Xavier Macklin did it all for North Carolina A&T during his three-year collegiate career. The outfielder hit for average, for power and he was a run-producer. The Rocky Mount, NC, native finished the year with the fourth-highest slugging percentage in all of college baseball.
Macklin signed with the A's quickly after being drafted and was sent to short-season Vermont to play for the Lake Monsters. He got off to a fast start for Vermont, batting .389 with three extra-base hits in his first nine games. He has cooled off lately, but is still fifth on the team with a .289 average in 19 games.
We spoke to Macklin last weekend about his transition from college to the pros and more.
Donald Moore: How's everything going this year?
Xavier Macklin: Everything is going good. I'm loving it right now. It's really good.
DM: What do you attribute your success to?
XM: [Hitting] Coach Casey Myers does a great job. He has everybody's swing down to a science. To the smallest little thing he'll try to correct us and it makes a big difference. It has helped a lot. I've been taking hundreds and hundreds of cuts in between games throughout the season. I think that will help.
DM: What would you like to to improve on?
XM: I'd like to cut down on my strikeouts.
DM: What's your biggest strength?
XM: My bat speed and building my strength so I can drive the ball further.
DM: What do you like most about being a professional ballplayer?
XM: It's great. It takes a little getting used to at first because of all the traveling and everything like that, but once I got adapted to it, I've loved it. I wouldn't want to do anything else.
DM: Favorite team?
DM: Favorite player?
XM: Curtis Granderson.
DM: Craziest thing you've seen on a baseball field?
XM: Probably, in my freshman year in college we played UNC-Asheville and we went up and hit four home runs in a row.
DM: Is there any person, player or coach who taught you the most about baseball?
XM: My dad taught me the most. He brought me up when I was terrible at baseball and I use to hate it. We used to be in the backyard and play everyday for years before I went on to travel ball. We'd be out in the backyard everyday swinging and throwing. He built a foundation of baseball for me.
DM: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
XM: Hopefully playing in the big leagues and be on TV, playing in front of big crowds. That's my dream.