Oakland A's Prospect Q&A: Graham Godfrey, P

This off-season, the Oakland A's dealt super-sub Marco Scutaro to the Toronto Blue Jays for a pair of minor league pitchers. Scutaro returns to Oakland with Toronto for the first time this week. Meanwhile, the two pitchers involved in the trade are with High-A Stockton. We caught-up with one of them, Graham Godfrey, for a Q&A.

Graham Godfrey was one of two pitchers acquired by the Oakland A's for infielder Marco Scutaro this off-season. Godfrey was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 34th round of the 2006 draft. He was a draft-eligible sophomore and was given a six-figure signing bonus by Toronto to forgo his final two years of collegiate eligibility.

In 2007, Godfrey made his pro debut and had a 3.98 ERA in 110.2 innings for Low-A Lansing. This season, Godfrey, a right-hander, has a 4.79 ERA in 41.1 innings for High-A Stockton and Triple-A Sacramento. Godfrey has spent most of the season with High-A Stockton, but he also spent a week with the Sacramento River Cats earlier in the year, pitching 2.1 scoreless innings for Sacramento.

Godfrey has been in the Stockton starting rotation for the past five weeks. The former College of Charleston star has struck-out 31 and he allowed two runs in 5.1 innings in his last outing versus Lancaster.

We recently caught-up with the 23-year-old pitcher to find out his feelings about the trade, his time with Sacramento earlier in the year and more…

OaklandClubhouse: How have the first couple of months in organization gone for you?

Graham Godfrey: Everything has been going really well. Everybody has treated me well.

OC: How was your time in Sacramento? What did you get out of the experience?

GG: It was great, just being at that level and being able to compete with some of those guys. It was a great experience for me and I really enjoyed it.

OC: Did it give you a taste of what that competition would be like?

GG: Oh, yeah. Most definitely. And it gives me a little bit more motivation to try to get to that level as soon as possible.

OC: You have been a starter and a reliever. Are you most comfortable with starting or relieving?

GG: I would probably say starting, just because I primarily did that all of last year. It's one of the things that I enjoy doing.

OC: What was your reaction to being traded?

GG: I was surprised at first, seeing as how I only played with them for one full season, but I was excited about it and welcomed the change.

OC: What did you base your decision on to leave college and go pro?

GG: I wanted to start my professional career that year no matter what, just because going back to college wouldn't have allowed me to improve upon my game. I wanted to go ahead and get the process started as far as moving up levels.

OC: What pitches are you throwing right now?

GG: Right now, it is fastball, primarily a two-seamer, and a slider, a change-up and a curveball from time-to-time.

OC: How do you deal with the hitter-friendly Cal League?

GG: You know going into every game that there is a possibility of things like that [a pop-up going for a homerun or something similar] happening. It's not really a question of if it is going to happen. You know it is going to happen and you just deal with it, put it behind you and move on.

OC: Does that force you to try to get more balls hit on the ground?

GG: Oh, yeah. That's one of the keys to pitching regardless of any league, but it definitely re-emphasizes that point.

OC: Do you have any goals for the year and where you'd like to end up?

GG: Right now, it is just about improving as a starter and going from start-to-start and working on different things that I need to improve on along the way. I can't really say where I would like to be at the end of the season. Obviously, I'd like to get to the highest level, but for right now, I'm just taking it outing by outing.


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