The Vermont Lake Monsters struggled as a team offensively this season, but when they did click, they were led by a pair of speedy outfielders at the top of their line-up: B.J. Boyd and Boog Powell. Boyd and Powell would be named co-MVPs of the 2013 Vermont squad and both are among the A's most promising outfield prospects.
Boyd came into the 2013 season with some prospect hype, as he was a fourth-round pick of the A's last season. Powell was more under the radar. A 20th-round pick out of junior college last season, Powell had a solid pro debut with the AZL A's. He hit .306/.383/.315 in 35 games with the AZL A's, but his performance was over-shadowed by some of his fellow draft class members, including Boyd and first-round picks Addison Russell, Daniel Robertson and Matt Olson.
Powell made a name for himself this season with his performance with the Lake Monsters. A late-season slump dampened his overall numbers some, but Powell, in his age 20 season, still posted a solid .283/.364/.344 line in 212 at-bats with Vermont. Powell stole a team-high 14 bases and finished second on the team to Boyd in walks and on-base percentage. Powell also shined defensively, playing mostly centerfield.
Powell's season ended on a down-note, however, as he separated his shoulder on August 26th. He will be rehabbing the injury during the A's fall Instructional League. Assuming he is fully healthy at the start of spring training, Powell should be a strong candidate to make the jump to Low-A Beloit at the start of next season.
Donald Moore caught-up with Powell shortly after he injured his shoulder in late August.
Donald Moore: How is your shoulder?
Boog Powell: It's pretty sore. I don't what I did to it, so I have to go get an MRI done. They'll let me know what I did. At least it's the end of the season.
DM: How's everything going for you this year?
BP: It's going good, I had a lot of fun this year with the team, B. J. [Boyd], he's my boy, and it's has been pretty fun.
DM: What are your goals for this year?
BP: I was one away from assists, for having 10 assists for the year, and that was one of my goals this year. And one of my goals was to have 20 stolen bases. I got 14, so I'm six short on that. My shoulder kind of set me back, but I'm happy how I did this year.
DM: What do you feel is your greatest strength as a ballplayer?
BP: I'd have to say my ability to run and track down balls in the outfield. And throw guys out. I don't have the greatest arm strength, but I have accuracy.
DM: What would you'd like to improve on?
BP: My power. Power to drive the ball into gaps, by far.
DM: How are you adjusting to professional baseball?
BP: Good. I'd never swung a wood bat until I got drafted, so that was a big change. This year I kind of settled in and have kind of gotten used to them. I love it here.
DM: Any pregame routine?
BP: I tape one wrist with white tape every game and then before every pitch, at every at bat, I spit on the plate, tap the plate and spit in front of the plate.
DM: Favorite thing you like to do off the field?
BP: Probably go body boarding with my dad. He used to be a professional body boarder, so I kind of followed his footsteps with that hobby.
DM: Favorite team growing up?
DM: If there is one person who taught you the most about baseball, who would that be?
BP: That would probably be my dad and my best friend Ty Moore's dad, Roger Moore. They were my two main coaches growing up and they pretty much taught me everything I know.
DM: Craziest thing you've ever seen on a diamond?
BP: A streaker in high school, right across our field, naked.
DM: Where do you see your see yourself five years down the road?
BP: Hopefully at least Triple-A or Double-A, or maybe in the majors if I can get up that high.
DM: Who gave you the nickname Boog?
BP: My parents when I was a kid. Ever since I was born they called me Boog. They call my grandpa Hershel, my dad Mack, and I needed a name, so I was stuck with Boog.
DM: Do you feel any pressure to live up to your namesake, [Orioles great] Boog Powell?
BP: Yeah, that's what a lot of fans keep telling me that and keep asking me that. I mean, yeah, it's a big name to live up to. Hopefully, I can.
DM: Thank you for your time and I wish you the best of luck on your career and with your shoulder.
BP: Thank you very much.