Troy, NY - After a standout four-year career at Campbell University, Heath Bowers made the jump to professional baseball as the Oakland A's 24th-round pick in the 2015 MLB Draft. Thus far, it has been a smooth transition for the 6'4'' right-hander.
In seven appearances (three starts) for the Vermont Lake Monsters, Bowers has a 2.57 ERA and a 13:5 K:BB in 14 innings. He has a 2.11 GO/AO and opponents are batting just .211 against him.
Success on the mound is nothing new for Bowers, who had a 2.88 ERA in 325 innings for the Campbell Camels. Bowers recently spoke with Donald Moore about his first foray into professional baseball and more...
Donald Moore: Hi Heath, how is everything going for you so far this season?
Heath Bowers: It's going well and I'm having a great time. It's been a fun experience so far.
DM: What are your goals for this year?
HB: Hopefully, just keep playing well here in Vermont and hopefully we can finish out the season strong and get a chance to get into Instructionals and just try to improve myself.
DM: What do you feel is your greatest strength as a ball player?
HB: My ability to stay focused on what I need to do and to will my way to the finish and kind of find ways to get guys out, even without over-powering stuff.
DM: What would you'd like to improve on?
HB: I'd like to gain a little bit of velocity and I want to improve my change-up and obviously locate all of my pitches. A better change up will help me out a lot, I think.
DM: How are you adjusting to professional baseball?
HB: I'm adjusting to it. There is definitely a difference than in college. I played four years in college so it's a lot different game, but at the same time it's still baseball. I enjoy it everyday and it is a treat to come to ballpark everyday and treat it as a job and worry about what I have to do to get it done, and kick back and enjoy the game. I like to cheer my teammates on and enjoy the atmosphere.
DM: What do you like best about being a pro?
HB: Just getting to put on a uniform everyday and play a kid's game for a living.
DM: Any pregame routines?
HB: When I'm not pitching, I usually put my uniform on and go down on the field and hang out in the dugout and spend some time around with the guys, and when I'm pitching I like to be sort of be by myself before the game and then I like to get some treatment, make sure I get good and stretch out and then go down and work on stuff and do my normal pregame stretch routine.
DM: Any hobbies?
HB: I love golf. Golf is my number one hobby outside of baseball. I have played it as long as I played baseball since I was a little kid. So I enjoy golf any time I get an off-day.
DM: Favorite baseball team growing up?
DM: If there is one person who taught you the most about baseball, who would that be?
HB: Probably say my dad. He's the one that introduced me to the game and he taught me the basic fundamentals, and the mind-set you have to have to be baseball player and being a competitive athlete. Obviously I learned a lot more once I went to high school and college from coaches that played more and longer and stuff like that and people that had more baseball experience, but my dad taught me a lot about the metal aspects of the game, about being tough and working hard for what you want.
DM: Craziest thing you ever seen on a baseball diamond?
HB: I lined into an unassisted triple play one time when I was about 12 or 13 years old. That was pretty crazy.
DM: Where do you see yourself in the future regarding your baseball career?
HB: Hopefully still with the Oakland Athletics organization and obviously make it into the big leagues, like everyone here does, but I just want to go out and do the best that I can, work hard and learn, and hopefully make it to Oakland. If not, go as far as my talent will take me.
DM: Thank you so much for your time and the best of luck to you and your career.
HB: Thank you very much.