Since that time he has moved onto two now defunct Padre minor league teams the Mobile BayBears and Portland Beavers before landing with Tucson in their inaugural season last year.
As he has done every year, Tim was generous enough to take some time out of his day to talk about this season’s Tucson Padres.
I know you have been asked this multiple times but Jedd Gyorko is the most talked about prospect for Padres’ fans.
Lets discuss his defense first. What position is he better at, second or third? Also how would you describe his range?
Tim Hagerty: Gyorko is very smooth at third base and has a strong arm. One scout’s thought was he is “above average” at second base and the Padres were impressed at how hard he worked during the transition to second base this season.
|Tim Hagerty think Gyorko is "smooth" at third and above average at second.|
I’m sure a lot of Padres fans are curious to how the second base/third base positions will look in San Diego in 2013. Especially with how well Chase Headley and Logan Forsythe have hit late this season. And don’t forget about James Darnell, he was hitting well when he left the Tucson Padres in May.
Gyorko put up some pretty good power numbers for a player that doesn’t describe himself as a power hitter. How would you describe him at the plate?
Tim Hagerty: He has remarkable hand-eye-coordination. Tucson hitting coach Bob Skube made an interesting point – observing that Gyorko was the best player in clubhouse ping-pong matches and saying it was the same skill that makes him such a talented hitter.
In two seasons 1B Matt Clark has hit 45 home runs for the T-Padres but didn’t get a September call-up with the big club. What part of his game do you think he needs to improve upon to get to the next level?
Tim Hagerty: First base is a tough position to get an immediate Major League chance. If you think about it, most clubs around the Major Leagues have an established first baseman. Clark is only 25 and he will play in the Major Leagues at some point for someone. Look at Bryan LaHair - he spent parts of six seasons in the PCL and was a Major League All-Star this season.
Andy Parrino played well last year for Tucson and was very good this season. He hit over .400 with runners in scoring position. What made him so effective at the plate this year compared to last? Also what is his best position defensively?
Tim Hagerty: I wouldn’t be surprised to see Parrino be a utility infielder in the Major Leagues a long time. He plays third base, shortstop, second base and outfield, showing a great arm at all spots. He runs well, takes the game seriously and does the most important thing well – he can hit.
Everyone has always been a big fan of Dan Robertson. How would you describe his game?
Tim Hagerty: He was a fan favorite in Tucson and it’s understandable why. Robertson was always diving in the field and searching to take the extra base on the basepaths. He hits line drives and led the Pacific Coast League in outfield assists this year.
Blake Tekotte who was very good in San Antonio in 2011 struggled in Tucson in 2012. Why do you think he had a tough time?
Tim Hagerty: Blake finished very strong this year, hitting two long home runs on the final road trip. There was an interesting article in the Arizona Daily Star late this summer, with Tekotte openly discussing the differences in his goals for his swing and the Padres plans for his swing. It showed fans something that isn’t mentioned a lot – how challenging it can be when a player is told to make a mechanical adjustment and they aren’t immediately comfortable doing it.
You made a comment during your interview with Craig Elsten on XX Sports San Diego 1090 that the philosophy of the pitching coach was that Tucson is a tough place to pitch but these are some of the obstacles that a player needs to overcome to make it to the major leagues.
Can you tell us why Tucson is such a tough place to pitch?
Tim Hagerty: I think fans in San Diego have an inaccurate perception of Tucson’s ballpark. It is painted as a launching pad, yet Tucson pitchers gave up the fewest number of home runs in the PCL this season. It is a hitters’ park, but not as drastic as some make it out to be. In years past, the infield wasn’t maintained perfectly and ground balls would consistently bounce past infielders. This year the T-Pads added former San Diego Padres assistant groundskeeper Andy Beggs to the staff and he was devoted to making the infield more pitcher-friendly and it worked.
Which pitcher that made at least five starts for the T-Padres impressed you the most this season and why?
Tim Hagerty: Jorge Reyes was dependable all season. He never missed a start and pitched five innings or more in 23 consecutive appearances. The Padres moved Reyes to the bullpen late in the season to slow down his innings pace and he pitched very well as a reliever too. I think Padres fans could see him at PETCO soon.
Who was the top prospect that you saw this year in Tucson?
Tim Hagerty: It has to be Gyorko, with Yasmani Grandal a very close second.