Oakland A's Prospect Q&A: Jamie Richmond, P

During the off-season, the Oakland A's made it an organizational priority to acquire more pitching talent for the system. One of the arms that they acquired was right-hander Jamie Richmond, who came over from the Atlanta Braves organization. Richmond has spent the season in Low-A Kane County, where he has found success. Ryan McGrady spoke to the right-hander this week...

This January, the Oakland A's sent centerfielder Mark Kotsay to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for two right-handed pitching prospects, Joey Devine and Jamie Richmond. Devine was a high-profile prospect, having been a former first round draft pick who had seen time in the major leagues. Richmond, on the other hand, was less well-known.

Since arriving at Kane County, however, the Toronto native has begun to make a name for himself. The 22-year-old was named to the Midwest League All-Star team and has been one of Kane County's most durable starters this season. Although he struggled in June (6.11 ERA), he was outstanding in April (3.70 ERA and three walks in 24.1 innings) and May (3.26 ERA and four walks in 38.2 innings). Richmond got off to a good start in July, allowing three runs in eight innings and earning a win on July 2nd.

Ryan McGrady spoke with Richmond on July 1st about his first year in the A's chain, his reaction to being traded and more...

Ryan McGrady: What did it feel like when you found out that you were being traded to the A's?

Jamie Richmond: It was kind of just a random call. I had no idea I was even talked about being traded. It was kind of a weird feeling with two different sides. Kind of a feeling like Atlanta didn't want me and Oakland wanted me, so good and bad sides. Talking to the Atlanta guys, they didn't want to lose me, but it was just something they had to do to better their major league club, which is a good thing, I guess.

RM: Has it been a big adjustment going from the Atlanta system to the A's system? Are there any differences between the two organizations? They both have very good reputations for developing pitchers.

JR: Both of them are pretty high up developing any position for that matter, but it is pretty much the same thing with just different guys and different coaches. Basically it's the same thing. I just have to go out there, throw strikes, and do my job.

RM: You are definitely throwing strikes this year with just 13 walks in [now 99] innings. What has been your best pitch?

JR: Probably the four-seam fastball. I've been working on a slider and started throwing a two-seam pitch to back up my four-seam pitch and get lefties out front and get groundballs.

RM: You got to pitch for Team Canada in the Baseball World Cup. What was that like?

JR: That was a great experience. Going over there to Australia and training camp in Taiwan, it's a different style of baseball. You don't play for your stats, you play for your country. You can give up five runs one inning and the next inning your team scores six so it's all about the team winning and it doesn't matter how you do. Stats don't mean anything so it was a great experience.

RM: Now being from Canada were you always a baseball player or did you play hockey or any other sports?

JR: I played hockey for 11 years and I was a goalie for 10 of them.

RM: Are there any pitchers that you emulated when you were growing up or pattern yourself after either mechanics-wise or in your pitching philosophy?

JR: Not really. I'd watch Roger Clemens and Roy Halladay. Those were the ones I'd watch when they were on the Blue Jays, but that was about it.

RM: What are your goals to finish off this season and what do you feel like you need to work on the rest of this year to get ready for the next step next year?

JR: Just to continue to throw strikes and get outs. Hopefully get my ERA down, keep winning ballgames, and hopefully win a championship ring this year.


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