Padres Prospect Interview: Adys Portillo

Signed as a 16-year-old, San Diego Padres prospect Adys Portillo has been given lofty expectations. The right-hander is in extended and there is talk of him beginning the year in Eugene. His maturity and demeanor say he may just be ready for such a jump. We spoke with Portillo through a translator.

You pitched in the finals for the Little League World Series and your team won. What do you remember about that and did that baseball atmosphere help you through your teenage years?

Adys Portillo: It was a great experience. Even though it wasn't the Major League World Series, that week still felt like it was. The whole environment and energy surrounding the event – it put an extra emphasis on wanting to become a major league pitcher as I was growing up.

One of the pitches you wanted to work on was the changeup. How do you feel that pitch has come along and what is the key to improving it?

Adys Portillo: My changeup has gotten a lot better since last time we spoke. I am still working on perfecting it and adding it to my three-pitch repertoire so I can be a great all-around pitcher.

Some of the players here were impressed by your quiet confidence when you came to instructs at 16. How are you able to keep your focus and maturity at such a young age?

Adys Portillo: I want to thank God because it is a blessing that I am mature beyond my years. I also want to thank my family because of all of the advice they have given me away from the game has been instrumental to applying it on the field.

You came to instructs this offseason. What were you able to learn that you can take with you into this season?

Adys Portillo: I learned a lot. First, I learned a lot about the American culture. Despite being here only a short time, I learned the differences. I also learned a lot about maintaining my delivery, maintaining my arm angle, the changeup. I took all of the things I learned and took it back to Venezuela in the offseason. I am eager to put them to the test.

What kind of comfort is it to work your way up with a lot of other Latin American pitchers and prospects?

Adys Portillo: It is definitely comforting to have all the Latin prospects around. They are giving me a little extra push and support. At the same time, it is equally important to make friendships with the American players because I need to learn the language and the culture. The only way I can do that is through them.

What are your expectations for this season?

Adys Portillo: Work hard. My goal is to set short-term goals and continue reaching those goals. I will let those goals take me as far as I can this year with the ultimate goal of getting to the big leagues. I am not pressing on any particular thing. I will let those goals take me as far as it can. The circumstances will take me as far as I can get.

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