Padres Prospect Interview: Brad Brach

AZL Padres manager Jose Flores called San Diego prospect Brad Brach a bulldog. Now a closer in Fort Wayne, Brach is using that and his ability to pitch inside to notch saves on a regular basis.

You had a lot of success against left-handed hitters last year. What enabled you to be so successful against them?

Brad Brach: Just being able to spot the ball on both sides of the plate, and coming inside on them. I'm able to get the ball to my glove side pretty well – that was a big key.

How can you have the same type of success against right-handed hitters?

Brad Brach: Same thing. I think you've got to just pitch to both sides of the plate, come inside when you have to, and just know when to put the ball where you need to put it, when you need to put it.

Jose Flores mentioned you having a ‘bulldog mentality'. What does that mean?

Brad Brach: I don't know. I mean, I just go out there and every hitter's kind of the same to me. I don't look at anybody that's above me [any differently]. I just go at every guy just like I would at anybody else.

One of the things that we noticed is you work extremely fast on the mound. How does that help your game?

Brad Brach: Well, for me, it just helps me not think about anything else. I stay locked in on the hitter and just get the ball and go. So it just helps me stay locked in when I need to be locked in. It doesn't matter [who the hitter is]; I just go right at him.

Does that mean that you don't have a specific strategy for specific hitters?

Brad Brach: No, I have a strategy. I try not to put a face on the hitter. I just try to pitch to my strengths, not to their weaknesses. That's what works for me.

You mentioned improving your breaking ball was a key to improving your overall game. How does the breaking ball fit in to your game?

Brad Brach: Just being able to give them something else. Because if you throw a fastball and a changeup, they both look like a fastball and changeup. But if you have a good breaking ball, you can keep them off stride and just keep them honest.

And how has that pitch improved over the last year?

Brad Brach: It's getting there. I'm still working on it, but it's gotten better since last season.

You came into the organization with five pitches. Have you dropped any to focus on the remaining pitches?

Brad Brach: Not really. I'm just trying to refine all of those and make sure that each one gets better as time goes along. So I haven't really dropped any. I'm just trying to work on each one.

You have had times where you throw against your body. How does that impact the natural movement on your pitches and have you found more consistency with your delivery?

Brad Brach: Yes, I have found more consistency. When you work against your body, a lot of times it will give you more soreness and it just seems like fighting against yourself as you get tired as the game goes along. I worked on that last summer – to get on a straight line towards home plate. So it's improving.

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