Editor’s note: These interviews took place midseason, but personal circumstances prevented us from publishing them at the time of the interviews. We still wanted to share them even if they are a few months after the fact. Thank you!
After two seasons in which he averaged nearly 11 strikeouts per nine innings at UNC-Wilmington, right-hander Clark Cota landed with the Oakland A’s in the 10th round of the 2018 MLB Draft. Cota made two appearances in the Arizona Rookie League before joining the short-season Vermont Lake Monsters. He made 14 appearances with Vermont, posting a 6.11 ERA and a 14:17 K:BB.
Donald Moore spoke with Cota about his adjustment to professional baseball midway through the 2018 season.
Donald Moore: Hi Clark, how is everything going for you so far this season?
Clark Cota: Good, it’s been really fun just adjusting to pro ball, living out of hotels for the most part. It’s been a lot of fun getting to meet everybody.
DM: What are your goals for this year?
CC: Develop as much as I can, work on my command, how to adjust to the routines every day, things that are required for pro ball.
DM: What do you feel is your greatest strength as a ball player?
CC: How aggressive I am on the mound. I just go up there and attack hitters with all my pitches.
DM: What would you’d like to improve on?
DM: How are you acclimating to pro ball?
CC: Good so far. I’m not used to running everyday and probably my biggest adjustment for my conditioning, but I’m really working hard on that.
DM: What is the best thing about being a professional athlete?
CC: Being blessed to have the opportunity to get paid to play this game. I feel myself pretty lucky to be a pro baseball player.
DM: What is the hardest thing?
CC: Trying to find the right way to get the proper amount of rest and nutritional needs because of the kind of schedules we have, so that’s probably the biggest thing.
DM: Any pre-game routines?
CC: Nothing really, just hang out in the bullpen with the guys.
DM: Any hobbies?
CC: Video games.
DM: Favorite baseball team growing up?
DM: Where are you originally from?
CC: I’m originally from Southern California.
DM: If there is one person that taught you the most about baseball, who would that be?
CC: That would be my father.
DM: Craziest thing you have ever seen on a baseball diamond?
CC: I had a game called for darkness. Lots of fog. Sun went down at 6 PM, and that was it. Game over.
DM: Any off-season plans?
CC: Go back to school.
DM: I want to thank you for your time and the best of luck to you and your career.
CC: Thank you, my pleasure.
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