Ciofrone back, looking for more

PEORIA, AZ-- Born to hit, San Diego Padres prospect Peter Ciofrone was a commodity this offseason as a six-year free agent. The Friars didn't want to let him go, and Ciofrone obliged when he re-upped.

What led to the decision to re-sign with the Padres as a six-year free agent?

Peter Ciofrone: Well, a lot of [factors] went into it. Obviously, I've been here for a few years. Everyone knows me here; they know what I'm capable of. I had a lot of other teams talking to me. But ultimately, it came down to where I felt comfortable and the opportunity – obviously, there's a lot of opportunity over here with going ‘youth'. So I felt like for my career, that would be the best decision for me.

How do you as a hitter setup a pitcher to throw you the pitch you want to see?

Peter Ciofrone: I don't particularly do that to be honest. I've heard of guys doing that – they'll take a bad swing on a pitch. I heard Jim Edmonds was big on that. But when I'm up there, I'm looking to hit the fastball, so if I get it, I'm swinging at it. I put the ball in play a lot. I'm not very good at swinging and missing on purpose.

You received an invite to major league camp. In what ways has it and will it benefit you?

Peter Ciofrone: It's a great honor to be here. Obviously, to play with guys who have been here for a while and try to pick their brain a little bit – just to atch how they go about their business, their routines and whatnot. Just talking to guys and experiences they've been through – obviously guys have been here who have been playing for a while and then there are some younger guys who I've played with throughout the years up here. So it's just overall a comfortable experience. It's been a great experience and I'm really enjoying it.

You were a better hitter against lefties last year. What had you seeing the ball so well against those southpaws?

Peter Ciofrone: Well, I just keep that front shoulder in there. I look to go the other way. I don't know, I've always had success hitting off left-handed pitchers. I don't know the main cause of it; it's probably staying in there and seeing the ball a little bit longer because you have to against the lefties. Hopefully I can just keep doing what I'm doing against lefties.

How have you matured since entering professional baseball?

Peter Ciofrone: Well, obviously I've been playing for a while, and I came out of high school. So you have to mature. You're around older guys, you're away from your family pretty much all year round, so you have to adjust to your living situation and being away from your family. So you definitely have to grow up pretty quick and kind of make those decisions for yourself. It's been a long ride, but hopefully even longer – hopefully play a few years in the big leagues and see where that takes us.

And as a player, how have you matured? How has your game developed?

Peter Ciofrone: I think over the years, I've kind of improved on each part of my game every single year. You can look at my career stats – my power numbers have gone up every year. My on-base is pretty much the same every year. I'm trying to improve on defense every single day. That's probably my main focus right now because that's where they want me to focus. They know I can hit.

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