It has been a smooth transition to professional baseball for Oakland A's 2012 13th-round pick Stuart Pudenz. The right-handed pitcher has a 2.54 ERA and a 35:7 K:BB ratio in 26.1 innings for the A's Arizona League team and the short-season Vermont Lake Monsters. Opposing batters have hit only .190 against him and he has yet to allow a homerun.
The 6'4'' Missouri native had a standout junior season for Dallas Baptist University this season. In 21 relief appearances and one start, he had a 1.57 ERA and a 50:17 K:BB ratio in 40 innings. He saved eight games and helped DBU reach the Waco Regional championship game.
Pudenz has a firm fastball that sits in the low- to mid-90s, a hard slider and a split-fingered fastball. Donald Moore spoke with Pudenz during the Lake Monsters' recent series in Troy.
Donald Moore: How's everything going for you this season?
Stuart Pudenz: It's going well. We are in kind of not a good streak right now, so we are trying to pick things up and get back in the winning game.
DM: How are you adjusting to pro ball?
SP: It's a lot different than college. It's just every day you have to get used to, not just having practice, but having practice, games, and travel. But I like it though.
DM: What do you like about being a professional ball player?
SP: I love the game and this is what I always dreamed of doing since I was young ,so now that it's here, I'm just trying to take advantage of it.
DM: What are your goals for this season?
SP: Stay healthy, finish the season strong and go to the Instructs healthy and learn more there and keep learning.
DM: What's your greatest strength as a ballplayer?
SP: Just attack the hitters. I feel as though that's my best strength and I just go after everybody.
DM: What would you like to improve on?
SP: Repeating my delivery. That's something that has been more influenced on me is to repeat your delivery more often and make a little adjustments here and there with it.
DM: Any pregame routines?
SP: No, I'm in the bullpen so just stretch, warm up, throw and come in whenever they call my name.
DM: Your favorite thing to do off the field?
SP: I don't know, sleep? I try to get as much of that as possible.
DM: Favorite team growing up?
SP: I'm from Kansas City, so I'll say the Kansas City Royals, because they are only about 20 minutes from my house.
DM: If there is one person who taught you the most about baseball, who would that be?
SP: My summer coach back in high school, Carl Carswell. He taught me pretty everything from work ethic, to the game and told me I wasn't going to be good enough to hit so I might as well pitch.
DM: Craziest thing you ever saw on a diamond?
SP: There's everything: fights, foul balls, foul balls in the in the stands. I don't know, just everything.
DM: Five years from now, where do you see yourself?
SP: Hopefully in the major leagues.
DM: That's terrific and thanks Stu, I really appreciate your time and the best of luck to you.
SP: Thank you very much.