Padres prospect Watt fresh for 2009

PEORIA, AZ-- San Diego Padres prospect Michael Watt is eager to show his repertoire. Acquired in the offseason, the 2009 campaign will be his showcase for his new team.

During Instructs, you felt like your curveball wasn't as crisp. How does it feel today and what do you feel makes it effective?

Michael Watt: It feels good. I think the difference is that my arm is fresh right now so the arm speed is up on everything. The velocity on the fastball is a little better, but the curveball is going to have a sharper break.

What kind of velocity do you have and are you throwing two- or four-seam fastballs?

Michael Watt: I haven't been on the gun yet. I'd probably be about 88 or 90 I would say. I go with a lot of two-seamers away and four-seamers in. I'm pretty heavy on two-seams; that's usually my main fastball.

Talk about how you go about pitch selection during an at-bat and how you can setup a hitter for your off-speed pitches.

Michael Watt: You just want him looking for the hard stuff. The key would be I guess something hard and in; when he's looking for that, you just open up the outer half of the plate and you can really go after him with that change-up or maybe that curveball.

Have you noticed any differences in how the Dodgers run spring training compared to the Padres?

Michael Watt: Yes, I have. The Padres are a lot more heavy on the change-up, which is a great thing because that's a pitch that I just started developing last year, and it's becoming my big go-to pitch now I'm realizing as I get older. So I'm excited about that. I'm going to be throwing it a lot more, so I should be more consistent with strikes.

Is there any pressure to perform since you in a new organization?

Michael Watt: Maybe a little bit just because they haven't seen me much. But I really just to pressure on myself. I mean, if I was with the Dodgers, there would still be pressure. There's pressure every year. This is my third year, so I think it's a little bit of a bigger year, and I worked out real hard this offseason. I'm happy with what I did, so I'm actually more excited than anything for this year.

Can this be viewed as a fresh start for you?

Michael Watt: A little bit, yeah. I'd like to make an impression, I guess; other than the people that have already seen me, I really haven't [made an impression]. So I'd like to show them what I've got. I would like to make a good impression.

The coaching staff hasn't had many chances to view you – does that make it more difficult for them to assess what needs help and what doesn't?

Michael Watt: They've done a great job. Just yesterday, Clucky was giving me some really good advice in my bullpen [session]. He just said one thing which was, ‘Don't jump forward,' and right away I started throwing the ball better. So they've got some great coaches here who really know what they see. So they can make up their minds really quickly. They're great coaches; they know what they're talking about.

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