Kennedy on Padres Double-A hitters

Before being named the manager at Double-A San Antonio, Terry Kennedy was in charge of San Diego's hitting prospects with the Missions, including names such as Seth Johnston, Sean Kazmar, Jesus Lopez, Drew Macias, and Brett Dowdy.

Seth Johnston was a streaky hitter for you. What does he need to do to become more consistent?

Terry Kennedy: Streaky is understated. He can go off like he did in that one league where he hit all of the home runs in August. He has a funny swing...it's just different. He is pretty quick, and he generally gets the barrel on the ball, but then he'll get into ruts where he tries to pull too much. He also has to stay in the big part of the field because he's pretty quick and he can pull when he wants.

Sean Kazmar turned around his season after a slow start. Did you make any mechanical changes with him?

Terry Kennedy: It was mechanical, so we talked a little bit. He had worked all winter by going to right field and he was doing well with it. He was getting so tied up on the inner half because he was looking so much right field that we moved him around more toward the middle.

He has a very good pull stroke, but we don't want him to dominate that way because he has a tendency to fly out. So, we kept him up the middle thinking hitting the ball between the second baseman and the shortstop, the biggest hole in the field is up the middle. I think that freed him up a little. It freed up his hips and his body rotation and he just started getting the hang of it and he started going off.

Jesus Lopez hasn't been known for his hitting but did just that with you. What did you see from him?

Terry Kennedy: It's because he came up there with me! No, I'm kidding. What guys find out is that the higher you go, if you can hit at all, they guys are around the strike zone. When you're playing A-ball, even in the Cal league, you're going to run into those guys that are wild as hell and it's hard to strike...the umpires aren't as good, ours weren't great.

I noticed one thing mechanically that I helped him with, otherwise, he was aggressive and he was putting the bat on the ball. He had some big hits for us. I was pleased, and I think he was very happy about it. Hopefully, that will continue for him. I think he's strong enough, I think he could be stronger. It was a good deal for him. I think he's got a lot of confidence because of what he did.

Drew Macias performed very well with runners in scoring position this season. What enabled him to be so successful with men on base?

Terry Kennedy: He...he had been in that league before. I think that he finally said, ‘This is my time, I'm going to do this, I'm going to get out of here and never come back.'

I think before May 15th he was hitting .170. If he wouldn't have gotten a little cold the last couple of weeks he would have been hitting over .300. He was very good with men on base. He got better as the year went on against left-handed pitching. He has ironed out his mechanics. He was working every day, he's one of the four or five guys that came every day to do work and it's paid off for him. It's all because of Drew's diligence that he had that success.

You had Brett Dowdy early in the year. What impression did he leave on you before getting promoted?

Terry Kennedy: He can pull the ball. He can pull the ball and it was as good as everybody. He is sort of funny because he had skewed our whole first pitch approach...that first pitch. But, he was very successful with it. Some guys can be. He's got that funny stance that he uses, but it seems to work for him. He hit well for us. He did a good job. I know when he went up there he wasn't getting regular playing time. He suffered but then he finished really strong. He ended up hitting about .280. It's good for him. He's got some defensive skills. You're never too old with that kind of body. They guy's got the kind of body that's going to be forever young. He helped himself.

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