Drew Gagnier began his professional baseball career with the Detroit Tigers. The 17th-round pick of the Tigers in 2010 out of the University of Oregon, Gagnier was released by Detroit after only a season-and-a-half in the organization. It didn't take long for the 6'4'' right-hander to find a new home, however. Three days after his release, he was signed by the Oakland A's as an amateur free agent.
Gagnier has had a solid first full season as a member of the A's organization. After spending the first half of the year at extended spring training, Gagnier started his regular season with the Vermont Lake Monsters. He made 19 appearances for the Lake Monsters - all in relief - and posted a 3.30 ERA and he struck-out 27 in 30 innings.
The Santa Cruz native has a good fastball that ranges from the low- to mid-90s. Command has been his biggest issue as a pro, but he has made progress in that area this year. Coming into this year, he was averaging more than six walks per nine innings, but he has reduced that number to 4.7 walks per nine innings this year. He was recently promoted to High-A Stockton to finish of the year.
Donald Moore spoke with Gagnier before his promotion about what he has learned this season and the improvements he hopes to make next year.
Donald Moore: Hi Drew, how is everything going for you this season?
Drew Gagnier: It's going good. I started off really well. Just trying just to finish strong here the last two weeks. And keep getting better everyday.
DM: How many seasons have you been in pro ball?
DG: It's my third year in this league. I was with the Tigers organization for two years and this is my first year with Oakland.
DM: What are your goals for this season?
DG: Pretty much just get ahead of hitters and force contact and it's been working pretty good so far. And just finish up strong for the rest of the year and hopefully head into spring training with a good year behind me.
DM: What is your greatest strength as a ball player?
DG: That's a tough question. I would just say my mentality. Going after hitters and staying aggressive. You know you really can't go wrong with that in the game of baseball.
DM: What would you like to improve on?
DG: I picked up some secondary pitches this year, which I'm still working with and I'd like to get them as good as my primary pitches. Specifically a split finger that I've been throwing a little bit this year and it seems to be working pretty well.
DM: Favorite thing you like to do off the field?
DG: I like to surf. I play golf. Surfing and play golf are my top two.
DM: Favorite team growing up?
DG: San Francisco Giants.
DM: Favorite player?
DG: I like Griffey.
DM: If there is one person who taught you the most about baseball, who would that be?
DM: Craziest thing you ever saw on a diamond?
DG: Nothing specifically. Brawls are always entertaining and coaches getting tossed.
DM: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
DG: Hopefully in the big leagues with Oakland, helping them get guys out.
DM: Thank you so much for your time and the best of luck to you.
DG: Thank you.