Padres Prospect Interview: Michael Watt

Acquired as part of the trade that sent Greg Maddux to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Michael Watt is looking to make an impression on the San Diego Padres.

Talk to me about the trade from the Dodgers to the Padres. Was it a shock for you?

Michael Watt: It was. We had Padres scouts at our games through the summer, and a lot of our guys would joke around and say that I was going to get traded. I never really had an idea of who the player would be. I knew the chances were there because scouts were coming to see us. I didn't find out, though, until the day I was traded. It was very much a surprise.

Being traded for a future Hall of Famer like Greg Maddux – how does it feel to part of a trade for such a high caliber pitcher?

Michael Watt: It is an honor. It is really cool to be able to tell people about that. Even if they know just a little bit about baseball, everyone knows who Greg Maddux is. It is something I am definitely going to be able to tell my family for the rest of my life. It is a pretty big deal. I am thankful for that. And it looks like a real good organization to be in right now so I am excited for that.

Talk a little bit about your stuff. I got to see you pitch at Instructs but what is the real scouting report because I may have seen you when you were tired?

Michael Watt: I feel like I had much better stuff at the beginning of the year – and for most of the year. I was always a fastball/curveball guy until this year. This was the first year that I started to really develop a changeup. The changeup came in real good late. The curveball – which you saw – was terrible. I think it will be there because I have always had a pretty good curveball. I think the arm was a little tired from the long season.

I am looking forward to spring and hopefully I will have all three of my pitches.

Was what you experienced in Instructs a mechanical thing you felt like you were working through or just a tired arm?

Michael Watt: I didn't feel like it was mechanical at all. I just think I was tired. I am sure it was mechanical in that I was tired and the arm angle felt like it was almost different on every pitch. I struggled getting consistency. I felt like it was hard to snap it off like I wanted to. I didn't really have a feel for it. My arm was dragging and at a different speed every time.

You went out to Instructs with the Dodgers and then come over to the Padres. Everyone has a plan for you – how has it changed since coming over?

Michael Watt: (The Dodgers) lost their pitching coordinator, so I wasn't working on too much – just the breaking ball. Since coming over here, they wanted to work on my breaking ball more. Not much has changed. They both have the same sort of fundamentals. I don't think too much has changed.

How tough is it to come into a new environment? Many of these guys have been here, know each other, and are building their rapport with the coaching staff.

Michael Watt: I had already met a couple of guys that did get traded like me. My roommate, Steve Garrison, was traded from the Brewers. Evan Scribner who was traded from the Diamondbacks. It seems like I am not the only minor leaguer that was traded. I don't feel that different. It is kind of a shock to be with a whole different group after being with the same people for two years. I will get to meet everyone in spring.

How much have you matured in the two years since being drafted out of high school?

Michael Watt: Oh wow, a whole lot. A couple of my best friends within the Dodgers system are 23 and 24. I have really grown up a lot – just from being around older guys all the time.

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