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2018 Draft Coverage

Q&A with Oakland Athletics 2018 16th-round pick Bryce Nightengale

Bryce Nightengale made the jump from George Mason to the pros.

Bryce Nightengale / Photo by Greg Bessette
Bryce Nightengale spent most of his pro debut with Vermont. / Photo by Greg Bessette

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 split between the bullpen and the starting rotation for George Mason, Bryce Nightengale moved into the starting rotation in 2018 with strong results. In 15 starts, he posted a 3.45 ERA and he struck out 80 in 88.2 innings. The Oakland A’s selected Nightengale in the 16th round of the 2018 draft.

Nightengale made one appearance in the Arizona Rookie League before he joined the short-season Vermont Lake Monsters’ staff for the rest of his pro debut season. Pitching mostly in relief, the right-hander had a 5.09 ERA in 23 innings. He struck out 23 but walked 17.

Donald Moore spoke with Nightengale during his pro debut season.

Donald Moore: Hi Bryce, how is everything going for you so far this season?
Bryce Nightengale: It’s been awesome. It’s been a great experience, just really excited to get out here and keep playing pro ball.

DM: What are your goals for this year?
BN: Just get through the season and learn as much as possible and get better as the year goes on.

DM: What do you feel is your greatest strength as a ballplayer?
BN: Just getting out there and being able to give my team the best chance to win ballgames.

DM: What would you’d like to improve on?
BN: My command, just working on getting people out on less pitches and working on off-speed pitches as well.

DM: How are you acclimating to professional baseball?
BN: It’s been a fairly easy change. Getting out to Arizona for a couple days really helped, but the every day playing has been the toughest part. It’s not that bad.

DM: What is the best thing about being a professional athlete?
BN: The pregame meals. The best meals you can get.

DM: What do you find is the hardest thing?
BN: Just the nutrition and keeping your body healthy.

DM: Any pre-game routine?
BN: The stuff we do around here for warm ups and there’s stuff that I do, but I can’t tell you about it because it might not work anymore.

DM: Any hobbies?
BN: I just like hunting, fishing  and anything outdoors.

DM: Favorite baseball team growing up?
BN: The Yankees

DM: Where are you originally from?
BN: Cresaptown, Maryland.

DM: If there is one person that taught you the most about baseball, who would that be?
BN: I’d have to say my dad, you know. He pushed me to learn everything. J.R. Purdue, the White Sox pitcher, also he helped me a lot out since I was a kid and worked on my pitching mechanics and everything else.

DM: Craziest thing you have ever seen on a baseball diamond?
BN: One of the craziest things was the skunk last night (at the Joe Bruno Stadium) so that was a little different and something to see.

DM: Any off-season plans?
BN: I’m going to go back home and work, and do whatever I have to do in the off-season to make money and work.

DM: I want to thank you for your time and the best of luck to you and your career.
BN: Thank you very much.

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