jhonaton Spraud: It is the little things – all the fundamental stuff. That is what I am trying to get better at.

Do you think you will stay at shortstop your whole career?

Jhonaton Spraud: I am pretty good at short and improving. I think I will stay there.

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