Padres Draft Interview: Drew Madrigal

Drew Madrigal reminds of the draft-and-follow process the San Diego Padres have seen so much success with. He may have that kind of upside, and it may come down to the wire regarding his signing.

Congratulations on getting selected by the Padres in the 11th-round. How are you feeling?

Drew Madrigal: I'm excited about being close to home. I want to get out and play. I'm anxious to get going here.

You play for San Jacinto and I know that you have a potential transfer coming to Auburn. What was the experience like from high school to now?

Drew Madrigal: I just started pitching my senior year and for me to get where I am tonight in just two years, how I developed into a pitcher is something I'm proud of and I'm looking forward to developing even more. I can just work on pitching and not be one of those two-way guys. So I'm excited to see where I'm going and what I end up turning into.

How raw are you? How much is there still for you to learn?

Drew Madrigal: That's one thing I'm really excited about. I've never been 100-percent committed to pitching only. To be honest, we never even had a pitching coach out there. I've never worked on bullpens or anything. I just went out there and pitched games.

I think that what got me where I am today is mental toughness and I definitely think there's a lot of room to grow for a guy like me, and I can work on my mechanics and fine tune everything. I can put in work everyday, just as a pitcher and not have to worry about hitting and playing defense and right-field as well.

Does that mean your basketball career is over? Coach Alonso was telling me you can dunk pretty well.

Drew Madrigal: Basketball was just for fun. I am definitely looking forward to focusing on just baseball and see where it takes me.

Coach Alonso said that ‘You're a winner, nobody can beat you.' What does that mean to you?

Drew Madrigal: That means a lot to me. I definitely feel that there's other kids out there that have tools and pitches and velocity and other stuff that may be as good as or better than mine, but mentally, I feel like I'm just as good as everyone else.

It's going to be hard to find someone as tough as me mentally or with my competitiveness, I feel like I've got a good head on my shoulders and I feel like I'm only going to get better from here. For them to see that and to trust me, hopefully, it also puts San Jacinto in a good spot to grow as a college as far as kids wanting to go there.

Talk a little bit about your pitches, such as the speeds you throw and what's effective for you.

Drew Madrigal: My fastball's got a lot of run and sink to it. It usually sits anywhere from 89-92 and when I throw a four-seam it tops at 94. I throw a curveball as well and I throw a slider. I like to throw my slider a little harder.

The pitch I developed over the past couple of years is my changeup. I never threw one in high school. That's probably one of my most effective pitches. I have a fastball, curveball, changeup and slider. They seem to get the job done pretty well.

It's good that you learned the changeup. The Padres probably stress it more than any other team in the league. It's their favorite pitch to teach everybody and it's their favorite pitch to throw.

Drew Madrigal: A good changeup is important. You can really hit a good curveball coming out the hand. But a good changeup you can't. You can't react to it. In my opinion, it's tough to hit.

What specifically are you looking forward to going into the professional ranks?

Drew Madrigal: It's a career now and it's obviously going to be fun too. I'm going to go out and play with passion and keep doing what I did so far to get me to this point. But to be able to say that I'm a professional baseball player as my career is just exciting. I'm really anxious to get started and concentrate on pitching. I've always been an athletic guy. I came in and played right field and batted third everyday and pitching. But I never worked on the mechanics of pitching, but I still managed to get the job done. I'm excited to see what I'm going to develop into.

Are you going to miss hitting?

Drew Madrigal: I'm going to miss hitting.

So is there someone in the majors that you look up to and kind of emulate or aspire to be like?

Drew Madrigal: From a pitching standpoint I really look up to Josh Beckett. I love how he goes right after guys and he's a bulldog. He's either hated or he's loved. He's a competitor. He's got some of the most dominating stuff in baseball. The way he goes after guys and competes is where I see myself mentally. I like to go after guys and not mess around. If you beat it, I'll tip my hat and if not then let's keep playing. I'd have to say him, even though I hate the Red Sox.

Spoken like a Yankee fan.

Drew Madrigal: I was actually a Dodger's fan growing up. It's funny because I'm looking forward to maybe pitching against them one day.

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