Padres Draft Interview: Jeff Ibarra

Jeff Ibarra has a tall, lanky frame that may simply need additional weight before his fastball, currently in the low-90s, pushed its way up the mid-90s.

Congratulations getting selected by the Padres. What were your thoughts after being selected in the 23rd-round?

Jeff Ibarra: It was a shocker to me when I heard my name on the computer.

You're a San Marcos Kid so it had to feel pretty good to be picked by the home team.

Jeff Ibarra: Yes, of course, and I was a Padres fan growing up.

Tell me a little bit about your pitches, and the speed you throw them out. Tell me about your repertoire.

Jeff Ibarra: My fastball tops out at 92. But it's usually around 88-90. I really don't know the velocity of my curveball or changeup. I throw those in off couut.

What do you think you need to do to improve your game and take it to the next level?

Jeff Ibarra: Gain a little more weight and muscle so I can potentially throw a little more harder and gain more velocity.

As a guy who is pretty tall, 6-foot5-6-foot-6 how difficult is it to keep all of your moving parts consistent in your delivery?

Jeff Ibarra: It's not really hard it comes naturally. Everything works well.

Are you a straight over the top pitcher?

Jeff Ibarra: No, I'm more of a three-quarters.

Is that an effort to make it harder on left-handers and how do you keep right-handers honest?

Jeff Ibarra: I throw with the top of my body too, so that makes it a lot harder. From throwing three-quarters, I think my fastball gets a lot more run on it too.

You get to follow in the footsteps of a guy Lance Zawadzki who kind of paved the way and went all the way up to Double-A after coming out in 2007. Do you get a chance to talk to him?

Jeff Ibarra: I talked to him briefly earlier. He got my number from our coach and he called me up. He just wanted to congratulate me and say ‘I look forward to playing with you soon.'

It's kind of nice to have someone whose in the system and around the league who came from a familiar place as you.

Jeff Ibarra: I actually played junior college with Nick Benjamin. I finished Palomar with him.

What do you look forward to the most about playing professional baseball?

Jeff Ibarra: Just the atmosphere. Being around all different kinds of people and playing everyday.

You mentioned gaining weight earlier and I know they listed you at 182 pounds. How do you do it in such a way that it doesn't affect your pitches?

Jeff Ibarra: I have two protein shakes a day. I try to eat as much as I can whenever I can. I constantly eat small meals. I'll be snacking on things all the time.

Has it worked so far?

Jeff Ibarra: Yeah, it has. I'm going to keep doing it too.

What do you think that you really need to bear down and improve on now?

Jeff Ibarra: Spotting up, gaining velocity, and speed with all my pitches too. Varying the speeds, and locations and spots, and just handling the counts.

Looking at guys in the major leagues today, Is there someone you kind of emulate and aspire to be like?

Jeff Ibarra: Randy Johnson. I've always liked Randy Johnson.

Do you feel like the arm angle you're throwing at and cross body motion is similar?

Jeff Ibarra: Everybody has always commented on the fact that I'm tall like him and I have the lanky body, tall and skinny.

He was a late bloomer. Does that make you a raw kind of guy? Do you still have a lot of room to grow?

Jeff Ibarra: No, not necessarily. I just look forward to the opportunity of playing and showing what I have to work with and potentially get better as time goes on.

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