Padres Prospect Interview: Adys Portillo

San Diego Padres prospect Adys Portillo didn't have the debut season he hoped he would. A year later, Portillo is determined to make good on the big bonus handed to him by pitching well in short-season Eugene with an eye on advancing to Fort Wayne before the end of the year.

Talk to me about how you are feeling so far with your pitches.

Adys Portillo: I feel good. Today, I threw well. My fastball was up. Good changeup. The curveball, not good, a little bit up. I try, try, everyday. I work hard on my mechanics, and throw fastballs down, inside.

Were you disappointed with your year last year?

Adys Portillo: Yeah, a little bit. When I threw the game, I threw very bad, very bad. My fastball was up, my changeup wasn't good, the curve wasn't good. When I throw the fastball up, I feel bad in my mind. This year, I feel good. I feel very good. I worked in the Dominican on my changeup, my mechanics. Now, it's my second year, and I feel better. I feel better in the game and in practice.

Was your biggest challenge the mental portion?

Adys Portillo: Yeah. It was difficult, but now it's good for me.

You walked five during a game I saw in spring training. Is the big key limiting walks?

Adys Portillo: Yeah. It's purely eliminating walks. It's bad. Walk, walk, walk. Now, it is my time. I feel good.

You and your catchers caught only four of the 25 guys trying to steal second and third off of you. How do you become better in holding runners?

Adys Portillo: I work every day on my mechanics out of the stretch. I need better rhythm, and to be faster. My mechanics in the stretch are a little slow, so every day I work on that.

Is it more important to worry about the hitter?

Adys Portillo: No, it's more important to worry about me and my catcher. I need to work on it, because the catcher can get the guy at second.

Is it better to focus on the hitter and forget the runner?

Adys Portillo: Both.

You mentioned the changeup. How is the progression of the changeup?

Adys Portillo: Very good. Now I can throw changeups. So, it's good, very good. My changeup is good.

What needs to happen to make the curveball better?

Adys Portillo: I think I need to make the arc a little more up, because of the low arm slot. I need to get it more up.

One of the things that Jimmy Jones said was you are willing to learn. What does that mean?

Adys Portillo: It's good. Jimmy Jones is a good person, good pitching coach. He was working with me the last year and this year. I feel good with his work. He's a good pitching coach.

Do you feel like you are stiff on the mound?

Adys Portillo: Sometimes. Today, yes. Today is a bad day for me, but I'll forget this day.

What are your 2010 goals?

Adys Portillo: Eugene. I want to play in Ft. Wayne. I worked hard every day because I want to play in Ft. Wayne.

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?

Adys Portillo: Kevin Correia has a great sinker.

What about Minor Leaguer?

Adys Portillo: Simon Castro, slider. It's a good slider. He throws it 82, 83, 84, maybe.

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

Adys Portillo: Jaff Decker. Because he's difficult. He looks at the pitch. He's a good hitter.

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