After a three-year career at Dallas Baptist during which he improved his numbers each season, Jameson Hannah heard his name called on the first night of the 2018 MLB Draft. With the 50th pick of the draft, the Oakland A’s selected the speedy centerfielder, and they signed him to a $1.8 million bonus not long after the draft.
Hannah hit a robust .340/.421/.510 in 172 games for DBU. He flashed speed, power and a strong approach at the plate in college. After signing, Hannah was assigned to short-season Vermont, where he got off to a strong start. In 23 games, he was hitting .279/.347/.384 with six stolen bases and six extra-base hits before he was sidelined with an undisclosed injury.
Donald Moore spoke with Hannah before the injury about his progress in his first season of pro ball.
Donald Moore: Hi Jameson, how is everything going for you so far this season?
Jameson Hannah: It’s going good. It’s a nice transition from college ball to pro ball, but getting used to it, adjusting my game a little bit and having fun.
DM: What are your goals for this year?
JH: I mean, obviously some team goals and try to make the playoffs and win the championship. Just grind day-by-day and just develop as a player.
DM: What do you feel is your greatest strength is as a ball player?
JH: I think my legs. I try to get down to the line as fast as I can, and try to produce runs the best that I can do, steal some bases, put bunts down and do whatever. Especially in the outfield and track down balls and used my speed as an advantage.
DM: What would you like to improve on?
JH: I’d probably say cut down on strike outs a little bit. Put the ball into play more, use my legs and that will help with moving the ball a lot better.
DM: How are you acclimating to professional baseball?
JH: It’s definitely a change, pitchers are better and the pace of the game is much faster, but I feel I’m playing pretty well now and I’m just happy to be here.
DM: What do you feel is the best thing about being a professional athlete?
JH: Just the atmosphere, you have those college games where not that many people show up, but this place is always packed and a bunch of kids and fans asking for your autograph, so that’s really neat and I like it.
DM: What do you find is the most difficult thing?
JH: Just the everyday grind, but you just have to get used to playing everyday and it’s your job now, so just try do the best you can.
DM: Any pre game routines?
JH: I like to be even keeled, you know? I wouldn’t say I have a specific routine, but just get here and focus of the task at hand and try to improve each and everyday.
DM: Any hobbies?
JH: There’s not much time to have hobbies around here, but when I get some alone time, I like to fish. I like to sit by the pool with some friends.
DM: Where are you originally from?
JH: I’m originally from Dallas, Texas. I went to Dallas Baptist University, about 25 minutes from my house, so it was nice going to school so close to where I lived.
DM: Favorite baseball team growing up?
JH: I’d say the Texas Rangers. But obviously now, it’s the Oakland A’s.
DM: If there is one person who taught you the most about baseball, who would that be?
JH: Oh man, my dad probably. He really didn’t play growing up, but he was the kind of guy who grabbed as much knowledge that he could get, because he knew I liked it and go to those seminars with coaches there and retain as much information to try to help me out with it.
DM:Craziest thing you have ever seen in a baseball diamond?
JH: It’s a tough question. There’s always a bunch of stuff going on, but I can’t really think of anything off the top of my head because there are so many in my mind.
DM: Any off season plans?
JH: Hopefully get that invite to Instructs and stick with the game, but if not, kind of relax from the season and spend time with my friends and family.
DM: I really appreciate your time and the best of luck to you and your career.
JH: Thank you and it was nice meeting you.
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