Q&A With A's 18th Round Pick Max Peterson

In round 18 of the 2009 MLB draft, the Oakland A's selected a local product, left-hander Max Peterson from San Jose State University. We caught-up with an excited Peterson on Wednesday to get his thoughts on being drafted, on his strengths as a pitcher and more…

If Max Peterson makes it to the big leagues, he figures to have a large cheering section when he makes his first appearance at the Oakland Coliseum. The left-hander was a big part of the San Jose State rotation the past two seasons. In 2009, Peterson tied for the team lead in wins with seven, going 7-1 with a 4.55 ERA in 65.1 innings. He struck-out 62 batters. In 2008, Peterson won five games for the Spartans and threw a one complete game.

Peterson is originally from San Diego and he attended San Diego Mesa College before transferring to San Jose State in 2008. He stands at 6'2'', 210 pounds and the 20-year-old southpaw is known for having a good fastball. We caught-up with Peterson on the day that he was drafted….

OaklandClubhouse: Congratulations! What were you doing when you heard that you had been drafted?

Max Peterson: I was actually in my livingroom. I was listening to it on the computer while watching TV. I heard my name come up and I was just shocked by it.

OC: Did you know that Oakland was interested in you?

MP: Yeah. I had talked to the Oakland guy who scouted me a couple of times, so I knew that they were one of the teams interested.

OC: The A's have taken a couple of pitchers from San Jose State the past few years, Brad Kilby and Branden Dewing. Are you familiar with them or were they gone by the time you got to the program?

MP: They were both gone, but I know Branden Dewing. He came back to do some throwing during the off-season, so I met him many times and have thrown with him a couple of times.

OC: Are you excited to stay in the Bay Area?

MP: Yeah, definitely.

OC: Were the A's an organization that you followed going to school out here?

MP: Oh, yeah, absolutely. They have always been known for their minor league system and bringing guys up to the big leagues, so it is exciting to get a chance to play for them.

OC: What are your expectations for minor league baseball? Are there things that you are looking forward to and things that you are not looking forward to?

MP: I have an idea of what goes on. I don't have personal experience, obviously, but I have had people tell me how it is and how the living is, that sort of thing. I have expectations, but not in terms of the living and bus ride aspects. Those are fine with me. That's how college is, going on six hour bus rides and it's not a big deal. You get a chance to play pro ball, so it is worth it.

OC: I know you have done a lot of starting and some relieving. Is there a type that you like to do most of all?

MP: Honestly, I like to start, but if I am asked to be a reliever, I have done it a few times. I did it two summers ago in Alaska. It's just one of those things where you have to get a routine, whether you are starting or relieving, that you have to get used to. Either one, I will be more than happy to do.

OC: Did playing in summer ball leagues help you develop your game?

MP: Yeah. Going to summer ball and seeing what other guys do from different schools, you can pick up something from everybody. You can pick up something from a right-handed pitcher and from a left-handed pitcher. Then you try to use it to your advantage and you find something that works for you. It benefited me a lot. It kind of got my name on the map a little bit my first summer, as well.

OC: What would you say that your strengths are as a pitcher? Would you say that there was one particular pitch that was your go-to pitch?

MP: My go-to pitch is my fastball. I throw it most of the time.

OC: Is it a two-seamer or a four-seamer?

MP: I throw both.

OC: Is there a pitch that you have been working on or that you are hoping you will improve in pro ball?

MP: Yeah, I hope to improve on my slider. I throw it pretty well, but sometimes I drop my arm slot so it kind of just spins up there, so that is one of the pitches I really want to work on. I think with the right direction it could be one of my better pitches.

OC: You are a junior, so you have a year of eligibility left. Are you thinking that you are likely to sign at this point, or are you going to wait to make that decision once you see what the A's have to offer?

MP: I'm going to wait and see what the A's come and offer. I want to sign and I want to play pro ball. It's what I want to do, so I can say that, but I want to wait and see what they have to offer.

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