Oakland A's Prospect Q&A: Jason Christian, IF

Selected in the fifth round of the 2008 draft out of the University of Michigan, Jason Christian was one of the top performers among the Oakland A's 2008 draft class last season. Christian is off to a good start with Kane County once again in 2009. Kane County Correspondent David Malamut caught-up with the talented infielder for a Q&A session...

Jason Christian was selected in the fifth round of the 2008 draft out of the University of Michigan by the Oakland A's. The infielder signed quickly after the draft and was immediately assigned to short-season Vancouver, where he was the Canadians' top hitter. In 62 games, he hit .291 with a .404 OBP and an 836 OPS. He was given a taste of the Midwest League at the tail-end of the season and he collected eight hits in 25 at-bats (.320 average).

Christian is back with the Cougars once again in 2009. After collecting two hits in four at-bats on Sunday, he is batting .278 on the season with eight RBIs in nine games. He is nine-for-21 with runners in scoring position and he has five hits in his last eight at-bats.

Normally a shortstop, Christian has been playing a lot of third base thus far this season and he is expected to see time at third, short and second during the course of the year. David Malamut caught-up with Christian for a Q&A session over the weekend...

David Malamut: You grew up in Cincinnati, as an infielder did you pay close attention to Barry Larkin?

Jason Christian: I did. I actually had a chance to meet Barry Larkin a couple of times, and to watch him play all of the time was definitely influential in my career. Then, of course, he went to Michigan and I went to Michigan so it was fun watching him as I grew up.

DM: Did that influence you in going to Michigan?

JC: No, it didn't really at all but once I got to Michigan I got to meet him there, that was nice. It was good to meet him.

DM: When you heard that you were drafted by Oakland, what immediately went through your mind?

JC: I was really happy because the A's are a good organization, and you have a good chance to move through the system quickly. You know, in some systems you can't really move because of the back-log of people. So I was real pleased.

DM: What experience did you bring back from last year, with six games as a Cougar?

JC: When I got here I felt like I knew what I was getting into. You've been here before and you've met some of the people, you kind of know what to expect going in.

DM: After last year, what were you most looking forward to this year?

JC: I think just a fresh start in the new year. I am here trying to build on last year and just get better. You want to work on things you need to work on and go out and see how it all comes together.

DM: Baseball-wise growing up, who were your idols?

JC: Paul O'Neill was probably the biggest one for me. He was a Cincinnati guy, and I got to know him pretty well through family friends, so watching him, and getting to know him, he was one of my favorites. When I was a younger person, I got to go around and watch the Reds play, so I learned a lot just watching how he played the game.

DM: As a freshman, you hit .180. What did you learn from that?

JC: It's just a game of ups and downs. You go through struggles sometimes, and use it to build and get better.

DM: You played summer league in '07 in Mankato. With the experience with wood bats, what did you learn and what can be applied to the pros?

JC: Wood bats are a little bit different story [as opposed to aluminum bats]. They make you hit it a little more square. Also, they are not as forgiving as metal bats. I think it was a good experience that I could use even before I got into pro ball.

DM: What do you like to do in your spare time?

JC: Crossword puzzles, reading, golfing, just to relax. When you've got that day off, it is nice to just relax.

DM: What's in your iPod?

JC: A little bit of everything, some country music, some rap, some old school classics, a little bit of everything in there.

About the writer

David Malamut has been a season ticket holder of the Cougars for the past 13 years. He has also been writing a daily website about the team for that long at http://malamut.net. David wrote a book about the history of the Cougars in 2005. Baseball In Kane County, Arcadia Publishing. For daily updates on the Cougars, stats and game stories please go to David's website, Voice of A Season Ticket Holder, http://malamut.net.

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