In 2013, the Oakland A's used two draft picks on pitchers from the Southern New Hampshire staff: RHPs Jon Massad and Junior Mendez. Both right-handers are currently pitching together with the Low-A Beloit Snappers.
Massad's journey to Beloit first took him through Vermont earlier this season. The right-hander pitched out of the bullpen his first two professional seasons for the AZL A's and the Lake Monsters. This year, Massad was a starter for Vermont. He posted a 3.86 ERA in 49 innings for the Lake Monsters, striking out 31 and walking just 10.
That performance earned Massad a well-deserved promotion to Beloit. He has returned to the bullpen with the Snappers and has made two appearances in the Midwest League thus far.
Donald Moore spoke with Massad before his promotion to Beloit about pitching for Vermont and much more...
Donald Moore: Hi Jon, how is everything going so far this year?
Jon Massad: Everything is going good, everything going as planned, and I'm healthy, so no complaints here.
DM: What are your goals for this season?
JM: Every year, the first same goal is always the same, stay healthy. I want to move up as fast and effectively as I can through the organization here, and the overall goal is to get to the big leagues.
DM: What would you'd like to improve on this season?
JM: I definitely want to minimize damage. I think the biggest thing so far for this year has been the mental side of the game. I don't think I can change much physically, velocity-wise, pitch-ability or movement and stuff like that. I think managing the mental aspect of the game has been the biggest thing for me this year. I think that is probably your biggest asset, more than your physical abilities on the field.
DM: It's your second year in the league. How is life being a professional baseball player for the last two years?
JM: You always want to move up, you always want to improve, and like I said to get to that ultimate goal reaching the big leagues, but there are a lot of guys in this organization. I think as long as you have a jersey on your back, you have a shot. Baseball is weird game. We've got guys that are two levels below you and the next thing you know, they are above you. There are guys who get hurt, guys that get opportunities, so like I said earlier, keep that first overall goal to stay healthy and hopefully things fall into play.
DM: Where did you go to school?
JM: Southern New Hampshire University.
DM: What was your favorite baseball team growing up?
JM: Boston Red Sox.
DM: Favorite player?
JM: Pedro Martinez, I love watching Pedro pitch.
DM: What do you like to do off the field?
JM: I love to golf. We play a lot of golf, especially in the off-season in the fall, and I like to work out, go the beach and stuff like that.
DM: Any crazy things you've seen in the Penn League this year?
JM: So far, not too many crazy things. A couple of extra inning games that ended in weird fashion I guess, errors and weird plays like that. Actually a couple weeks ago here in Tri-City we lost on a walk-off that was a really weird play, but nothing else out of the ordinary.
DM: Any plans for the off-season?
JM: Probably going to spend the rest of September in Cape Cod, relax, take some time off of baseball and then in early October get back into the gym and then a couple months after that, just start throwing again and before you know it, you'll be back in Arizona.
DM: Jon, thank you so much for your time and the best of luck to you and your future.
JM: Thanks, I appreciate it.