Padres Prospect Interview: Dexter Carter

After dominating at Kannapolis, Dexter Carter has fallen on hard times since his trade into the San Diego Padres farm system. In Eugene, he is looking to recapture the magic.

You were out there working in the bullpen. What were you working on? It looks you are trying to get that right balance point so you can get that line on the ball.

Dexter Carter: Absolutely. We were working on going over my head and working in spring training on getting the perfect line. Then all of the sudden as the season started, I started creeping more and more to the other side of the rubber and balancing toward third base instead of balancing toward home plate. We think that if I go over my head, it will give my body enough time to stop and say, "I need to go directly to home plate" and that is the only place I can go. The pause is when you go over your head. He said a lot of guys do it because when they go over their head, when they actually have to set their foot down to stop, they have to gather themselves, and then go to the plate. You get in a rhythm and rocket back.

Can you feel it now? When do you get to the point where you know and can feel it?

Dexter Carter: I would say this year, I feel it. Last year, even when I was doing well, I couldn't really feel that it was happening. This year, I can tell, at the last second before I let the ball go, if it is going to be good. The coaches have told me that if you can feel it at the last second that it is not going to be good, try to throw it straight down the middle and then if it does run, you might still have a chance to get a strike out of it.

Now it is "pitch to pitch" progression as opposed to "game to game" and something that rolls out of control.

Dexter Carter: Yes. It think you should definitely look at it as a pitch to pitch as opposed to a game to game situation. You need to be able to make adjustments.

What is your confidence like now? You were taken out of the rotation to gain a little bit of confidence before being put back into the rotation and down in Eugene.

Dexter Carter: I was talking with (pitching coach) Tom Bradley the other day and he said, "You went to the pen to gain a little confidence and you build up that confidence by having one good inning and another good inning and keep thinking that way." I just have to go out there for one inning and give it all I have and whatever happens, happens. He said that after you keep doing that you learn to take it pitch by pitch, batter by batter, and inning by inning and it will get a little bit easier for you.

One thing, talking to people, they have said that your changeup has been your best pitch for you this year.

Dexter Carter: Yes. Weird. I think I started throwing it to righties and actually striking righties out with the changeup. I started thinking, "Hey, this is pretty good." I actually had not thrown it a lot, but it has become my go-to pitch when I am down in the count. It has been a pitch I have been getting guys out with this year.

We all know that we need a fastball.

Dexter Carter: Yes. The fastball is important because it sets up all your other pitches – especially when you can locate your fastball on both sides of the plate and up and down. I think when you can locate your fastball in four different spots, I think that is like having four different pitchers. Hitters have to be thinking, "He can go low and away for a strike; down and in for a strike; up and in for a strike; or over the plate for a strike". That is four different things you have to think about, plus the change-up, the curveball, two-seamer. That is a lot of different things that hitter has to think about, as opposed to just three pitches.

Where do we go from here. How do we get back to where you were last year when you having success in Kanopolis.

Dexter Carter: I think it is a matter of working hard everyday, just like today. I think I have to avoid getting stressed out if I am struggling a little bit and keep working hard every day.

Is that easier said than done?

Dexter Carter: It is definitely hard. I think that is the toughest part for anybody in baseball. Once you get in a little slump, it is hard to get out of it. But once you do, it can turn your season around. You may not have the best season of your life, but you can still put up good numbers.

You have a lot of great teammates. Who do you think is the most undervalued guy on this team? It could be several guys, who is undervalued for their leadership or something else they do that goes unnoticed in the box score?

Dexter Carter: Jonathan Galvez in Fort Wayne. Even though he struggled a little bit in the field defensively, he is learning how to take ground balls. Earlier in the year, some of the throws he would make and he shouldn't have thrown, now he is not throwing. The plays he was not making earlier, he is starting to make now. He is going to be my "click to pick" for the rest of the year. He is going to turn around really well.

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