Q&A With A's 11th Round Pick Michael Richard

Not since Esteban German was in the Oakland A's system have the A's had a player capable of stealing 50 bases in one season. This year, the A's took two players in the 2007 draft who have each already stolen more than 20 bases in less than 40 professional games. One of these players is Michael Richard, who is burning up the base-paths for Vancouver. Jeremy Knight spoke with the speedster recently.

Michael 'Runway' Richard is using his speed to lead his team to victory this season, and he currently leads the Northwest League in stolen bases with 21 in 24 chances. The Prairie View A&M alum was selected in the 11th round by the A's this season. The 22-year-old is batting .300 with a .394 on-base percentage for Vancouver and is now the team's everyday shortstop.

Jeremy Knight recently spoke to Richard about his first year of pro ball and more.

Jeremy Knight: You're a very consistent hitter, you lead the Canadians in average, but is it tough not having hit a ball out of the park this year?

Michael Richard: Not really. I just have to keep doing what I'm doing, stick to my plan and come out every day to be better. I mean, I can hit it out.

JK: Your journey to Vancouver certainly wasn't an easy one, care to explain?

MR: It was tough man. I went to three different schools, junior college for two years, at two different junior colleges, and I didn't have as much success as I wanted but I kept playing the game and tried to get better. Over at Prairie View I had success, and here I am.

JK: Prairie View [A&M] isn't the smallest school in the world, but compared to somewhere like Cal Fullerton and those big California Division I schools is it tough not being in the spotlight?

MR: It's kind of tough, and kind of not. We play some big schools, we may not get the same recognition, and when we play them you have to be on your A-game. It's not that tough.

JK: You were drafted in the early-teens of this year's draft. Was that a spot you were happy with, or do you think you could've gone higher?

MR: It's a spot I'm happy with, but of course I think I could've gone higher. Now that I'm here, I can show them what I can do.

JK: Are you happy you went to Oakland?

MR: Yeah, I'm real happy. I'm happy to bring my speed, and my consistency on an every day basis.

JK: You've been the lead off hitter, you've batted in the two hole, and you've batted ninth in the order with Vancouver. Which one are you more comfortable with?

MR: Either one or two. I haven't batted ninth that much, not even here, and one or two is mainly where I hit.

Writer's Bio
Jeremy Knight is known as Canada's wonderkid of sports reporting. He covers CFL football, college baseball and minor league hockey for The Roadkill Sports Blog, and pro baseball for Notes From The Nat and Scout.com ... when he's not in detention.

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