Padres Prospect Interview: Everett Williams

San Diego Padres prospect Everett Williams is looking forward to putting the new team philosophy into play. While he has battled health issues early in the year, Williams believes the philosophy plays into his strengths.

There is a little bit of a different philosophy this year with the Padres preaching aggressiveness and a Petco Park mentality. How does that play into your game?

Everett Williams: I am not really that much of a home run hitter. Petco Park is a big field and I am a gap-to-gap hitter so that is actually a plus for me.

How does some of the situational hitting drills that you work on in batting practice help you and what do you take into games?

Everett Williams: It is always good to know the situations – how to move the runners over, what kind of pitch you are looking for in different counts. It really helps doing all these drills.

You have had a little bit of a bat wrap in your swing. Have you worked on eliminating that and how tough is that to do?

Everett Williams: That was a thing of staying short versus being long. It is something that happens every now and then. I have corrected that to stay short to the ball.

Do you look at video of yourself and is that where you can see where the corrections need to happen?

Everett Williams: I actually do. It helps a lot. You can see the mechanics of whether you are staying short, not getting the front foot down. It all helps.

You mentioned being gap-to-gap. How important is it to keep the ball out of the air?

Everett Williams: Nobody wants to hit the ball in the air. If it happens, it happens. When I first got to Arizona, I hadn't played all summer and was trying to fit in with everybody. I think I was being too aggressive. If I can stay up the middle, it will end up working to my advantage.

How do you slow the game down as you continue to move up the levels?

Everett Williams: As long as you keep your swing short and realize you don't have to swing hard and fast – just take it easy with everything smooth, it will all fall into play.

There is a perception out there, and you can tell me if it is fair or not, that sometimes you don't work as hard as everyone else.

Everett Williams: I don't know if that is true. That is their opinion. I know what I do. I feel that I put in my work and the job is going to get done at the end of the day.

Former hitting coach Eric Peyton said you had the quickest hands on the team and he had only see you in a few games in Eugene. When someone says that, what does it mean to you?

Everett Williams: Just getting my hands through the zone, I turn on balls real quick. I think it is a plus and am honored he said that about me.

One of the things you said helped you defensively was taking your eye off the ball to run the routes. It seems unconventional.

Everett Williams: Right off your jump, take the first three steps with your eye off the ball, then it is a simple matter of finding it and catching it. It makes it easier to cover a lot of ground.

What are your goals for the 2010 season?

Everett Williams: My goals are to lead in on-base percentage, steals if I am bat leadoff – those are the two things I want to focus on.

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 hitter hitting behind you in the lineup all season to offer protection, who would it be and why?

Everett Williams: Edinson Rincon. He is such a good hitter.

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