Although Jordan Schwartz pitched three seasons in college, he is far from a typical collegiate draft pick. The Oakland A’s 2014 fourth-round draft pick spent more time as a position player than as a pitcher during the early part of his career at Niagara University. However, his plus arm strength intrigued scouts and he turned his attentions solely to pitching in 2014 with good results.
The A’s selected Schwartz in the fourth round after he posted a 3.12 ERA in 95 innings for Niagara. He struck-out 109 and hit as high as 96 MPH on the radar gun. Still, Schwartz came to pro ball with significantly less experience on the mound than most college draft picks.
The A’s were conservative with Schwartz during his pro debut season with the Vermont Lake Monsters. To keep his innings low after doubling his career-high during the college season, the A’s used Schwartz out of the bullpen. He made 11 appearances for the Lake Monsters, posting a 4.82 ERA. He struck-out 14 and walked 13 as he learned the nuances of pitching at the professional level.
Donald Moore spoke with the New York native during the Lake Monsters’ final road trip of the season about his first experiences in pro ball and more…
Donald Moore: How is everything going for you this year?
Jordan Schwartz: It's going well you know. I really have enjoyed my first year here in pro ball, and it's been a great experience. I couldn't really be any happier.
DM: What were your goals for this year?
JS: Mostly to get acclaimed to learning the system and get my feet wet and to see what I can do hopefully for next year going forward into my pro career.
DM: What do you feel is your greatest strength as a ball player?
JS: I would have to say my ability to adapt. I haven't had too much instruction with baseball, so I feel like I am going with every thing they are trying to teach me, and I feel like I have done a decent job of learning how to handle everything because it's a completely a different thing than I have ever done where I played at and growing up.
DM: What do you like best about being a professional baseball player?
JS: I love showing up to the field everyday. Coming out and enjoying my day at the field. I love to play catch, I love the game. I love just being around it.
DM: Any pregame routines?
JS: No, just hang out and maybe play some cards. Hang out with the guys.
DM: Favorite thing you like to do off the field?
JS: I was a basketball player in high school and a football player in high school, so I definitely like to get away from baseball every once in a while and go play some basketball, and go to the YMCA or something and throw a football with some friends back home.
DM: Favorite team growing up?
JS: The Yankees.
DM: If there is one person who taught you the most about baseball, who would that be?
JS: Probably my dad. He's been there since day one and taught me how to throw the ball and he's been there every step of the way, ever since I was a little kid and was just trying to learn how to play baseball.
DM: Where do you see yourself in three years from now?
JS: Hopefully still playing baseball and hoping to move up the ladder every year and getting better. Hopefully playing Double-A, Triple-A, or maybe even in the bigs. Just take it one step at a time. Obviously I have a long way to go to do that, so making strides and progressing.
DM: Jordan, thank you so much for your time and the best of luck to you in your baseball career.
JS: Thank you very much.