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!
A breakout junior season at Eastern Michigan landed Max Schuemann on the MLB draft radar. The infielder hit .317/.400/.441 with 24 stolen bases in 56 games for EMU. The Oakland A’s grabbed Schuemann in the 20th round of this year’s draft. Schuemann played regularly for the short-season Vermont Lake Monsters in his pro debut season, slashing .195/.313/.203 with 11 stolen bases in 45 games.
During the season, Donald Moore spoke with Schuemann about his transition to pro ball.
Donald Moore: Hi Max, how is everything going for you so far this season?
Max Schuemann: Pretty well I’d say overall. It’s an different adjustment from college, and the game is a lot quicker and it kinds of reminds me of the adjustment from high school to college.
DM: What are your goals for this year?
MS: My goals are to expand from my position playing shortstop and spread out to second and third base, as well. And I’m continuing to master my position as a shortstop and expand my game a little bit and try to be as versatile as possible.
DM: What do you feel is your greatest strength as a ballplayer?
MS: I’d probably say my speed. Just being able to beat out some groundballs helps and increase my average a bit more.
DM: What would you’d like to improve on?
MS: Probably my strength. My power numbers are not so always there, so just trying to get those up a bit and improve on that and get into top shape during the off-season.
DM: How are you acclimating to professional baseball?
MS: It’s definitely an adjustment that game is much quicker. I was a little nervous at first, just like most of the guys, but I’m really excited to keep it going and continue on with my career.
DM: What is the greatest thing about being a pro?
MS: That’s kind of hard to say, but it’s been a dream of mine since I was young, so honestly I can say I kind of made it to this level, but it’s a work in progress.
DM: What is the hardest thing about being a professional athlete?
MS: It’s pretty tough on your body, like traveling a long ways and I caught a cold as of late and a little bit sick right now, but I’m trying to get back at 100 percent. It’s a grind and a lot of long days.
DM: Any pre-game routine?
MS: Yes, the coaching staff does a pretty good job teaching us and keeping us on track and our strength guy, Kevin (Guild), does a really good job stretching us out and going through their routines everyday, but that’s pretty much it.
DM: Any hobbies?
MS: I play a lot of video games, ping pong, playing cards, golf occasionally.
DM: Favorite team growing up?
MS: The Cubs, my dad is from Chicago and ever since I was little I was draped in Cubs gear.
DM: Where are you originally from?
MS: Kalamazoo, Michigan. I was born in Portage, Michigan.
DM: If there is one person who taught you the most about baseball, who would that be?
MS: That’s easy. Easily my father. He introduced me into the game then I kind of took the reins but he has helped me a lot throughout my career.
DM: Craziest thing you have ever seen on a baseball diamond?
MS: I have seen a lot. I have seen a couple triple plays. That was pretty cool. And they are very rare.
DM: Any off-season plans?
MS: It all depends, so if I have the opportunity to go to the Instructional League, I’ll take that opportunity, if not, probably head back to Eastern Michigan where I went to school, finish up one semester and obviously train and workout to keep my body in shape and continue my career.
DM: I want to thank you for your time and the best of luck to you and your career.
MS: Thank you.
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