Padres Prospect Interview: Shane Buschini

Shane Buschini will be the first to admit that he didn't have a good professional season. He refined his mental approach heading into this season and has seen the dividends early on.

Was it a disappointment for you to be sent down to the Arizona Rookie League after starting in Eugene last season – especially since you homered in your last game with the Emeralds?

Shane Buschini: I thought I was on a roll. I was finally starting to see good pitches. I almost hit another one out in that game too. I was starting to see the ball well and then they sent me down here.

I don't think I took it the right way, but I have a whole new attitude this year. I am just happy to be out here. Every day is a new day and I am happy to be a part of the Padres organization.

The last two weeks of the season you really started to come around – what changed for you?

Shane Buschini: I was starting to see the ball well and am still seeing the ball well now.

I have had a lot of help from coach (Shane) Spencer and coach (Bob) Skube. They helped me stay back and stay easy to the ball, use the legs and swing easy.

It seemed like last year I tried to power the ball out but I just have to make contact with it. I am trying to work on that this year.

How disappointing was it for the season to end just as you were getting on a roll?

Shane Buschini: I know. I did have a bad start there also. I think I was 0-for-15 and then picked it up at the end.

I am just glad to be out here and am extremely happy and healthy.

You got to play left and right field – and now you have seen some time at first base in spring?

Shane Buschini: It was a little bit of adjustment between left and right but not too bad. Moving to first was a little different. I played first for a few games in college and more in high school. Guys are hitting it a little bit harder. At first you have to be on your toes a little more. It is a challenge.

The mentality in the outfield is to simply catch and throw and you have some time to make a decision or two.

Shane Buschini: Exactly. At first, you have to be on the ball. You can't take half a pitch off. You have to be in the play. I am getting signs from the coaches, relaying them to the pitcher – but it is fun.

Picking the ball, footwork, getting a good jump – and I am still playing the outfield. They wanted to get me a little bit more skill at first. I think it is going to help me. I am left-handed and restricted to about five positions on the field. I want to play as many of those as I can.

Last year you mentioned taking it the wrong way when you were sent down and putting too much pressure on yourself as a result. This year, what will make for a successful season for Shane Buschini?

Shane Buschini: Every day coming in with the same mentality of just squaring up the ball. It does not matter if I am 0-for-4 or 4-for-4. Just going about it the same way every day and not letting anything get to me – playing baseball and having fun.

You have seen PETCO Park firsthand...

Shane Buschini: I actually hit one out of PETCO versus Oklahoma but they didn't count it. It hit the cement and came back and Oklahoma threw it back and I got a double. They looked at it in the replay and it went over the little ledge. I am still bitter about that one.

The goal is to obviously make it to San Diego and the big leagues. Is it a little more special to you, being part of the Padres organization after living there?

Shane Buschini: It is special. The Padres are a great team. I loved San Diego. A great city and great community. It is somewhere I would love to get back to one day. But, I have to focus on tomorrow first. I can't get too far along the line.

Do you consider yourself to be a player who still has a lot to learn?

Shane Buschini: I am learning every day. I learned from coach Spencer and Skube. Coach Spencer said, ‘Man, I wish I had as much power as you.' I am thinking, ‘What is this guy talking about. He was amazing.' They are teaching me things and I am learning. I am a student of the game.

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