Q&A With A's 20th-Round Pick Kurt Wunderlich

TROY, NY - Oakland A's 20th-round pick Kurt Wunderlich had a standout senior season for the Michigan State Spartans in 2011. The right-hander was named the Big 10 Pitcher of the Year and he helped lead the Spartans to a conference championship. Donald Moore caught-up with Wunderlich, who is currently pitching for the Vermont Lake Monsters.

Kurt Wunderlich's final season with the Michigan State Spartans was one to remember. A reliever his first two seasons, Wunderlich moved to the starting rotation as a junior and made third-team All-Big 10 with an 8-3 record in 2010. He took an even bigger step forward in 2011 when he went 10-2 with a 3.19 ERA in 15 starts. Wunderlich had one complete game and won the conference's Pitcher of the Year award.

Wunderlich parlayed that success into being drafted by the A's in the 20th round. After signing with Oakland, he was sent to short-season Vermont, where he has been in the rotation for most of the season.

It has been a rough beginning as a pro for Wunderlich, who carries a 10.59 ERA in his first 17 professional innings, but he is looking for better things in the future.

Donald Moore caught-up with Wunderlich during the Lake Monsters' last trip through Troy, New York.

Donald Moore: Hi Kurt,what are your goals this season?

Kurt Wunderlich: I'm in the starting role, so they are giving me seven innings to throw this summer. I'm just trying to do the best I can up there and help the team out.

DM: Anything you want to improve on this season?

KW: I mean the the biggest thing is just the command of my fastball. Just getting that good first strike percentage low and away and up and in.

DM: How are you adjusting to pro ball?

KW: I had a rough two outings the last couple of times (June 21 and 27), but came back last one (July 2) really strong. There definitely is a little difference with wood bats with pro hitters, but every time you go up, it gets a little better. You just have to get used to it.

DM: Favorite team growing up?

KW: I'm from St.Louis, so I got to say the Cardinals.

DM: Favorite player?

KW: Willie McGee.

DM: Where do you see yourself in five years from now?

KW: Hopefully playing pro ball.

DM: Thank you Kurt for your time.

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