Oakland A's Prospect Q&A: Jermaine Mitchell

Outfielder Jermaine Mitchell was the second position player drafted by the Oakland A's last season. He was picked in the fifth round out of UNC-Greensboro. Mitchell had an outstanding first pro season with Vancouver, although he missed time with a broken foot. He is looking to build on that success in 2007 with Kane County. Zachary Hammer caught-up with Mitchell on the Cougars' current road-trip.

Like so many of the Kane County Cougars, outfielder Jermaine Mitchell is off to a slow start to the 2007 season. Plagued by snow-outs and injuries, the Cougars have one only one game thus far this season.

Through Wednesday, Mitchell was batting only .158 in 10 games. However, after hitting .362 for Vancouver last season, it seems likely that Mitchell will turn it around soon.

Zachary Hammer caught-up with the five-tool outfielder for a Q&A session in Lansing, MI, during the Cougars most recent road-trip.

Zachary Hammer: How does it feel to be an Oakland Athletic?

Jermaine Mitchell: I feel good just to be able to play, just to be healthy.

ZH: One of your biggest plusses as a hitter is your plate discipline. What do you work on every day in the cage in order to build your approach? What's your focus?

JM: Right now I'm just trying to see the ball and trying to get on that level plane where I can try to drive the ball in the gaps and hit more doubles. Basically, I'm trying to hit the ball hard.

ZH: Which outfield spot do you feel more comfortable in? We saw you in center last night (Tuesday), and you'll be in right tonight (Wednesday)?

JM: I'm better in centerfield. I have never played right before. It's a big adjustment for me … and I guess you have to make changes sometimes.

ZH: What did you work on the most during spring training and the instructional leagues?

JM: Actually I worked on bunting. During practices I would bunt a lot, but during the games I tried to work on seeing the ball and hitting before the season started.

ZH: Speaking of bunting, you have pretty elite speed. What is your goal on the base paths this year? What are your expectations?

JM: I expect to steal probably 35-40 bags this year. I expect to get on base a lot this year, steal some bags, and get things going for the team this year.

ZH: What do you think about this weather right now? Has it affected your game?

JM: I'm from northeast Texas, and it gets cold. We have snow and all of that, but I was shocked to see it being this cold. I knew it was going to be cold when I got here, but I didn't realize how cold it was. It can affect your game, but I'm not one to make excuses, everyone has to play in it. I just enjoy being able to play.

ZH: What's your main goal this year?

JM: Just to stay positive.

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