Like the current Oakland A's closer, Vermont Lake Monsters' right-hander Andrew Bailey (who answers to Drew) is a hard-throwing right-hander who played his collegiate ball at a small college not known for its baseball program. For the A's Bailey, it was Wagner College in Staten Island, New York; for Vermont's Bailey, it was Concord University in West Virginia.
Andrew Bailey's selection in the sixth round by the A's in 2006 was the highest-ever draft position for a player out of the Northeast Conference. Drew Bailey was drafted in the 35th round, making history as the first player from Concord University to have his name called on draft day.
Like Andrew, Drew Bailey is a big bodied (6'5'', 215) right-hander with a solid fastball that has been clocked as high as 95 MPH. The younger Bailey also possesses a curveball and a change-up, as well as a developing slider.
Drew Bailey spent his first professional season with the Arizona Rookie League A's, but saw his season cut short after 12.1 innings due to arm soreness. That soreness lingered into the A's fall Instructional League, so Bailey was kept at extended spring training at the start of this year. He was on the Opening Day roster for the Vermont Lake Monsters and has already logged 22.2 innings in five-plus weeks of games. Bailey currently sports a 3.18 ERA and a 21:11 K:BB ratio.
Donald Moore spoke with the Virginia native during a recent Vermont roadtrip.
Donald Moore: Hi Drew, hows everything going for you this season?
Drew Bailey: Good, I'm just trying to make the adjustment from going to Arizona. Making the adjustment of playing in front of no fans, and just no adrenaline, to coming here, pitching in front of five, six, seven thousand people. So trying to be consistent. I'll have a good outing, a bad outing, a good outing. Just trying to get it to where I can go out and throw consistently every night. But, I like it. I like to travel. The buses are, ah, whatever, you know it's a part of minor league baseball. But I'm enjoying my time and Coach Wasdin has really helped me out a lot. Other than that, I enjoy traveling and playing in front of fans. Having a reason out there to get amped up, listen to people trash talk you and shut them up.
DM: Is there one person who taught you the most about baseball?
DB: Probably my dad definitely. Always stays on me after a good or bad outing. He'll already know what I did wrong and usually it's walks. So I have to cut down on my walks. The sky is the limit from there, what everyone has told me. I just got to keep working and try to harness my talents.
DM: Any special goals for you this season?
DB: Well, I had a couple bad games that kind of set me back, but I'd like to make the All-Star team and possibly go into low-A ball before the season's over. So we'll see how that goes. Like I said to start with, just be consistent.
DM: Favorite team growing up?
DM: Favorite player?
DM: In five years, where would you like to be?
DB: The big leagues. Whether it's starting, relieving, or doing whatever they want me to do, sitting in the bullpen.
DM: Thank you so much for your time and the best of luck to you.