Q&A With A's 8th Round Pick Jeremy Barfield

The Oakland A's are an organization that values players who come from baseball bloodlines, and 8th round pick Jeremy Barfield fits the bill. He has been surrounded by major league baseball his entire life. His father is Jesse Barfield, who hit 241 homeruns. His brother is Josh Barfield, who has played for San Diego and Cleveland. Now Jeremy is ready to carry on the family tradition with the A's.

Jeremy Barfield was taken with the Oakland A's 8th round pick in the 2008 MLB draft. The outfielder is coming off of an outstanding season for junior college powerhouse program San Jacinto. In 2008, Barfield hit .351 with 14 homers, 63 RBIs and a 1015 OPS for the Gators. It was Barfield's second season with San Jacinto. In 2007, he hit .316 with 31 RBIs as a freshman.

This draft marks the second time that Barfield has been drafted. In 2006, he was taken by the New York Mets in the 9th round after a strong high school career in Spring, Texas, but he didn't sign. Barfield is ready to put his name on the dotted line for Oakland now, however. We spoke to Barfield just a few hours after he was drafted to find out his expectations for pro ball, what kind of influence his father and brother have had on his career and more…

OaklandClubhouse: First of all, congratulations.

Jeremy Barfield: Thank you!

OC: What did it feel like to get your name called and know that you could start your professional career now if you wanted to?

JB: It's just great. It's really exciting. I was drafted in high school, but I have worked so hard since then to improve. It just feels like it finally paid off.

OC: How would you describe your game to people who hadn't seen you play?

JB: I guess I would say polished. You see a lot of players described as being raw, but that would be how to describe me. Some people say that sometimes it looks like I'm not trying out there, but, really, it is more that I am really fluid out there in my game play. I'm not really an offensive-minded player as much as people think. I actually enjoy playing defense more than hitting.

OC: Obviously, your dad played in the big leagues for a long time and your brother has been in the majors, as well. What have you learned from watching your dad play and now your brother?

JB: Since I was so much younger than my dad, I never really saw him play because I was too young. But my dad has definitely been a great resource for me. My brother, since everything that has happened with him has been more recent, he has really been a great resource. Even today, he called me and told me what to expect. It's been great having them give me basically a step-by-step of what to expect. Hopefully, I won't really have any big surprises come up.

OC: So you kind of have a good idea of what minor league life is like?

JB: [laughing] Oh, yeah, unfortunately.

OC: How would you say you have improved since you graduated from high school?

JB: A lot of ways, really. I have gotten in way better shape and I have matured both on and off of the field. I got better defensively. Since I got in better shape, I'm faster now. I have lost about 30 pounds since high school. I think I have become a much more dynamic player since then.

OC: I don't know how much you were aware that the A's were interested in you, but were you paying attention to where you might go and that sort of thing before the draft, or did you enter into it with an open mind that you might go anywhere?

JB: I played this year just not worrying about results. Of course, yeah, on the field, I want results because you want to play well, but I just didn't want to worry about what was going to happen when the year was over. Honestly, I didn't sign with any four-year school to play baseball and I am in my second year of junior college, so I went into this year just playing like it was my last year. I was just enjoying it. I didn't really worry about who was watching, and I didn't really care. I figured that if I did what I had to do, they would see that.

OC: Did you have a favorite player growing up since you said you were too young to watch your dad play?

JB: Always. Ken Griffey, Jr. Still is. My dad was a coach with the Mariners back in the 90s and that is when I met him. He has always been my favorite player.

OC: Is there a player that you model your game after?

JB: There really isn't. I just watch so many different guys play. It would be hard to try to model your game after any one particular player.

OC: What are your expectations for your professional career?

JB: I want to be a major leaguer. I expect to be. I'm not looking to be a career minor leaguer or have a cup of coffee in the major leagues either. I want to be there and have a long career.

OC: Are you hoping to sign quickly and get assigned somewhere soon?

JB: Yeah, absolutely.


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