Oakland A's Prospect Q&A: Brent Powers, P

TROY, NY - The Vermont Lake Monsters had a strong pitching staff in 2013, and no pitcher on the staff had a stronger year than left-hander Brent Powers. Powers was the staff ace from the outset of the New York-Penn League season and he put together the best stretch of starts of his two-plus year career. Donald Moore spoke with Powers towards the end of the Lake Monsters' season for a Q&A.

In his first full professional season, left-hander Brent Powers experienced a lot of ups-and-downs. He began the 2012 season with Low-A Burlington, but he was plagued by control problems with the Bees, walking 26 and allowing 10 homers in 44.2 innings before he was sent down to short-season Vermont midway through the year. With the Lake Monsters, Powers' command continued to be shaky, as he walked 28 in 63.2 innings and he gave up seven homers.

The 2013 season presented Powers with a clean slate and he was able to take advantage of that opportunity. He began the year at extended spring training and was arguably the top pitcher in the Oakland A's extended spring camp before he was sent to Low-A Beloit around the midway part of the season. Powers tossed 18 innings over eight appearances (two starts) with the Snappers, but he posted a 6.00 ERA.

At the start of the short-season, Powers was sent back to Vermont, and it was at that point that things really clicked in for the Sam Houston State alum. Powers was the leader of the Lake Monsters' starting rotation from the outset of the season. Named to the mid-season All-Star team, he finished the year ninth in the New York-Penn League in ERA with a 2.43 mark. He had one complete game shutout.

Powers finished among the league-leaders in several other categories. With six wins, he finished tied for second in wins. He was also sixth in the league in strike-outs (69) and 11th in WHIP (1.12). His K:BB was a solid 69:18 in 77.2 innings and he allowed just three homeruns. Although Powers has yet to pitch a full season at the Low-A level, he will likely enter spring training next season with a chance to jump to the High-A level if he can have a good camp.

Donald Moore spoke with Powers about his season during the Lake Monsters' final roadtrip of the year.

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

Brent Powers: It's been a good year. You know there is always going to be ups and downs, it's just the way baseball is regardless of how good or bad your year. But I just feel like I've really made a lot of progress this year. I've learned so much just in this year of pro ball as compared to the last few, and I think it's starting to show.

DM: How was spring training for you this year?

BP: It was different. Last year came and I really didn't know what to expect, but this one I had a little more of an idea of how it all works and what was going on. But you only get a couple looks, so you've really got to perform. So, it's still pressured packed.

DM: What did you specifically work on?

BP: You know, I'm always working on smoothing out my delivery , I've always been more of a tense guy, so I'm working with Lefty [pitching coach Craig Lefferts] here and every coach I've had on just smoothing my delivery out and being consistent above all.

DM: Any plans for the off-season?

BP: Head back to Texas with my wife when this is all done and get back to work after maybe a month off, and try to find a job somewhere.

DM: Brent, thank you so much for your time and the best of luck to you and your career.

BP: Thank you, I appreciate it.

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