A native of Tucson, Arizona, Kayvon Bahramzadeh was first drafted as a senior in high school in the 47th round of the 2008 draft by the Milwaukee Brewers. He elected to go the college route and attended Kansas State, where he would put together a solid four-year career. He struck-out 8.08 per nine innings and walked only 2.84 per nine innings during his days with the Wildcats. The A's would take Bahramzadeh in the 24th round last season.
The right-hander would have an unusual pro debut with the AZL A's. In 37 innings in the Arizona Rookie League, he posted a sparkling 48:7 K:BB ratio, but his ERA was a surprisingly high 7.30.
Despite the high ERA, Bahramzadeh would likely have spent part or all of the first half of the 2013 season pitching for a full-season A's affiliate if he hadn't been injured before the start of the season. Instead, Bahramzadeh's season began in late July with the short-season Vermont Lake Monsters. Although limited to just 20 innings in 2013, Bahramzadeh showed that his 2012 ERA was much more of a fluke than his K:BB. In 2013, Bahramdzadeh posted a 1.80 ERA in 20 innings. He walked only four, struck-out 14 and didn't allow a homer.
Donald Moore caught-up with Bahramzadeh during the Vermont Lake Monsters' final roadtrip this season for a Q&A.
Donald Moore: Hi Kayvon, how is this season going for you?
Kayvon Bahramzadeh: It's been good man. I started off hurt, so it's been kind of a frustrating the first half for me, but the second half has been great. We have a great group of guys in the clubhouse and it's been a lot of fun, on and off the field.
DM: What are your goals for this year?
KB: I just want to throw up some zeros, put up some numbers, get some outs and that's really it, and that's what I've been trying to do. So far it's been alright.
DM: What is your greatest strength as a ballplayer?
KB: I like to pride myself on being mature and composed on the field. I try not to get too high or too low on myself. I just try to stay on a even keel on what's going on and control what I can control and not to let the umpire dictate my outing or an error. I just try to go out there and control the controllables and pitch my game and make my pitches. That's what I'm supposed to do.
DM- What would you like to improve on?
KB: I think for me right now, my biggest struggle is pitching out of the stretch for some reason, but I haven't had that many runners on somehow. On my windup, I feel it's pretty good, but out of the stretch I tend to be a little slower and more inconsistent, so I think that's been it for me. When I work in the bullpen, I throw out of the stretch. That's really been [my main focus] for me.
DM: What do you like best about being a professional baseball player?
KB: There's actually a lot of down time. You get to watch movies or catch up on TV shows, or whatever it is you do. It's fun and you get to hang out with the guys and we have a great group of guys in the clubhouse, so it's been a lot of fun.
DM: Any pregame routines?
KB: The days I know I'm pitching, I usually listen to music or hang out , and usually clean my cleats. That's really it. I'm not a really big superstitious guy.
DM: Favorite thing you like to do off the field?
KB: I'm a big music guy, I'm kind of a music junkie and I listen to all kinds of music. I like TV shows. I'm currently watching Dexter and Breaking Bad. Those are my two go-tos. But, other than that, I'm kind of go with the flow guy. I'll do what other guys are doing if I'm up to it.
DM: Favorite team growing up?
KB: I'm a big D-Backs fan. I'm from Arizona. It kind of worked out for me because in 1998, I was eight years old, and it was when I was really getting into baseball seriously and they won the World Series in 2001, so it was kind of easy to jump on the bandwagon when I was younger.
DM: If there is one person who taught you the most about baseball, who would that be?
KB: That's a tough question because I had so many great coaches in my career. I definitely say my college coaches. Coach Brad Hill and Coach Reynolds, not only just about baseball, but a lot about life and myself. More of what it kind of takes to be good, and kind of the maturity and just the stuff you have to do on the field. The more mental stuff. We had a coach named Coach Buchanan at Kansas State that really drilled us on the mental game and kind of helped me transform everything on the field and made me realize what control you can control, and don't let other things get in your way and kind of just go out and do your thing.
DM: Craziest thing you ever saw on a diamond?
KB: Gosh, I've seen so many games I don't even know. Noting really stands out to me.
DM: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
KB: Hopefully I'm still in the game, but I actually graduated with a pretty good degree. I got a MI certificate from K-State, so hopefully I've got a good job, maybe a girlfriend, or maybe a wife. I don't know because it's kind of weird to think about it. Just try to be happy. That's what's it's all about.
DM: Kayvon, thank you so much for your time and the best of luck to you in the future.
KB: Thanks man.