Padres Prospect Interview: Yefri Carvajal

San Diego Padres prospect Yefri Carvajal hasn't had an easy time. He was sent back to extended spring to work on his approach after struggling mightily to begin the year. The clock has to be ticking.

Do you feel like there's some pressure for you to perform this year?

Yefri Carvajal: No. I feel like it's my third year, and I feel great. I'm ready to go.

There were some high expectations when you first came into the system. Everybody talked a lot about the ball sounding diffetently off your bat. When you hear something like that, that you don't necessarily perform as well as you'd hoped to, how does it make you feel? What do you need to do to reach that level?

Yefri Carvajal: I made a lot of errors. That's why I went down. It is a new year. I'm ready to go. I want to do everything good. I don't want to have any problems. I don't want to go down again. I was keeping my head down. Now, head up every time.

It used to be when you went to the instructional league, you learned patience. When the season comes, the patience is not there anymore. Is that true?

Yefri Carvajal: No, that's not true. If I do the same thing I do in instructional league in the season, that would be great. I'd be better.

How do you carry it over? How do you make it happen?

Yefri Carvajal: Last year, I had too much information about hitting. I was going a little bit crazy. This year, when I come to spring training, Randy (Smith) talked to me and said, "don't worry about it." Nobody is telling me to do this, do this. I feel good about that.

Is plate discipline and pitch selection how you're going to really improve?

Yefri Carvajal: I played at spring training, and I see a lot of good things. Before I would swing at a lot of breaking balls, and I'm better now.

You get into the big league game and you hit a double, two RBIs. What did that do for your confidence?

Yefri Carvajal: I said, ‘Here, I know how to play!' You throw to me, I hit. Before you throw to me, fastball away, fastball, fastball, after that, double. I feel good. I feel confidant.

You mentioned the breaking balls. How hard is it to stay off them?

Yefri Carvajal: When it comes, it looks like it is very good to hit. When you approach, the ball is down.

Last year in August, you fought back. You had a good August. What changed?

Yefri Carvajal: I don't know. I told you I had too much information. When they started to leave me alone, I'll be better.

How did it affect you mentally?

Yefri Carvajal: Last year, I felt like I knew nothing. I did too bad. The only thing was that I made a lot of errors. My hitting was okay. I was down. I thought my career was done, and that's no good. Now, I know I have to keep my head up every year, every day. Working hard.

When you talk to a guy like Simon Castro, who has had success. He was all over the place. He worked hard and it shows. Do you talk to a guy like that?

Yefri Carvajal: Yeah. I talk a lot with Simon. I see, too, he works a lot, and I want to do the same. I want play like that.

What are your goals now that you are back in Lake Elsinore ?

Yefri Carvajal: This season, I don't care if I don't hit as many home runs. I don't care if I have a lot of RBI. My goal for this year is hitting like .290 or .310. What happens, happens.

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?

Yefri Carvajal: Daniel Robertson. He's a good hitter. He's very good.

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

Yefri Carvajal: Anthony Bass. He's a very good pitcher. I saw him two years ago, and he's just very good.

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