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 31st-round pick of the Oakland A’s in 2017, Brandon Withers spent most of his first full professional season pitching for the short-season Vermont Lake Monsters. The James Madison alum posted an 0.88 ERA and a 27:10 K:BB in 30.2 relief innings before earning a late-season promotion to Low- A Beloit.
Donald Moore spoke with Withers during his Vermont stint about his development as a professional pitcher.
Donald Moore: Hi Brandon, how is everything going for you so far this season?
Brandon Withers: Good.
DM: What are your goals for this year?
BW: Throw strikes, get more strike outs than last year, and walk less people. Just do my best.
DM: What do you feel is your greatest strength as a ball player?
BW: My determination and then also my curveball.
DM: What would you like to improve on?
BW: I’d like to cut down on my walks and obviously strike out more people as well. That would be a positive.
DM: How are you acclimating to pro ball.
BW: Good, it’s my second year, but I think it’s easier to pitch to guys with wood bats versus metal bats.
DM: What do you like best about being a professional athlete?
BW: I like traveling and seeing the scenery and just being around the guys in the clubhouse.
DM: What do you find is the hardest thing about pro ball?
BW: Being away from your family.
DM: Any pre-game routines?
BW: Not really. I just try to keep it simple.
DM: Any hobbies?
BW: I like to read, fishing. Not a big video game kind of guy, but I will play once in a while.
DM: Favorite baseball team growing up?
BW: Originally, the Orioles, and then the Nationals came and I became a Nats fan.
DM: Where are you originally from?
BW: Manassas, Virginia.
DM: If there is one person that taught you the most about baseball, who would that be?
BW: Probably my grandpa.
DM: Craziest thing you have ever seen on a baseball diamond?
BW: I don’t have an answer for that one.
DM: Any off-season plans?
BW: Just work hard and get better. And then come back and be ready for next year.
DM: Thank you for your time and the best of luck to you and your career.
BW: Thank you very much.
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