Dykstra sets sights on San Diego

Growing up, Allan Dykstra was a San Diego Padres season-ticket holder along with his dad. He logged a lot of time seeing his favorite player, Tony Gwynn, up close. Now, his goal is to reach San Diego as quick as possible.

The Padres have now taken a Demon Deacon with their top pick in two of the past three drafts. In 2006, San Diego selected junior third baseman Matt Antonelli with the 17th pick in the first round.

Dykstra is the fourth Deacon to be taken by the Padres since MLB instituted the draft in 1965. He joins Antonelli (2006, 1st round), Ryan Johnson (2003, 13th round) and Frank Warner (1982, 27th round).

He is a two-time All-ACC selection and earned ACC Rookie of the Year honors in 2006. Dykstra ranks third on the school's career home run list with 49. He also holds the school's career and single-season records for walks and hit by pitches.

Dykstra, who reached base safely in all but four games this season, ranked among the ACC leaders in home runs, on-base percentage and walks. He was named to the ACC All-Tournament team after going 4-for-12 with two homers and five RBIs in three postseason games.

He was signed on the final day of eligibility.

Your thoughts being picked by the hometown team and to what extent were you a Padres fan?

Allan Dykstra: I was extremely excited to be picked by the Padres. I was jumping off the couch. Being drafted by a team I grew up watching – we had season tickets – and them being part of my baseball life growing up, it was a perfect situation for me. Going in the first round and to the team I grew up watching.

Did you ever get a chance to meet Tony Gwynn?

Allan Dykstra: He is still a huge part of the community. I have met Tony Gwynn before. I grew up with Bruce Bochy and his son but not recently.

You were hit by quite a few pitches in college – is it that pitchers don't like you?

Allan Dykstra: I stand on the plate a little bit. One of the scouting reports on me is in order to get me out you have to pitch in. If they miss in, they are going in. Pitchers pitch me fine – they would rather miss with a ball, which normally hits me. It is not a bad situation – in terms of being walked or being hit, it is the same result – I guess.

You have more bruises as a result.

Allan Dykstra: There are some pitches you definitely want to get out of the way of.

What would you say is your best moment in baseball and why?

Allan Dykstra: I would say this one. Everything I have worked up for and worked towards – this supercedes it. Everything you have done as come to this moment. This is the major league road. It is what everyone is working for. I couldn't be more excited.

Talk a little bit about your game and the strength of your game.

Allan Dykstra: It is definitely my patient hitting approach and my power. People were definitely looking at me for my power. My patient approach towards hitting would be my number one strength. That is probably what I worked the hardest on and an area I take the most pride in.

When dissecting your game, do you feel there is an area that needs a little improvement?

Allan Dykstra: Definitely. My defense. I have been working on that and actually played a little bit of third base to try and get my footwork quicker. I worked on it this summer. I have been working on all of the things that aren't my strengths. I feel like that makes you a well-rounded player. I believe making it to the next level is about pushing through your weaknesses and making them better.

What do you look forward to now that you are headed into professional baseball?

Allan Dykstra: I guess moving up as fast as possible, doing what is best for me and what is best for the Padres. The faster I get to the major leagues the better.

What did the front office say to you when they contacted you?

Allan Dykstra: First, the area scout, Ashe Lawson. I got a call saying, ‘Congratulations. We are really happy to have you.' I was so excited that I didn't hear all of what they said. It was a great moment.

Do you realize that you and another local product, Adrian Gonzalez, are, at some point, on a collision course?

Allan Dykstra: That was something I did look into. I can't take that too much into consideration now. He is the best player on the team. That is still a couple of years away for me. Hopefully, things open up or I get moved positions or something happens where I can play on the same team.

Do you believe you can play another position other than first base?

Allan Dykstra: I have played other positions. I played third base this year, but that was out of need. I played outfield a couple of summers ago. I will play wherever they need me to play. Hopefully, first but I am willing to make some sacrifices to move along.

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