Padres Prospect Interview: Edinson Rincon

Eugene, OR: Edinson Rincon, at 18, is among the best hitters in the Northwest League – a circuit that boasts mostly college kids with four or five years on him. And, he is just touching the surface of his ability.

Talk a little about baseball as a kid in the Dominican Republic.

Edinson Rincon: Baseball in the Dominican is a little different than it is here. Things are a little quicker over here.

I remember the first time I ever went to the field. My dad said to me, ‘You want to play baseball?'

I said, ‘Yes, I want to be like Sammy Sosa, Tino Martinez – the fans, the people cheering for you.'

My dad replied, ‘If you want to play baseball, go ahead. It will be a lot of hard work. It is important that you are a good student first.

' We would play baseball for as many as five hours a day.

You have always had good pitch selection. Was that something that was taught to you when you were young?

Edinson Rincon: When I was a kid, my manager told me you need to have good selection with the pitch. It is good for you because sometimes the Latin guys are free swingers. He said, ‘You have to have good selection on the pitch to hit the one you want.'

Your power numbers have gone up this season. Were you worried about that last season?

Edinson Rincon: A little bit. My mentality has changed. Now, I don't worry about it. Whatever happens, happens. I can't change what happened last year. I just need to work hard and the rewards will come.

Do you feel like there is added pressure to perform with runners in scoring position?

Edinson Rincon: No, no, no – never. I want to bring a run home but the pitcher has to make a pitch – so, no pressure.

This is your second year in the United States. Does it become easier?

Edinson Rincon: Most definitely. It is easier. Everything is easier.

You are playing in a league where guys are anywhere from 22 to 24 and you are still 18. That is pretty impressive. Do you think about that?

Edinson Rincon: I don't think about it at all. I only think about playing great baseball.

You mentioned the mental side. How does working with manager Greg Riddoch help you in that area?

Edinson Rincon: Riddoch knows everything about the mental side. He tells me, ‘It doesn't matter what happens in the game. Just work hard.' He helps in everything.

How important is learning English to your maturation within the game?

Edinson Rincon: Very important because it helps with your friends, it helps making a play with a fellow teammate.

Talk about your defense. It is the one area of your game that needs some help.

Edinson Rincon: I agree. I need to work on my defense. I am working on it every single day. Specifically – everything. I need to work on my feet, balance, the backhanded play. Everything. I want to be better every single time.

You wear one batting glove when you hit. Why?

Edinson Rincon: I want to feel the bat when I hit. When I use two batting gloves, I don't feel comfortable. I want to feel the bat.

It seems like the coaches want you to follow through with your swing. What kind of changes have you made to your swing?

Edinson Rincon: I only changed my hands. My hands have been a little bit up and I want to keep them down a little to help me see the ball better and give me more time to hit.

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