Since joining the Vermont Lake Monsters at the tail-end of July, Bobby Crocker has been a boost to the Lake Monsters' offense. The outfielder is batting .370 with a 954 OPS in 16 games. He has homered twice in the past three games and has nine RBIs over his last 10 games.
Crocker came to the A's through the 2011 draft. The Aptos, California, native was selected in the fourth round by Oakland out of Cal-Poly, San Luis Obispo. He became the highest-drafted player taken out of Cal-Poly by the A's since 2007, when Oakland took Grant Desme in the second round.
Being drafted by the A's was not a new experience for Crocker. He was selected in the 38th round out of Aptos High School, but chose to go to college. He put together a solid career at Cal-Poly and impressed scouts with his play last summer during the prestigious Cape Cod League.
Donald Moore spoke with the talented outfielder during the Lake Monsters' recent road-trip through upstate New York.
Donald Moore: Hi Bobby, how is everything going this season?
Bobby Crocker: Very well. It's just what I expected and I just love playing baseball everyday. Glad to be here.
DM: How do you like being a professional baseball player?
BC: I love it. I've always wanted to have baseball - I mean even if you want to call it that - as a job. It's like I said, it's what I expected. I enjoy the sport and I want to play it everyday.
DM: What are your goals for this season?
BC: This season is to just better myself. I have some stuff mechanically I need to work on and it really helps in this type of game setting, with a short-season like this, and doing work in Arizona as well, to really take advantage of the coaching. And mostly better myself, mostly as a hitter.
DM: What is your greatest strength as a ball player?
BC: I think as a ball player, I'd have to go with just enjoying the sport. Playing it everyday, having a good head on my shoulders and just never being satisfied. I think that plays a role in my game and the way I play. I enjoy playing the game hard.
DM: Do you have any pregame routines?
BC: Not anything different you know. Just normal warmup I do on my own every time. And I make sure I get my pre-at-bat approach taken care of in the on-deck circle and before I step in the box, but that's about it.
DM: Favorite thing you like to do off the field?
BC: I enjoy surfing. My dad taught me how to surf at a young age and that's what I do on my free time. That and the gym.
DM: Favorite team growing up?
BC: I kind of hopped on the Red Sox bandwagon, but I've always been a San Francisco Giants fan. That's what I grew up going to.
DM: Favorite player?
DM: If there is one person who taught you the most about baseball, who would that be?
BC: Larry Lee, Cal Poly head coach, has taught me to play the way I do and has probably been the most influential figure in my baseball life.
DM: What is the craziest thing you've ever seen on a baseball diamond?
BC: Whew,I'd probably have to go the the same thing as Dusty [Robinson]. The swinging bunt was unreal. Barrel went flying and the guy legged out a single and no shot throwing him out.
DM: Any favorite cities you played in?
BC: I really enjoyed the Cape [Cod League]. I had a great time in Bend, Oregon. Great community, a great team. But, I'd have to say San Luis Obispo, by far, is my favorite place to play.
DM: Where do you see yourself in five years from now?
BC: Getting better everyday, doing the same thing I do playing baseball. Hopefully at a higher level, hopefully in the big leagues. Like I said, I'll never be satisfied. So I hope to play baseball for a long time.
DM: Thank you so much and good luck for your continued success.