The theme of the Oakland A's 2010 MLB Draft class was power and it began at the top of the class with first pick Michael Choice. Choice starred for the University of Texas, Arlington, and along the way developed a reputation as an elite power threat. In 166 games for UT-A, Choice hit 34 homeruns and batted .392 with 162 RBIs.
With the draft now in the rearview mirror, the A's and Choice are focusing on contract negotiations in hopes of getting him under contract much sooner than the team signed 2009 top pick Grant Green, who inked on the final day he was eligible to sign in mid-August.
Choice spoke to John Anderson late last week about his draft day experience, his workouts while negotiations are on-going, his thoughts on getting signed and more...
John Anderson: Hi Michael, how are things going?
Michael Choice: Hello. Things are going pretty good.
JA: What are you doing to stay in shape while waiting to sign?
MC: I'm just hitting and throwing basically at UT-Arlington.
JA: How's the negotiating process going? Are things moving along?
MC: Yeah, I think things should be taking off pretty shortly.
JA: Any idea where you will be assigned after you sign?
MC: I'm not exactly sure yet. I'm guessing short season.
JA: To Vancouver?
JA: When we spoke a couple days before the draft, you had no idea who was going to select you. Did you have any idea on draft day that Oakland would take you if you were available?
MC: I still had no idea who was going to take me.
JA: As a fan, it was great that the MLB Network televised your reaction as well as your friends and family's reaction. When was that set-up?
MC: They set it up probably about four days before the draft. They asked if it was OK to send TV camera crews to my house and I told them that it was fine.
JA: It was great. It was great to see.
JA: Great crowd, tons of emotion from everyone. Your dad must have been going crazy.
MC: [Laughs] Yeah, he's pretty excited.
JA: What type of contact have you had from the A's since you were drafted. Have you heard from Billy Beane or Eric Kubota?
MC: No, I've just been talking to the area scout.
JA: And letting your agent, Jeff Frye, do his thing?
JA: What do you think your biggest adjustment is going to be in pro ball?
MC: I guess the biggest adjustment is going to be getting back to using wood bats again. That only takes about a week or two and then once I get back to using wood in game situations I think that will be the main obstacle.
JA: How excited is the UT-A baseball program for you?
MC: Everyone is real excited. They are asking me how I'm doing and how everything is going. That type of thing.
JA: And are you getting anxious? Are you getting ready to go out and play?
MC: Yes I am.
JA: As you look at the other players drafted and the Vancouver roster, are there guys that you have played with in the past? Have you played with Tony Thompson?
MC: I actually did. I played with Tony last summer. He came to the USA trials so I got to know him for about a week. Also, one of the Vancouver pitchers, Nathan Long, went to UT-A with me. So I played with Nathan for two years at UT-A.
JA: Have you been in touch with him at all?
MC: Yes, I've been texting him every other day or so. He's been saying that everyone is looking forward to seeing me up there.
JA: The players are looking forward to it as are the A's fans. And Vancouver is a good place to play.
MC: Yes, that's what he's told me.
JA: You mentioned when we last spoke that your dad had just retired and he would follow you in the minors. Will he go to Vancouver when you sign?
MC: He doesn't have a passport so he probably won't make it to Vancouver, but he might try to make some of the games that are in Washington.
JA: Do you have your passport ready?
MC: Yeah I do. I have one from the summer so I'm already set on that.
JA: Finally, after you sign, what will be your first purchase for yourself?
MC: I definitely want a new truck. [Laughs] I've been wanting that for awhile.
JA: Will you drive it to Canada?
MC: I probably won't drive it to Canada but I'll definitely take it when I go out to Arizona.
JA: That's great. Well hopefully you will sign soon and best of luck to the start of your career.
MC: Thanks so much.