Q&A With A's 15th Round Pick Brad Hertzler

The Oakland A's have had a lot of success over the past few years taking pitchers in the mid- and late-rounds of the draft. This year, the A's 15th round pick, Brad Hertzler, has already made a splash by throwing a perfect game. Jeremy Knight recently spoke to Hertzler about that big game, his decision to turn pro, his first impressions of being a pro and more...

Oakland's 15th round draft pick in the 2007 draft was a southpaw from the University of Maine, Orono. This player was Brad Hertzler, who has turned out to be one of the biggest steals from this year's draft class. Hertzler tossed a rain-shortened perfect game on July 18th against the Spokane Indians, and since then he has been a key part in Vancouver's starting rotation.

Jeremy Knight spoke with Hertzler after one his recent starts.

Jeremy Knight: You pitched a perfect game last month. Was that your first?

Brad Hertzler: No. I pitched one when I was 17.

JK: Were you hoping the game would go on and potentially lose your perfect game, or were you happy it got rained out after five innings?

BH: I was happy it got rained out, I guess. But I would've went back out there, no problem.

JK: Your brother plays in the Boston organization, and you were drafted by the Red Sox a year after he was [in 2004]. Was there any chance you'd sign with them or were you planning on keeping your college career going?

BH: No. I was planning on keeping my college career to mature mentally and physically.

JK: Were you happy with going in the 15th round to Oakland [of this year's first-year player draft]?

BH: Yeah. I was happy to just get drafted and to get the opportunity.

JK: You're one of the more consistent pitchers in the C's staff this year, you have a low ERA, but is it tough when the defensive unit lets you down, by missing a grounder here and there?

BH: They don't let me down, ever, to tell you the truth. I mean, that's baseball, things happen. Things go the right way, and things go the wrong way. That's why we have 76 games, and we have tomorrow.

JK: Getting back to the draft, do you think the 15th round was a good position for you coming out of a smaller school?

BH: Yeah, it was good. Anything could have happened, I could've gotten hurt next year, who knows I could've gone higher but I thought my college career was done and I wanted to start my professional career.

JK: So there was no doubt you'd sign with the A's, instead of going back for your senior year?

BH: There were some thoughts of going back, but after thinking about it I decided to start my professional career.

JK: You started your career at Nat Bailey Stadium, which is a real pitcher's park, and you pitch on the road at smaller parks. Is it good to start off of your professional life at a bigger park, and then move up to smaller parks which makes it more difficult for you, or would having a smaller home park help in the long-run?

BH: I don't think it matters. As long as I'm throwing strikes and trying to get ground balls. I'm going to have to spot the ball no matter where, whether it be a smaller park or a big park.

JK: Thanks.

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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