Padres Prospect Interview: Sawyer Carroll

Sawyer Carroll descimated the Northwest League before a promotion to Fort Wayne provided some struggles. He went out to instructs to work on pitch selection with an eye on carrying his success in Eugene into the 2009 season.

You went to Fort Wayne after a great beginning to the year in Eugene and saw some struggles. What was the difference that you saw?

Sawyer Carroll: I didn't really see a whole lot of differences. I think I just pressed a little too much and tried to do a little too much at first. I ran into quite a few tough lefties, but I still should have produced more than I did.

I am taking it as a learning experience. It was only 20 games. It seems magnified because it wasn't a whole season. It is something I can take and stride and learn from and try not to duplicate.

Lefty-lefty has always been tough. Is it tougher to see and pick up the ball off guys throwing from the same side that you hit?

Sawyer Carroll: Believe it or not, some lefties I would rather face than a righty. There are a lot of them, however, that use their deception to their advantage. Growing up, you see a lot more lefties than righties. That is just how it is so you are used to seeing those righties.

You went out to instructs – was there something you wanted to focus on out there?

Sawyer Carroll: I just wanted to get better in every phase. We pinpointed some things that we wanted to work on and addressed those issues.

Was that mechanical changes with your swing or something else?

Sawyer Carroll: Not so much mechanical – it was more pitch selection and building on what I was able to accomplish this summer.

Did you feel like you were trying to be too aggressive at times where you find your swing mechanics compromised?

Sawyer Carroll: It was a combination of both. I was swinging at pitches I should have been taking and not swinging at pitches I should have been hitting. That happens from time to time but you just have to keep your head on straight.

What about your work in the outfield? You have worked with Gamboa in Eugene and again in instructs. What kind of stuff are you learning?

Sawyer Carroll: We have a drill set that we do. It is really pretty simple, but he keeps pounding it in our head so it becomes second nature. That is what he is trying to get across.

Have you noticed anything at the professional ranks that you have not come across in the 15 years you have been playing baseball beforehand?

Sawyer Carroll: Not so much. It is nothing you haven't heard before. It might be said differently in a way that finally makes sense. The biggest adjustment is not so much the game but how to come out and prepare every day. That is the thing you have to get used to.

You get a full season of college ball, go out to Eugene and Fort Wayne and then to instructs. Were you tired at the end?

Sawyer Carroll: I don't think tired is the word – maybe not as fresh as I have been in the past. You are used to playing every day but it definitely wasn't as fresh as I was in June when I got a week or two off and then went to Eugene. That is part of it – battling through and finding a way to make it happen.

Is that part of the mental strain and preparation, as you look towards to full season ball next year?

Sawyer Carroll: We have a full season up ahead next year. They say the first year coming out of college – because I have been non-stop for four years now because you have a full fall season, play spring ball and summer ball – they say the first season coming out of college was a lot harder than their first full season. I have been pretty much non-stop for four years.

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