TROY, NY - The Oakland A's selected infielder Trace Loehr in the sixth-round of the 2014 MLB Draft out of Rex Putnam HS in Oregon. A standout in high school and a key member of the Team USA 18U squad in 2013, Loehr chose to forgo a commitment to Oregon State to sign with the A's for an above-slot bonus of $600,000.
Loehr spent his professional debut season with the Arizona Rookie League A's. He got off to a slow start in the AZL, hitting .219/.287/.238 through July 31. He played well during the final month of the season, however, hitting .291 with a .361 OBP and followed up that month with a solid performance during the A's fall Instructional League.
This season, Loehr spent the first half of the year at the A's extended spring training camp and then joined the Vermont Lake Monsters at the start of the short-season. A natural shortstop, Loehr has played exclusively at second base and third base this year for Vermont. Through Wednesday, he had a five-game hitting streak going and was batting .264 with a .337 OBP in 25 games. He hit his first professional homerun on July 11.
Donald Moore spoke with Loehr during a recent Lake Monsters' roadtrip.
Donald Moore: Trace, how is everything going for you this year?
Trace Loehr: It's going really well and I'm just excited to play for the Vermont Lake Monsters.
DM: What are your goals for this season?
TL: To win a championship.That's my biggest goal..
DM: What do you feel is your greatest strength as a ball player?
TL: Probably hitting is my greatest strength. And then probably defense is right after that.
DM: What would you'd like to improve on?
DM: How are you adjusting to pro ball?
TL: Adjusting pretty well. Better than I thought I would and I'm still getting used to the bus rides and to having to play the same day, but it's getting easier.
DM: What is the best thing about being a professional baseball player?
TL: Playing pro ball. That's the best part. It's dream come true.
DM: Any pregame routines?
TL: No one really eats too much before the game, but I have to eat. I have to play on a full stomach. That's the biggest thing for me.
DM: Any hobbies?
TL: Music. I'm a music fiend.
DM: Favorite baseball teams growing up?
TL: The Yankees, the Athletics and the Seattle Mariners.
DM: If there is one person who taught you the most about baseball, who would that be?
TL: My father is the biggest influence for me in baseball.
DM: Craziest thing you ever seen on a baseball diamond?
TL: When I played for Team USA, we played against Chinese Taipei and the manager in the other dugout would be smoking cigarettes. That was the craziest thing I've seen on a field playing baseball.
DM: Where do you see yourself in the future as a professional baseball player?
TL: Hopefully playing in the big leagues for 15 to 20 years.
DM: Trace, thank you for your time and the best of luck to you and your career.
TL: Thank you.