Patrick on AZL Padres pitching prospects

In 2008, Bronswell Patrick was the first pitching coach that new draftees and international players saw in the professional ranks with the Arizona Rookie League Padres. Al Angelucci, Jose DePaula, Eric Gonzalez, Stiven Osuna and even Mat Latos spent time under Patrick's tutelage.

How important was it for you to go through Instructs last season and then through Spring Training to really put the Padres philosophies into effect?

Bronswell Patrick: It was real important for me, especially being able to come in and get the last tail end of Instructional League and be around some of the coaches and listen to some of the terminologies that the coaches were using, especially Mike Couchee and Dave Rajsich. Just listening to those guys and learning the system and taking what I learned over to the Instructional League and bringing it over to Spring Training was a big help to me. Mainly just taking notes and going over my notes and really remembering what the organization's policy is, the way they want to go about the pitching staff.

As the first introduction to professional baseball, what challenges did you face?

Bronswell Patrick: As a pitching coach, just dealing with the different personalities. Dealing with the kids from the Dominican, dealing with the college kids that we had just signed, dealing with the high school kids that we had just signed, just being able to clash all those different personalities together.

It really wasn't a challenge; just by me being around the sport for a long time I was able to handle that without a problem. But you have these little bumps here and there in the road. But for the most part, I really didn't have any problems. I thought I would, just because if you have guys coming in from high school, you've got your Latin kids, you've got your kids coming out of college, I didn't know how well their attitudes would be as far as what they know and what they didn't know.

Was it tough reaching out to some of those Dominican kids? We know that Flores is bilingual, and I don't know what your status is, but was it tough getting through to them?

Bronswell Patrick: No, it wasn't because I speak Spanish as well. As far as the language barrier, it was pretty easy for me to be able to communicate with the Latin kids as well.

Australian Al Angelucci is a bit raw as a converted outfielder. What did you see from him this year?

Bronswell Patrick: I liked him. He had a pretty good arm. Like you said, he's still pretty raw, just because he hasn't pitched that much. As far as his arm, kid's got a great arm.

I just think with more experience as far as a pitcher, he'll develop into something special once he learns how to pitch and how to set up hitters. Like I said, the kid's got a pretty decent arm.

Jose DePaula had some trouble putting away hitters this year when he was ahead in the count. Was that a matter of him trying to be too fine?

Bronswell Patrick: I just think the point of just being a little bit inexperienced. Like Angelucci, he's got a great arm; the kid's going to be something special. Towards the end, he really caught on and started to put hitters away.

I think more so just coming over here, just the different atmosphere than being in the Dominican Republic. The first half was kind of overwhelming to him and he started to realize, ‘Hey, he's a pretty good hitter,' especially when you get two strikes on him, they really protect the plate. We kept working and working and finally in the second half, he really caught on to it and started using this changeup a little bit more, started pitching inside a little bit more to keep them from diving out over the plate, and he had a great year in the second half.

Eric Gonzalez was a go-to guy for you down the stretch. What made him so successful?

Bronswell Patrick: Eric's the type of guy – you'd love to have that guy on your team because he was a pitcher that he didn't care who was up there hitting.

Eric just came out and he made his pitches, he had a decent slider, and he threw strikes and he challenged hitters. That was the main thing for Eric. Eric went out and challenged hitters. He was aggressive, he was around the plate, he threw strikes. That set up his slider. He was a college guy, he pitched in college, and he knew how to pitch. This kid knows how to pitch. He uses his changeup, he spotted his fastball well, and like I said, he put a lot of guys away with his slider. He's got a pretty decent slider.

Stiven Osuna was superb this year for you. Can you talk about his pitches and what he needs to do to improve?

Bronswell Patrick: Stiven just needs to fine tune everything. This kid, as well, has a good arm, he locates his fastball well. He's got a good changeup. He was just a little bit inconsistent with his curveball, but I think that's just going to come with time once he gets older and gets more confidence in throwing that breaking ball.

Like I said, that was a guy that was solid for us throughout the whole season, and he wasn't afraid to challenge hitters. Even when he was behind in the count, he had enough control to where he didn't really have to throw that fastball right down the middle, he could through his fastball down and away or he could even pass his fastball inside to get the hitters out. I think that's what made him a special pitcher this year, just being able to control both sides of the plate and use his changeup as well.

You had Mat Latos while he recovered from the oblique injury. What did you see from him that makes him successful?

Bronswell Patrick: Of course, everybody's going to say his arm, Matty has a great arm. But I think Matty is starting to learn that he can't just blow that fastball by everybody, because everybody knows he's got a good fastball.

Even down here, he got hit his first couple of outings, and then he made the adjustment. He started using the slider. He started using this changeup. Even when he was behind in the count, he started using his changeup behind in the count, which made him very successful because guys couldn't just sit on that fastball because he was using his other pitches.

I think that made Matty real special, and I think he's starting to learn that, ‘Hey, if I can throw my other stuff when I'm behind in the count and then use my fastball.' That was something pretty special. He learned that. He caught onto that and started to pitch that way. It showed. It showed down here probably his last three outings down here, and it showed up there in Eugene, because he pitched well there, too.

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