TROY, NY -- When Jordan Devencenzi heard his name called in the 26th round of the 2015 MLB Draft, he realized a childhood dream on several levels. Not only did he receive an opportunity to turn pro, but he also got a chance to suit up for the team he grew up rooting for: the Oakland A's.
An East Bay native, Devencenzi had a solid two-year career at Nevada-Reno. The catcher was one of two Northern California natives drafted by the A's out of Nevada in this draft (Ryan Howell was the other). Thus far in Devencenzi's pro career, he has been slowed by an injury, but he had five hits in 12 at-bats before landing on the shelf.
Donald Moore spoke with the backstop during a recent Vermont Lake Monsters' roadtrip to upstate New York.
Donald Moore: Hi Jordan, how is everything going for you so far this season?
Jordan Devencenzi: It's been alright so far. Got a little injury [thumb] a week ago, so I've been out. So it's been a little rough sitting on the bench, but I am trying to recoup and get on the field as quickly as possible.
DM: What are your goals for this year?
JD: Just to play hard and give it all I can when I'm on the field everyday, work hard on and off the field. And get my goals in line when I can.
DM: What do you feel is your greatest strength as a ball player?
JD: Catching and receiving balls. I think I do a pretty good job at it. Command behind the plate and controlling the game.
DM: What would you'd like to improve on?
JD: Mostly base-running probably. Most people don't see me as a fast runner, but I feel I have the knowledge on the bases to get good jumps, so I'd like to learn more and how to get a little more edges on base-running and how pitchers react to my speed.
DM: How are you adjusting to professional baseball?
JD: It's been pretty fun really. It's a little tough with the wood bats. I did swing them last year when I was in the California Collegiate League, but this year it's an everyday thing and you can't switch back to metal bats, so this year I have had to adjust myself to swinging a wood bat.
DM: What do you like best about being pro athlete?
JD: Just coming out everyday to play. Not too many people get this opportunity and to say they are a professional baseball player and say that they got drafted by an organization. It's pretty exciting to come out here everyday and have my dreams come true.
DM: Any pre game routines?
JD: I usually like to listen to rap music before I come out and play, but since I'm down right now, I kind of sit in the dugout and look at the field.
DM: Any hobbies?
JD: I love snowboarding in the winter time. I'm a big-time snow boarder. I also enjoy the outdoors, too, like hiking and stuff like that.
DM: Favorite baseball team growing up?
JD: Funny you say that, the Oakland Athletics. I'm a Bay Area kid. I grew up in Hayward, so I was five, 10 minutes away. When I was a little older, we moved out to Tracy, which is about 35 minutes from the Coliseum. My parents used to take me to games all the time, so it's kind of a dream come true.
DM: If there is one person that taught you the most about baseball, who would that be?
JD: I would have to say it would be my father. It gets to me sometimes because the amount of time he puts into work and the sacrifices he made for me to help me practice and get better. He was always there for me and he'd always throw me extra BP when I needed it, he'd always play catch, and he would always teach me the fundamentals of baseball. There is no better person that I can think of that taught me the game better than my father.
DM: Craziest thing you ever saw on a baseball diamond?
JD: That's a tough one. Just last year in college, our third baseman got cleated on the chest and a big brawl broke out and it got out of hand and eventually I got tossed, he got tossed and three or four of my teammates got tossed, as well.
DM: Where do you see yourself in the future regarding your baseball career?
JD: I hope to be on the Oakland Coliseum diamond one day. That would be the ultimate goal. That's everyone's goal when they make it this far. So hopefully one day, I'll get that opportunity and if not, this ride is amazing as it is, so I'm taking it day-by-day and just soaking it in.
DM: Jordan, thank you so much for your time and the best of luck to you and your career.
JD: Sounds good, thank you.