Q&A With A's Seventh Round Pick Brett Hunter

With their first pick on Day Two of the 2008 draft, the Oakland A's selected Pepperdine right-hander Brett Hunter. Some draft experts pointed to that pick as one of the potential steals of the draft, as Hunter was, at one time, considered a first-round pick before an injury this season dropped his stock. We spoke to Hunter about being selected, his expectations of pro ball and more…

The weather is almost always perfect in Malibu, but the air always got a little warmer there when Brett Hunter took the hill for the Pepperdine Waves. Hunter, a 6'4'', 215 pound right-hander, can really bring the heat. As a starter, Hunter's fastball sat regularly in the 92-96 range. As a closer, Hunter was regularly clocked in the upper-90s and even touched 100 MPH.

Going into the 2008 season, Hunter was on many draft pundits' short-lists of potential first-round picks, thanks to that dynamic fastball and a good curveball. An injury prevented Hunter from pitching in all but two starts in 2008. Thanks to those missed starts, Hunter stayed on the draft board longer than expected and was taken in the seventh round by the Oakland A's.

With first-round talent, Hunter could become one of the best second-day picks in the draft for the A's. We spoke to the talented right-hander one day after he was selected…

OaklandClubhouse: Congratulations on being selected in the draft.

Brett Hunter: Thank you very much!

OC: Were you excited or disappointed about where you went in the draft?

BH: You know what, I was very excited. I'm very happy with where I ended up and I can't wait to get out there and start playing.

OC: I know that you had some arm trouble early in the year. How are you feeling now?

BH: I am feeling good. Everything with the arm is really good.

OC: You've done a mix of starting and relieving while with Pepperdine. Is there a role that you see yourself taking as you go into the pros?

BH: There's really not, no. I'm just ready to go out there and play and help the team with whatever they need.

OC: Have you spoken much with the A's since the draft?

BH: A little bit, yeah. I spoke with the local guy, the area scout.

OC: Were you aware that the A's were interested in you leading up to the draft?

BH: A little bit, yeah. I kind of talked to a lot of teams, so I didn't really know it was going to be the A's who selected me. I'm just really happy that that is where I ended up.

OC: Is it nice to go to a team in California?

BH: It is, yeah. I have kind of grown up here [in California], so it will be nice to be sort of close to home.

OC: How would you describe your experience at Pepperdine?

BH: It's been a lot of fun. We have a great coaching staff here that is always willing to do whatever they can to help us succeed. We have gone up against some great competition and played some tight games, and that only makes you better as a player. It's been a lot of fun. I have enjoyed it.

OC: Have you had a lot of friends go on into professional baseball? Do you kind of know what to expect from minor league baseball?

BH: Yeah, I've had a lot of friends go into pro ball. It's a little different because you are playing every day [in pro ball]. But it's your job, so you aren't going to school anymore, you just go out there and play everyday and work hard and have fun.

OC: Was this year leading up to the draft stressful at all, seeing your name in publications and stuff like that?

BH: Not really. I just kind of stayed away from it [the draft hype]. I wasn't really into reading all of that kind of stuff. By the end of the year, it just made it all easier. I'm just very happy with how it all ended up.

OC: Are you planning on signing at this point, or is that something that you are going to have to wait and decide on once the negotiations start?

BH: I really have no idea at this point. We'll have to see how it goes.

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