Padres Prospect Interview: Simon Castro

San Diego Padres prospect, and MadFriars.com number one prospect, Simon Castro has never rested on his innate ability. He works at it – this off-season provided a new routine for the 2010 season, one that has started off impressively.

Simon, what did you do this off season to prepare for 2010?

Simon Castro: I've been running a lot on the beach.

On the beach? That's hard on the calves.

Simon Castro: Yes. It makes my legs get stronger. I think most of the time was spent to mentally prepared, to get my mind ready for this year.

You went to Big League camp. Talk about that experience.

Simon Castro: That was a very nice experience for me. It started out this year with something that I think is going to help me out a lot this season. It's the Big Leagues, you know? It's everything there. I learned a lot.

You got to pitch in a couple games too. Where there any nerves going for you? You pitch pretty well.

Simon Castro: I was a little nervous, a little bit. I figure it out, though. Calm myself down, make my pitches, my strikes. Do what I can do, my best.

Could you see yourself two years ago doing the same thing?

Simon Castro: No. It's a huge difference. Right now, it's something like only God could make.

Did someone take you under their wing, help you out, give you advice in the Big League camp?

Simon Castro: I talk to Chris Young and Heath Bell. I talked to him for a little bit. They told me that there's no difference. Anywhere you play, the game is still the same. You've just got to throw strikes, down, and you will be good. I took that with me, I go out there, and that helped me out.

One thing we always want to work on more is the changeup? How do you feel that's coming along this year?

Simon Castro: It's coming good, very good. I think this year, that pitch is going to be a very good pitch for me. I didn't have it years ago, so now, I think it's going to be better this year than before.

You mentioned learning a lot over there. What did you learn?

Simon Castro: I learned that there is no difference. That's the thing I'm going to take with me. There's no difference with anything in the states versus the game I played growing up in the Dominican. It's the same game. You've got to make the pitches everywhere you are, do the right things, good fundamentals every time, work with your team. There's no difference between anywhere. Just throw the pitches the way you've got to throw it, and you're going to be good.

How hard is not to try to do too much? ‘These are big league guys, I need to throw harder, faster.'

Simon Castro: That's another thing, too, that I'm learning with them. When I see them, how they do it. They are just calm, they're relaxed. They take their time. They throw their pitches nice and easy, how they are supposed to throw it. Then, they get the outs in the inning all the time.

What is a good 2010 season for you? What are your goals?

Simon Castro: My goals for me this year is to try to leave the game with my team ahead.

We all know you have a lot of great teammates and this does not take away from anyone you don't mention. If you could have one pitch from anyone of your teammates to put into your own arsenal, what would it be, from who, and why?

Simon Castro: I think I would pick Chris Young. He's the kind of guy where you can see how nice he gets everything. When he's out there, you can see he's focused on the game. That's why I think he gets good follow-through every time. I think I'd pick him for that.

Who is the one hitter that you are glad you have as a teammate and why?

Simon Castro: Let me think about it. I can be anywhere? Minor league? Big Leagues? I think the best hitter here is Adrian Gonzalez. I think we could pick him. He's the best hitter in this game. He's the one.

Alright. minor leagues, because that's too easy.

Simon Castro: We have a lot of good hitters here. I think I would pick probably Sawyer Carroll. I think he's pretty good. I've got a couple guys, though.

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