Lana Akau is wrapping up his fifth minor league season, but he is younger than many of his teammates on the short-season Vermont Lake Monsters. The native of Hawaii joined the A’s as a 20th-round pick in the 2013 draft out of St. Louis HS. He was a member of the 2008 Little League World Championship team as a 12-year-old.
Known for his defensive abilities, Akau spent last season with the High-A Stockton Ports, appearing in 64 games in the California League. Akau returned to Stockton at the start of this season, but he was sent back to Extended Spring Training in mid-May after getting off to a slow start at the plate. When the New York-Penn League commenced on June 17, Akau was part of the Lake Monsters’ Opening Day roster.
Akau is still finding his way as a hitter. He is batting only .194 this season. However, he is throwing out 30% of would-be base-stealers in his 26 games with the Lake Monsters. Akau won’t turn 22 until October, so he is still young despite his experience in the minor leagues.
Donald Moore spoke with Akau about his 2017 season.
Donald Moore: Hi Lana, how is everything going for you so far this season?
Lana Akau: It’s going great and it’s going great here in Vermont. I like it here.
DM: What are your goals for this season?
LA: Finish off the year strong, finish off the year healthy, and go into the off season with a good mindset and stay fit.
DM: What do you feel is your greatest strength as a ball player?
LA: Overall leadership behind the dish. The catching aspect of it is kind of all together, so more towards the defensive side.
DM: What would you’d like to improve on?
LA: So overall defense and hitting and the whole points of the game and keep getting better each day, on either sides of offense and defense.
DM: What do you like best about being a professional athlete?
LA: Being fortunate to play this game that I love everyday. Not many people can say they play baseball for a living.
DM: Any pre-game routine?
LA: Not really, just kind of go through the same thing throughout my day and make sure my body is right for the game. No specific routine but really kind of take care of my body before the game starts.
DM: Any hobbies?
LA: I like to go to the beach and spend time with my family, surf here and there.
DM: Favorite baseball team growing up?
LA: I was a Yankees fan. Big Derek Jeter fan.
DM: Where are you originally from?
LA: Waipahu, Hawaii.
DM: If there is one person who taught you the most about baseball, who would that be?
LA: My dad, he was always there growing up. He was a baseball coach, basketball coach and football coach. Kind of being around all the sports acclimated to me to play baseball and he was always there helping me out.
DM: Craziest thing to have ever seen on a baseball diamond?
LA: Nothing that I know of. I haven’t seen anything too crazy on a baseball diamond.
DM: Any off-season plans?
LA: Relaxation, spend time with my family and on the beach.
DM: Thank you for your time and the best of luck to you and your career.
LA: Thank you.
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