TROY, NY - With a 900 OPS going into Friday's game, Vermont Lake Monsters' infielder Mikey White ranks second among all New York-Penn League hitters in OPS. The Oakland A's 2015 second-round pick is batting .327/.419/.481 through 27 games. He already has had a 17-game hitting streak. The natural shortstop has shown his versatility, playing games at third and second in addition to short.
Success is nothing new for the University of Alabama alum. White hit .339 with a 981 OPS for the Crimson Tide this season and finished his three-year career at Alabama on an up-note, leading his team in nearly every offensive category. White is just the 11th player in Alabama history to be selected in the top-two rounds of the MLB Draft.
Donald Moore caught-up with White during a recent Lake Monsters' road trip to discuss how his first season is going and much more.
Donald Moore: Mikey White how is everything going so far for you this season?
Mikey White: It's going great and I'm enjoying all the guys, having a blast up here playing. We are playing pretty well right now. Just looking to keep things going.
DM: Do you feel any additional pressure being such a high draft pick by Oakland Athletics?
MW: Not really. Once you get here, it doesn't really matter where you were picked or anything like that. You've just got to go out, and you have to have success, and you have to produce and keep playing. So once you get picked, I'm just kind of treated just like one of the guys.
DM: What are your goals for this year?
MW: Just keep playing like I'm playing, end up with some good numbers and just see how it goes.
DM: What do you feel is your greatest strength as a ballplayer?
MW: My insticts for the game. I've been playing baseball for a long time and I've studied the game and I always pick people's brains. I'd say that is my main thing. I'm not a five-tool player, but I guess I'm pretty good at some tools. I just like to think my insticts are good and they kind of get me by.
DM: What would you'd like to improve on?
MW: It's hard to say. I mean playing third and playing second is kind of new to me, so getting used to those, and getting better at those positions. I think that will help me out in the future to get better at those positions. So that is what I want to improve on this year.
DM: How are you adjusting to professional baseball?
MW: It wasn't too hard of an adjustment. Coming out of the SEC, you are grinding everyday and playing good teams everyday and facing good pitching everyday, so it wasn't too much of an adjustment. But just the thought of playing everyday up here, kind of takes a little toll on your body and you just have to know how to deal with it and keep your body refreshed everyday when you come into the yard.
DM: What is the best thing about being a pro baseball player?
MW: Doing the thing you love for your career. It's pretty awesome. I've been playing baseball since I was four, and I always had the dream of playing pro baseball. That's the best part about it. It's your job now and what better job could you have?
DM: Any pregame routines?
MW: Not really, just get my body refreshed and get ready for the game. And stay loose and relax during the game. That's about it.
DM: Any hobbies?
MW: Baseball. It's always been just baseball so I guess baseball is my hobby. We are at the field everyday for a long periods of time, so that's what I love to do. And it's all I want to do.
DM: Favorite baseball team growing up?
MW: I really didn't have a favorite team growing up because I bounced around the country, so I just followed players like Tony Gwynn and guys like that when I lived down in San Diego and I liked Chipper [Jones] when I lived in Alabama. My grandparents grew up in Atlanta, so we'd go down there to visit them and we go watch the Braves play, but now Oakland is definitely my favorite team.
DM: If there is one person that taught you the most about baseball, who would that be?
MW: It's hard to say because I had a lot of coaches growing up that had instilled a lot of things in me baseball-wise, and a lot of guys I picked things up from, so it is kind of hard to choose one person. My dad would go to the field with me for hours and hours growing up in the off-season and hit me ground balls and pitched to me and dummy batting pratice, so I guess it would be my dad because he knows the way I play and he knows my swing and stuff, so I guess I will say him.
DM: Craziest thing you ever saw on a baseball diamond?
MW: I really don't have any crazy experiences like playing, but I mean guys getting tossed and stuff like that. When I first moved out to Alabama, I played on an 11-year-old team, and we had someone's grandpa that was kind of a little bit of a nut, and he threw a knife at an umpire. But, that's about it. That is the craziest thing I saw growing up.
DM: Where do you see yourself in your future regarding your baseball career?
MW: I hope keep progressing and keep playing well and get up to Oakland and have a great career there.
DM: Mikey, thank you so much for your time and the best of luck to you and your career.
MW: Thank you, I really appreciate it.