Padres Prospect Interview: Jackson Quezada

San Diego Padres prospect Jackson Quezada was added to the 40-man roster this offseason. He feels like he is mechanically sound and that will help his slider even more in the coming year.

You were added to the 40-man roster – what was that feeling like for you?

Jackson Quezada: It felt great. That's a big jump for me. I was playing A ball and now I'm on the 40-man roster. I just worked hard last year and tried to do my job.

You know, we just have to work hard. You have to know what goal you want. If you want to play in the big leagues, you have to work hard every single day – not just work hard one day and then not [work hard] the next. You have to work hard to make the team.

How have you matured as a baseball player since entering professional baseball? How has your game developed?

Jackson Quezada: It's improved a lot. Last year, I was working a lot with my pitching coaches and my [other] coaches and they helped me a lot. And in the Dominican, too, they helped me a lot. We worked really hard. Now I come here and do my job.

Right-handers hit .117 off you last year. How were you able to have so much success against them?

Jackson Quezada: I just have to locate my pitches. My fastball wasn't really good last year. I had to locate my fastball and work hard with my slider. I really improved my slider. I just try to locate my pitches.

How can you have the same success against left-handers?

Jackson Quezada: I'm working on it!

You gave up four extra base hits all last season. What was the key to keeping the ball in the park?

Jackson Quezada: I used my fastball inside, and down and away. I work down. If you work down, they're going to hit a lot of ground balls.

In 2007, you had a tough time staying on line to the plate and your head was moving as you threw. How were you able to keep your mechanics cleaner this past season?

Jackson Quezada: Last year, in the Dominican, I was working hard with my pitching coach. They worked a lot with me. Then, I came here and they helped me a lot, too.

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