Since signing with the Oakland A's as an undrafted free agent in 2009, Chris Affinito has provided some punch for the A's short-season affiliates. In 2009, he hit .300 with five homers in 48 games for the Arizona Rookie League A's. Last season, after batting .167 with Low-A Kane County, Affinito hit .320 in 16 games with short-season Vancouver and .286 in nine games with the AZL A's.
In 2011, Affinito is with the short-season Vermont Lake Monsters. After getting off to a slow start, Affinito has been hot in July, batting .385 with four walks in four games.
Donald Moore spoke with the first baseman/catcher last week.
Donald Moore: So how does the club look this year?
Chris Affinito: I think the club looks really good. I mean, there is a good rapport in the clubhouse. Everyone seems to get along. We are just meshing right now and playing some good baseball.
DM: What is it like playing pro baseball?
CA: It's good. It's a grind. You just come out here do what you've got to do everyday. It beats having a regular job, you know.
DM: How do you describe yourself as a hitter?
CA: I would say I'm a power hitter and I like to drive the ball into the gaps.
DM: What would you like to improve on?
CA: Just on squaring up some more balls on a consistent basis. It's always been a struggle for me. Just trying to get out there and hitting off the tee during BP. I'm just trying to get to know my zone a little better.
DM: What are your goals for this season?
CA: Just have a good year and hopefully we can win a championship as a team.
DM: What are your favorite things to do off the field?
CA: I fish, play some darts and try to relax as much as possible. Sleep too. I like to sleep a lot. I like being outdoors, golfing, fishing and everything like that.
DM: Favorite team growing up?
CA: Being from New Jersey, the Yankees.
DM: Favorite player?
CA: Don Mattingly.
DM: Any player, coach or person who has helped you the most?
CA: My dad. He's always there for me. When he comes to the game, he checks out BP, he knows my swing. It could be something as little as moving my head. I want to thank him for everything.
DM: The craziest thing you ever saw on the diamond?
CA: In Vancouver we had a couple of streakers. That was pretty crazy. And two weeks ago, there was a little monkey that threw out the first pitch. Those are the two craziest things I'd say.
DM: Where do you see yourself in five years?
CA: Hopefully in the big leagues.That's all our goals here. Hopefully everything pans out. You work hard all your life to get there.
DM: Chris, thank you and the best of luck to you.