Oakland A's Prospect Q&A: Tyler Vail

TROY, NY - The 2011 season has been a learning experience for talented right-hander Tyler Vail. The 19-year-old began the year in Low-A, but has spent the second half of the season with short-season Vermont. Donald Moore spoke with the Oakland A's 2010 5th-round pick.

Tyler Vail made a strong first impression last season when he posted a 3.13 ERA in 31.2 innings for the AZL A's. Things haven't gone as smoothly for Vail in 2011, but A's coaches believe that this season will help lay the foundation for future success.

The Pennsylvania native added a few miles per hour to his fastball this season and has regularly been clocked in the mid-90s, but he has struggled with his secondary pitches. In 91.1 innings, Vail has 55 strike-outs and 48 walks this season for Burlington and Vermont.

Donald Moore spoke with the right-hander during a recent Vermont road-trip to upstate New York.

Donald Moore: How's everything going for you this season?

Tyler Vail: Very good.

DM: What do you like most about being a professional baseball player?

TV: Probably playing in beautiful stadiums.

DM: What are your goals for this season?

TV: Get better everyday I come to the stadium.

DM: What is your greatest strength as a ball player?

TV: Probably having fun. If I'm down, I'm still having fun and if I'm up, I'm still having fun. It will never change.

DM: What would you like to improve on?

TV: Probably secondary pitches, change up and curve ball. Get more consistent.

DM: Any pregame routine?

TV: I always eat a banana, before I start, listen to music and I always got to go to the bathroom.

DM: What do you like to do off the field?

TV: I like to play video games. I love playing video games. Play in the snow in the winter and just hanging out with my friends.

DM: Favorite team growing up?

TV: The Yankees.

DM: Favorite player?

TV: Derek Jeter.

DM: If there is one person who taught you most about baseball, who would that be?

TV: Probably my dad. He taught me how to respect the game and work hard and it will pay off.

DM: Any favorite city you played in?

TV: In Low-A, in Burlington and I like Great Lakes Michigan the best.

DM: Craziest thing you ever saw on a diamond?

TV: Probably what Sean Jamieson said, the monkeys on the dog.

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

TV: Hopefully making a start with the Oakland A's.

DM: Thank you Tyler, and best of luck to you.

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