clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Purple Row interviews 5th round pick Kevin Padlo

I sit down with the Colorado Rockies 5th round pick in the 2014 MLB draft, and current Grand Junction Rockies third baseman, Kevin Padlo.

Caitlin Rice

How does it feel to be in Grand Junction and how does it feel to be a member of the Rockies?

It's cool. I mean, it's cool because we don't have to go to either Arizona or Florida, instead straight here. We don't have to do the AZL or the JCL. I think this is the only team that has that, so it's cool to be in some nice weather and it's good fans. You don't get any fans in the AZL and JCL.

And the fans here show up and know the game pretty well.

Exactly. Juco and all, so yeah exactly.

I'd like to talk a litte about your hitting approach. So, are you a think-along-with-the-pitch kind of hitter or more of a read-and-react guy? Or a little of both?

(Laughs) I guess a little of both. Early in the count I mainly look fastball and don't even bother with off speeds .... y'know unless it's just hangin' there. But I'll usually take if it's an off speed first pitch and look for a fastball until there's two strikes.

Defensively, is third base where you are most comfortable?

I've had been a shortstop my whole life. My junior year, we had a kid named Tyler Wade who was our shortstop who got drafted last year, and so I played third that year. That was my first year at third and that's really where I got noticed because I was a third baseman all through summer, in "Area Codes" and all that, and then I moved back to shortstop my senior year just because that's what the team needed.

I still looked at myself as a third baseman, though. Once I made that transition my junior year I knew that was my spot going further. But I wanted to help the team.

So is that definitely where they want you?

That's what all the team's said before I was drafted. They see me as a third baseman.

Excellent. So what have you been working on since getting here (to GJ)

The biggest thing would be consistently driving the ball to right field. That's the thing I'm really trying to get better at. Being able to drive those pitches on the outer half because that's where pitchers are going to be as you progress.

Okay, I know I'm asking you for a scouting report on you but what would you say are your biggest strengths and weaknesses right now?

I feel like my two biggest strengths are probably power and arm strength.  My weaknesses are probably, like I said, driving the ball to right field and speed, although there's not much you can do about that, but I'm working being a smarter base runner.

Getting better jumps and going first-to-third and that kind of thing?

Yeah, exactly, just reading the pitchers better, learning how the pitcher is pitching so I can pick a good pitch to steal on.

Have you been picking your teammates brains and learning from them yet?

I think there will be more of that as we keep going. I think everbody is just figuring each other out right now. Not a lot of communication on the baseball side of things. More outside of baseball and life, and just getting to know each other.

So on that note, what has the whole process been like for you, from being drafted to showing up in a new place with new people and trying to be a part of a team?

It's fun. I mean, of course it's nerve racking at first, especially because I came in late, I wasn't here for the first series, so all these guys kinda looked at me like I'm the new guy like "who's this guy?" But it's been a fun transition and I'm getting to know everybody now and I'm really having a lot of fun.