Padres Prospect Interview: Jason Codiroli

Eugene, OR: As a leadoff hitter, few had the success that San Diego Padres prospect Jason Codiroli enjoyed. He was on base in nearly every game for the AZL Padres. The pressure to continue that in Eugene has slowed him some.

You hit extremely well in Arizona last year, but as a later round pick, do you feel like you have to continuously prove yourself?

Jason Codiroli: I think that batters, regardless of where they are in the draft, should feel a little bit of pressure to perform consistently because if you lose that then you might as well quit. For me, I know that there is pressure for me to perform but like the coaches were telling us earlier, at this point, the draft pick, the bonuses, they don't mean anything now. As far as I'm concerned, we're all on the same plane now, trying to work our way up.

What was it about last year in Arizona that allowed you to have so much success?

Jason Codiroli: I don't know. It was a lot of hard work. Just being patient for a pitch that I could handle. It just so happened that I had a good year. I'm trying to do that again this year.

You have been effective as a leadoff hitter or with the bases empty but struggled a little with men on base. Have you been putting pressure on yourself to drive in runs and possibly changing your approach?

Jason Codiroli: I always felt I was a good leadoff hitter, so maybe I felt at home when there was nobody on. I felt like it was my job to get on. But I need to take that same mentality when there's guys on and keep that same approach.

What are your goals as a leadoff hitter?

Jason Codiroli: I think you have to see a lot of pitches, get on base, steal some bags, put the ball on the ground, that's the type of player that I consider myself to be.

Are you happy with your numbers in the stolen base department?

Jason Codiroli: No, I am not happy. I have to admit that a lot of moves I hadn't seen before. But that's something that I worked on in the offseason; especially with the Latins. You've got to be a lot more patient with them because they have their good moves, so you just have to be a lot more patient with them. I want to try to lower that (caught stealing) number a lot this next coming season and hopefully I'll do it.

You have tradionally hit left-handers really well. What enabled you to hit southpaws so well as a left-handed hitter?

Jason Codiroli: During the off-season, my dad throws me BP everyday and he's a leftie so maybe that has something to do with it. But I want to turn that around and be more consistent on both sides.

You played both left field and center field. What are the challenges when you move back and forth between the two from game to game?

Jason Codiroli: My whole life I played center field and going to left was an entirely new position for me. I had never played there. I had to see a lot of balls come off the bat. They come off the bat a lot differently but I know that if I want to go up, I know that I have to be able to play all those positions, and I felt like I got pretty good at playing left field. I feel pretty comfortable there and wherever they stick me is fine with me.

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