Padres Prospect Interview: Brandon Gomes

One small change pushed San Diego Padres prospect Brandon Gomes' fastball from high-80s to mid-90s. As the refinement process continues, Gomes is eager to find better command.

You changed your arm slot this past season. What did that allow you to do that wasn't possible the previous year?

Brandon Gomes: I did it originally to get more movement and apparently it must be natural arm slot because I gained a few miles per hour too. Luckily I got the best of both worlds there.

Your velocity jumped, as you mentioned, how nice of a bonus was that and did location seem to come naturally as well?

Brandon Gomes: It feels good, and the more that I throw in that slot, the more command I get over my pitches, and I'm just going to try to keep progressing everyday.

Was it strange when you first started to change that arm slot?

Brandon Gomes: At first, it was very different. It felt like I was throwing almost submarine. It's really just a three-quarter or low three-quarter. At first, it felt really strange, and now, it's feeling much more natural.

You were the first player promoted to Fort Wayne from your draft class in your initial year. How big of an advantage was that for you heading into last season?

Brandon Gomes: It was a pretty good advantage. It was good to know the surroundings already. That obviously makes you much more comfortable. It also helped when I had the opportunity to go to lake Elsinore because I got to know all of the guys who were there as well. So you're just in much more of a comfort zone.

You started out in Eugene, then you went to Fort Wayne and finally ended up in lake Elsinore. Did you see any difference in competition in these three levels?

Brandon Gomes: The guys become more and more selective and you get really hurt when you fall behind in the count. So you really have to concentrate on pounding strike one, otherwise you'll put yourself in a bad situation.

You moved into a consistent bullpen role after seeing time as a starter and reliever in your first year and to begin this past season. Does knowing your role provide a comfort level?

Brandon Gomes: I really have grown to just love the bullpen. I like the opportunity of being able to throw everyday, and come in when the game's really on the line, seventh, eighth, ninth innings. That really gets the adrenaline going.

You were successful with runners on base last year, particularly inherited runners. Is there a different mindset for you when you come in with someone else's runners on base?

Brandon Gomes: Being a starter, it was always a nice feeling having someone come in behind you to shut the door. So I really just try to concentrate and just pound the strike zone and stick to the game plan when I get in there.

Is there a specific pitch you want to work on mastering this season?

Brandon Gomes: No, everything can always get better. I just want better fastball command to the outer half. That's my main goal this year.

What are your secondary pitches and how comfortable do you fell with those?

Brandon Gomes: Slider and splitfinger. They change slightly once I drop my arm throughout the slider. It's more of like a swerve in the high-60, low-70s. The splitter actually gained a little bit of velocity, so I have three distinct pitches now, which I think is an advantage.

How have you matured as a baseball player since coming out of Tulane?

Brandon Gomes: The pro-game and the college game is very different. You get into your routine, and it's a grind. You have to get out there everyday. You don't have those days off in between, but I love it though. It's great.

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