Padres Prospect Interview: Gary Poynter

The numbers in Gary Poynter's first professional season weren't great, but the San Diego Padres are excited about his potential, especially after calming his delivery and seeing positive results.

Coming into the professional ranks after a long college season, it seemed you had been worked pretty hard and were a little tired at the end. How did you assess your professional debut?

Gary Poynter: I was a little tired. I threw a bunch of innings in college. Towards the end, I got a second wind and stayed on that through instructs and threw pretty well out there.

You went into a different role when you got into the system, moving to a relief role after starting in college. What kind of mental change was that for you?

Gary Poynter: I prefer coming out of the bullpen. You come in quick and it really isn't max effort but the goal is to simply get them out quick.

When you start, it feels like you have to save something for later on. You can just throw it all out there when you come out of the bullpen.

Throwing in the mid-90s is always good but how do you view your second pitches?

Gary Poynter: When I went out to instructs, I did a lot of work with the changeup and slider. Consistency was the big key – being able to throw them for strikes when I need to. It is vitally important out of the bullpen. When you start, you have a little bit of time to figure it out. Out of the bullpen, you have to have it working for you as soon as you come into the game.

Is that some mechanical changes that will lead to more positive results?

Gary Poynter: Well, they changed me more because I was max-effort. They keep telling me 80-percent. They wrote 80-percent on my hat. The velocity has actually jumped up.

It is ironic. I am smoother and the ball comes out clean. My muscles would contract and I wouldn't get the full use out of them.

You have to believe that led to overthrowing, varying release points, over-extension and under – all sorts of things that you may not have even known.

Gary Poynter: I kind of felt I was overthrowing because my arm was tired and I had to compensate for getting the velocity back up.

They opened my eyes.

Do you feel like you attack right-handers and left-handers the same and how has the evolution of pitch sequencing changed for you?

Gary Poynter: I throw everything to both sides. The right-handed changeup has helped out a bunch to righties. I used to throw all outside, outside, outside. Throwing in to hitters – they have a more difficult time now.

You have been so used to throwing a particular way. How difficult is it to change when it might have been what you knew since childhood?

Gary Poynter: It is working so it was not that hard to change.

What did the offseason hold for you?

Gary Poynter: I have a buddy back home that I worked out with to get back into shape. From college to pro ball, we didn't get a whole lot of time for that. He is a weight trainer.

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