On our first day back at The Diamond this year, Tyler Zickel gave out copies of the 2015 Lake Elsinore Storm Roster for us to look at so we could choose the players we wanted to interview. Right away, Rebecca said she wanted to interview Kyle Lloyd because he graduated from the University of Evansville, her own Alma mater.
Kyle pitched for the Evansville Aces for 4 years, getting a little better each year he pitched. As a senior, he compiled a 7-4 record with a 2.74 ERA. In 94 innings, he struck out 99 hitters, which caught the attention of Padres scouts who selected him in the 29th round (868 pick overall) of the 2013 MLB Draft by the Padres. He has continued to improve as he has moved up through the system. Pitching with Fort Wayne Tincaps last season, he struck out 155 hitters while only walking 34 in 119 innings. We talked to Kyle about his career in baseball.
Kyle grew up in Northern California and was a “huge Giants fan, always watching them and that’s where I got my love for baseball.” He grew up loving Barry Bonds “before the steroids allegations” and he was always his favorite player growing up. When he settled into becoming a pitcher, he became a fan of Matt Cain loving “the way he goes about the game, he’s a real professional” on the mound.
During Spring Training he lived with a couple of other guys in an apartment about 2 miles from Peoria. When we asked about his favorite memory of Spring Training, he commented, “every day is the same” during Spring Training and the days all “tend to blend together.” Kyle spent the spring working on his fastball and his command on both sides of the plate as well as not trying to rely on one pitch. This season, Kyle will be making the transition from starter to reliever so he’ll be working on establishing the fastball and using his splitter to get outs.
Kyle is looking forward to playing with Elsinore but hasn’t seen much of Elsinore as of this piece. He lives in Wildamar with a host family but hasn’t been to downtown Lake Elsinore yet and wants to “check it out” but “it’s nice so far.”
Keep an eye on Kyle as he transitions to a bullpen roll. The Padres have always had a knack of finding arms in the system like Frank Garces and Nick Vincent who made the move from the starting rotation to the bullpen with success.