Brett Sunde was the Oakland A's 18th-round pick last season out of Western Michigan. The son of former Chicago White Sox's minor league pitcher Buster Sunde, Brett came to professional baseball with a reputation for being a strong defensive catcher. He spent his first professional season in the Arizona Rookie League and then made the jump to short-season Vermont this year.
In 27 games for the Lake Monsters this season, Sunde is batting .250/.322/.300 with three extra-base hits. Sunde has been solid defensively, helping to guide a talented Vermont staff.
Donald Moore spoke with Sunde in late July about his goals for this season and more.
Donald Moore: Brett, how is everything going for you so far this season?
Brett Sunde: I'm good, I'm enjoying the season. It's my first year up here and I really like it so far.
DM: What are your goals for this year?
BS: Just try to improve as much as I can as a player. This league is a big development league, so I am trying to be the best baseball player I can be and move up as quickly as I can.
DM: What do you feel is your greatest strength as a ballplayer?
BS: I feel as though I can contribute defensively, as a good defensive catcher. My defense [is my strength].
DM: What would you'd like to improve on?
BS: I feel as though I'd like to be more consistent. Consistency is a big part of this game. Once you can figure that out, I feel as though you can go a long way.
DM: What is the best thing about being a professional baseball player?
BS: It's your job and you get to do this everyday. Wake and play a game for a living, so I'm lucky.
DM: What is the hardest thing about being a pro athlete?
BS: It's a grind sometimes. A lot of people don't see the hard work behind the scenes, what we do before the games, and all the long bus trips. Then you get off the bus and need to be your best playing the game..
DM: Any pre-game routines?
BS: No, I just kind of like to relax and do my own thing. Listen to music.
DM: Any hobbies?
BS: Oh yeah, I like to be outdoors. I like to fish and hike. Ride four wheelers.
DM: Favorite baseball team growing up?
BS: I was a big Tigers fan and a Yankees fan growing up.
DM: Where are you originally from?
BS: Royal Oak, Michigan.
DM: If there is one person who taught you the most about baseball, who would that be?
BS: That would be my dad. He's been with me my whole career, taught me everything I know about baseball. He pitched for the White Sox for a few years, and he taught me a lot of lessons and taught me a lot over the years.
DM: Any off-season plans?
BS: Just continue to work out, be ready for spring training, continue to work on my weaknesses and have a relaxing off-season.
DM: I want to thank you for you time and the best of luck to you and your career.
BS: Thank you very much, I appreciate it..