It wasn't the easiest first professional season for Oakland A's 2013 eighth-round pick Tyler Marincov. But given his history with the bat at the University of North Florida, Marincov figures to see much better results next season.
The corner outfielder had a standout career for the Ospreys. He finished his collegiate career with a 27-game hitting streak and he reached based in 30-consecutive games before finishing his college career. He posted OPSs better than 900 in each of his final two seasons at UNF and he became the first player in team history to steal 20 bases, when he did it for the Ospreys this season.
It wasn't always obvious that Marincov would be a baseball player. The Orlando native was a standout quarterback in high school and he was recruited by several programs as a pro-style QB. He chose to go to college to play baseball instead, however, and that decision has landed him in the pros.
Like many of the Vermont Lake Monsters this season, Marincov struggled to produce in the pitching-friendly New York-Penn League. In 204 at-bats, he posted a .215/.302/.313. He hit three homers, drove-in 20 and posted a 56:25 K:BB. He is currently competing in the A's fall Instructional League camp.
Donald Moore spoke with Marincov during the final roadtrip of the Lake Monsters' regular season.
Donald Moore: How is everything going for you so far this year?
Tyler Marincov: It's going alright you know, definitely some adjustments to be made. I was struggling a little bit, having fun and getting some good coaching, so I can't complain.
DM: What are your goals for this year?
TM: Just try to have the smoothest transition I can. I really don't have any statistical goals right now, just trying to adapt and to get myself at the speed where need to be.
DM: What is your greatest strength as a ballplayer?
TM: I would like to say my bat, just because that's what got me here. I would just have to say my bat, because that is probably the one thing that has propelled me throughout my career.
DM: What would you like to improve on?
TM: Definitely cut down on the strike outs, because those have been a little high since I've been here. One goal of mine always before I go into a season is to walk more and less strike outs. It's a tough goal, but I think it's a good one to set for myself and hopefully I can achieve that.
DM: How are you adjusting to pro ball?
TM: Like I said, it's been a rough transition, but you know, just taking things a day at a time, trying to get better on a day-by-day basis. If you look too far ahead, it might get a little overwhelming for you, so just really trying to take it one day at a time and feel good at the end of each day.
DM: What do you like best about being a professional ballplayer?
TM: I like it a lot. I can tell you one thing I like is being out of school. That's for sure. Just playing everyday and this has always been a dream of mine, so to come out here and do what you love everyday is a lot of fun.
DM: Any pregame routine?
TM: You know, I'm not very superstitious, but I don't really have any weird routines. I just like to have the normal routine, I guess. I'd say I don't have anything out of the ordinary.
DM: Favorite thing to do of the field?
TM: I'm pretty laid back off the field. I like to hang out with my friends. I love the water, whether it's a lake, an ocean or a pool. I don't like being really hot, so I like to take a kind of a laid-back approach and just hang out with some friends.
DM: Favorite team growing up?
TM: Pittsburgh Pirates actually. My family is all from Pittsburgh.
DM: If there is one person who taught you the most about baseball, who would that be?
TM: I've had a lot of people that have taught me a lot growing up, but I'd have to say my high school coach, Scott Grove. He's an ex-big leaguer and he had a lot to bring to the table and he really prepared me. Not only for pro ball, but for college ball as well. He's made things a lot easier.
DM: Craziest thing you've ever seen on a diamond?
TM: It wasn't a good thing actually. One of my buddies last summer took a comebacker off the face and broke his face, so that's probably the craziest thing I've ever seen, but I wish it was something I'd never seen.
DM: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
TM: I'd like to say in Oakland, but there is no telling and I will do my best that I can to get there. You know, if it doesn't work out then, as long as I went down swinging I guess.
DM: Tyler, thank you for your time and the best of luck to you and your career.
TM: Thank you.