Padres Prospect Interview: Ty Wright

Outfielder Ty Wright is an imposing specimen. He looks more like a tailback than a baseball player. Given his above average speed and power potential, the San Diego Padres are excited about the potential of this 21-year-old.

You get picked in the 25th-round by the Padres. Talk to me a little bit about that and how that felt.

Ty Wright: It's a great feeling, I've been waiting to play all of my life it what I've wanted to do. I was waiting on a call and I finally got it.

How nice it it to go with a guy like Griffin Benedict? You get selected by the same organization, Having someone you know there with you has to be pretty neat.

Ty Wright: I actually texted him earlier in the day congratulating him for getting picked in the 16th-round and I started thinking ‘Man, I'd love to go play with somebody who I've played with before.' Five hours later, I got drafted by the same team. We talked and he was really happy that we would be playing together.

So what kind of player are you? We know that you've hit some home runs and stole a whole bunch of bags this year. Where do you fit in as an all around player?

Ty Wright: I have power and good speed for a big guy. I just like to play the game hard. I'm usually in the outfield, but I've also played first.

So are people surprised at your speed? Obviously, you're a pretty big guy at 220-230lbs?

Ty Wright: Yes, a lot of people are surprised and I get a lot of questions about whether or not I played football because of my size and speed. They are surprised when the ball is in the hole and they look up and I'm down the line.

You once mentioned that Tony Gwynn was one of your all time favorite players. What was it about Tony's game and style that you admired so much?

Ty Wright: He's a great hitter, and I remember watching him play his last few years. I remember one year he was trying to hit .400. He was just so consistent for so long at the plate. He was always going to hit .300 or .330 plus. What I really liked about him was the way he controlled the bat and then got to outfield and stayed consistent.

You mentioned control of the bat. You come into a system that teaches a patient but aggressive approach to hitting. Where do you fit into that?

Ty Wright: I think I know the strike zone pretty well and I do watch a lot of pitches, but I also swing a lot. I have walked more than I struck out in the last three years. I hate striking out. It's the worst thing for a hitter [to me] is striking out. I'm going to try to put the ball in play.

What is something that someone seeing you for the first time might not necessarily know, but they should?

Ty Wright: That I do have pretty good speed. I love to play. I play really hard. I've got a good knowledge of the plate and the strike zone and you probably won't see me strike out a lot or swing out of the zone.

How much have you matured as a baseball player since coming out of high school and going to college?

Ty Wright: I matured a lot. I really didn't notice it until I was looking at some films of myself. My knowledge of the plate, strike zone and awareness have gotten a lot better. My consistency has also improved. That's what I worked on my first few years and even though my hits were average this year, I hit a lot of balls hard. It's just I hit them right to people because I had a lot of shifts on me.

You mentioned that you played some infield before and now you're in the outfield. How much room for growth is there on the defensive side of the game?

Ty Wright: There's always room for improvement. When I first started out last year I was a DH, but when tournament time came, I played right. This year I started out in left , but the last 15 games, I started in center. I was always a first basemen. I also played outfield because of my speed.

Is there someone in the majors today that you emulate, or want to be like?

Ty Wright: As a hitter, not as a person, I really like Manny Ramirez's approach. You know that he's going to bring it everyday at the plate and former player Barry Bonds. You also knew what he was going to do everyday at the plate.

Are you a guy who has a lot of movement in the batter's box?

Ty Wright: No not really. I did at the beginning of my college career. But towards the end I noticed that I had too much movement. I thought it was more of a turning mechanism, but I found that it was slowing me down.

So what do you think about the transition to the wood bats? How will that be?

Ty Wright: It will be a transition, but it shouldn't be too much of a change. I played summer ball this summer and I was hitting with wood, and I think I did pretty good up there.

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