Oakland A's Prospect Q&A: Jared Lansford, P

The Oakland A's are expecting big things from Jared Lansford, a second round pick in the 2005 draft. The right-hander has an outstanding baseball pedigree with a father and a brother in professional baseball and a good compliment of pitches. We spoke with Lansford about his health, his experience last season and more…

Jared Lansford had an eventful 2006 season. The right-hander spent most of the season with Low-A Kane County, where he went 11-6 with a 2.86 ERA. He threw a no-hitter for the Cougars and made the Midwest League All-Star team.

That performance earned Lansford a late season promotion to the High-A Stockton Ports. He struggled during his three starts with Stockton in 2006, allowing 16 earned runs in 11.1 innings before reaching his season innings-pitched limit and being shut-down by the A's.

Lansford is back with Stockton for the 2007 season and he was given the honor of being the team's Opening Day starter. He struggled early during his season debut and wound up allowed four runs in four innings of work.

We spoke to Lansford over the weekend in Stockton about his season debut, his thoughts on last season and the whereabouts of his father [former A's third baseman Carney Lansford] and his brother [a farmhand in the Chicago Cubs organization].

OaklandClubhouse: Your first start of the season started off rough, but you seemed to get in a groove in your final inning. How did you feel it went?

Jared Lansford: Things didn't go the way I wanted them to obviously, but I settled down in the fourth inning. I had some arm trouble [in the fourth] and I came out of the game at that point to do some precautionary stuff.

OC: Are you still on-turn for your next start?

JL: No they are going to keep me back for one start just to make sure everything is okay.

OC: Last season was your first full year in pro ball. How did you feel at the end of it?

JL: I felt great. I felt really good about coming up and playing with these guys [Stockton Ports] at the end of the season. I felt like I had a really good season. I had a little bit of bad luck up here [in Stockton], but those things happen and it wasn't too big of a deal.

OC: You had some great experiences in Kane County last season like a no-hitter and making the Midwest League All-Star team. What were those experiences like?

JL: Oh, man, the no-hitter was by far the best. There is nothing that can compare to that. The All-Star game was an awesome experience too. It was great to play with all of those great players who were my age. The best players in the league.

OC: Was that your first no-hitter or had you thrown one in high school?

JL: No that was my first one. It was definitely a great experience.

OC: What did you learn during your first season?

JL: More of it is mental. Just dealing with the mental side of the game. Dealing with the bus rides and the long season. I had never been away from home for that long. Just dealing with that stuff was mainly what I took away from last season.

OC: Are you glad to be playing closer to home?

JL: Oh, yeah. We are just an hour and a half from where I grew up, so it isn't too far. It's nice.

OC: Is your dad going to come to watch you pitch a lot this year?

JL: No, actually, he took a job with the Colorado Rockies. He is over with their Triple-A team in Colorado Springs, so he isn't going to see me for awhile.

OC: Where is your brother playing this year?

JL: He's in the Midwest League, where I was last year, in Peoria with the Cubs.

OC: Did you guys compare notes last off-season?

JL: Oh, yeah. I actually got to face him last year during Instructional Leagues. That was the first time I have ever gotten to face him.

OC: Did you get bragging rights?

JL: Oh, yeah I got bragging rights. [laughs] He's over there [in Peoria] freezing his but off while it is pretty warm over here. He actually sent me a photo yesterday with snow all over the field. It is pretty amazing.

OC: How much is the experience of being around the A's when you were growing up helping you as a pro?

JL: It just makes it so much easier, just knowing what to do in the locker room and dealing with fans and everything. I have been around it my whole life so I know what to do in front of big crowds and that sort of thing. It's a big help in dealing with the nerves.

OC: Do you miss being a position player?

JL: Oh, definitely. Sometimes if we are lucky and we throw a shutout we get to take batting practice and I get to show-off my skills then. [laughs]

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