Oakland A's Prospect Q&A: Austin Booker

TROY, NY - Good things happen to the Cal baseball program when there is a Booker on the squad. Rod Booker led the Golden Bears to the College World Series in 1980 and his son, Austin, played a big role in the 2011 Cal team that made it to Omaha. Austin spent his second pro season with the Vermont Lake Monster and had an All-Star campaign. Donald Moore spoke with Booker.

Austin Booker had a 2011 season to remember when he was part of a Cal Bears squad that reached the College World Series. Booker was a jack-of-all-trades for the Bears and he has brought that versatility with him to the Oakland A's organization. Last season, Booker appeared in games for the A's Arizona League team in the outfield, at shortstop and at second base.

This year, Booker was primarily a left-fielder for the Vermont Lake Monsters. The son of former major leaguer Rod Booker, Austin earned a spot on the New York-Penn League All-Star team by hitting .292 before the All-Star break. Booker struggled some down-the-stretch, finishing with a .253/.337/.300 line. Those numbers were still a solid improvement over his 2011 season with the Arizona A's, when he hit .250/.288/.250. He also found his way in the line-up more frequently this season, appearing in 50 games after only playing in 19 games last year.

Booker, a left-handed hitter, batted .279 against right-handed pitching this season. He also posted a solid K:BB ratio (30:21).

With a little more than a week left in the season, Donald Moore caught-up with Booker.

Donald Moore: How is everything going for you this year?

Austin Booker: Things have been going well. The last couple weeks haven't going the way we'd like to be going, but we are trying to turn that around. So besides that, the year has been going pretty well.

DM: What do you like best about playing pro ball?

AB: You know just playing everyday and getting use to it, but it's still fun, doing things I love and playing everyday and actually getting paid to do it, so it's pretty fun.

DM: What was it like playing in the All-Star game?

AB: It was fun. I really got meet a lot of new people and a lot cool guys. Just to see what they are going through the whole year, and just talking around and meeting new all stars, it was pretty fun.

DM: What are your goals for this season?

AB: To finish up strong and hopefully come out on top and keep at it and finish on top, like I said.

DM: What would you like to do to improve your game?

AB: Just swing at better pitches and make sure I recognize the pitches more when I see a pitch cross the plate. I have to make sure it's in my zone and stuff like that.

DM: Favorite team growing up?

AB: The Giants.

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

AB: Most likely my dad.

DM: Craziest thing you ever saw on a diamond?

AB: I really don't know, I have no story right now.

DM: Where do you see yourself in five years?

AB: Hopefully in the Majors and keep improving myself.

DM: Austin, I wish you all the the best in your future and thank you.

AB: Thank you.

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