Oakland A's Prospect Q&A: Joe Gaetti, OF

In late April, the Oakland A's signed minor league free agent Joe Gaetti to a contract just a few weeks after he was released by the Colorado Rockies. Gaetti, the son of former Minnesota Twins 3B Gary Gaetti, has been instant offense since joining the A's. In 12 games for two A's affiliates, Gaetti has hit four homers and has driven-in 14 runs. We caught-up with Gaetti over the weekend…

Joe Gaetti hasn't stopped hitting since he signed with the Oakland A's in late April. The outfielder was originally assigned to Double-A Midland, where he collected seven hits in 20 at-bats over five games (.350 BA). Three of those seven hits went for extra-bases, including one homer. Gaetti was then promoted to Triple-A Sacramento to fill-in for injured River Cats' outfielders Todd Linden and Carlos Gonzalez.

Linden and Gonzalez have been two of the best hitters in the Pacific Coast League this season, and Gaetti has filled their big shoes well since arriving in Sacramento. In seven games, he has 10 hits in 26 at-bats (.385 BA), including six extra-base hits (three doubles and three homers). Gaetti has driven-in 10 runs and has scored five times for the River Cats.

Big offensive numbers are nothing new for the North Carolina State alum. Since he was selected in the 12th round of the 2003 draft by the Colorado Rockies, Gaetti has put up consistently strong offensive numbers. Coming into this season, Gaetti was sporting a career 877 OPS in five minor league seasons. In 2005, Gaetti hit .332 with 21 homers and 87 RBIs with a 1023 OPS for High-A Modesto. Last season, Gaetti got off to a slow start with Double-A Tulsa at the start of the year (.232 BA and a 753 OPS), but he picked it up after a mid-season promotion to Triple-A Colorado Springs, where he hit .270 with an 845 OPS.

Gaetti was invited to the Rockies major league spring training camp this spring. He appeared in 11 major league spring games, collecting two hits in nine at-bats with three walks. After camp, Gaetti was a surprise cut by Colorado. Right now, it appears that the Rockies' loss may be the A's gain. We spoke to Gaetti about his hot start with Oakland, his experiences growing up with access to a big league clubhouse and more…

OaklandClubhouse: You've obviously gotten off to a great start with the A's. How do you feel the transition from Colorado to Oakland has gone?

Joe Gaetti: I think it has been going well. I went to Midland for a little bit and got to know those guys. I just wanted to go out and play. It is just nice to be able to have the opportunity to go out and play. I am not trying to do too much. I just want to be a good teammate, which is really what I try to bring everyday.

OC: What was your experience like in big league camp?

JG: It was my first big league camp. I had a great time and it was a good experience. It didn't work out over there [with Colorado], but hopefully it will work out here if I can keep performing and doing things to help the team.

OC: Last year was your first time in Triple-A right?

JG: Yep.

OC: Do you think it is a big jump from Double-A to Triple-A?

JG: I don't think it is that big of a jump from Double-A to Triple-A. The game is a little more crisp up here, but the talent isn't that much different. You have some older guys who obviously bring a lot of knowledge to the table. Pitching-wise, they do things a little differently, but I think that the level of play is similar.

OC: How has your dad helped out your career?

JG: He actually hasn't had a chance to work with me much because when he was playing, it was during my season. He is coaching now in Triple-A for the Tampa Bay Rays. He's helped, though. It is nice to have a reference to look to when things go bad and someone to call to just talk about baseball.

OC: Did you get a chance to spend a lot of time in the Minnesota clubhouse as a kid?

JG: Yeah. I spent a lot of time there. I would go there during the weekends to shag fly-balls and be in the clubhouse. It was a really good experience for me.

OC: Is that experience something that you look back on now as an asset to your playing career?

JG: Absolutely. I definitely have a great love and respect for baseball. It is all I have ever done and I really enjoy playing and I hope that reflects when I am out on the field.

Oakland Clubhouse Top Stories