Q&A With A's 19th-Round Pick Eric Potter

TROY, NY - Vermont Lake Monsters left-hander Eric Potter is continuing a family tradition by pitching in the minor leagues. His father Jeff was a minor league hurler for the Detroit Tigers in the 1970s. The younger Potter is off to a strong start to his pro career. Donald Moore spoke to the southpaw.

Eric Potter has had a breakthrough 2011. After three seasons of posting ERAs in the 7.00s or 8.00s at the University of Maryland, Potter lowered his ERA to 4.80 for the Terrapins this season. He allowed only 48 hits in 65.2 innings and struck-out 68. Potter parlayed that performance into being drafted by the Oakland A's in the 19th round of the 2011 draft.

Since turning pro, Potter has taken an even bigger leap forward. He struggled with his command in college - allowing 48 walks in 65.2 innings - but as a pro he has walked only 10 in 30.1 innings for the AZL A's and the Vermont Lake Monsters. He also has a 2.08 ERA and 39 strike-outs with no homeruns allowed.

Potter, whose fastball sits in the low- to mid-90s, spoke with Donald Moore during the Lake Monsters' roadtrip through upstate New York.

Donald Moore: Hi Eric, so how is everything going this season?

Eric Potter: It's going good. I just got up in Vermont and it's going well so far.

DM: How are you adjusting to pro ball?

EP: It's a little different from college ball. Longer days, you know, playing everyday, that's the biggest difference. I've been doing pretty well.

DM: What's the best thing about being a pro ball player?

EP: I like playing everyday. I think that is the biggest thing I like about being a pro player.

DM: What are your goals for this year?

EP: The goal for the team this year is probably win a championship in the New York-Penn League and for me, just keep getting better.

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

EP: Being left-handed is probably my greatest strength.

DM: Any pregame routine?

EP: When I was in college I started, I had a specific routine every time, but out of the 'pen, it's a little different. I'm still working on a routine.

DM: Favorite thing to do off the field?

EP: I like playing cards. I like playing poker in the off season with friends.

DM: Favorite team growing up?

EP: The Orioles. They were my hometown team, but they were always horrible.

DM: Favorite player?

EP: I always like Ken Griffey, Jr. when I was growing up. But, probably now Cliff Lee. I like watching him pitch and try to learn from him.

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

EP: My dad. He played a couple years in minor league baseball and then he got injured. But he's been my coach when I was younger and through high school. He helped me through a lot of stuff and college, too.

DM: Craziest thing you ever seen out in a baseball field?

EP: Like a lot of the other guys, the monkeys riding dogs. It was my first away series with the team and I was just amazed.

DM: Favorite city you played in?

EP: Clemson.

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

EP: I mean hopefully in the big leagues, that's the goal, or still playing ball.

DM: Thank you so much and the best of luck to you.

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