Oakland A's Prospect Q&A: Max Peterson, P

Since joining the team in May, lefty Max Peterson has been one of the Kane County Cougars most effective relievers. He has held opposing batters to a .190 average and has struck-out 52 in 36.2 innings. Lefties have batted only .140 against the San Jose State alum this season. David Malamut spoke with Peterson.

David Malamut: How has the season gone so far?

Max Peterson: The season is going well. I had some hiccups here and there but overall I've been able to do what i have wanted to do, pound the strike zone, learned a new pitch, a cutter, which has been pretty effective to right-handed hitters and to left-handers. Overall it's been a pretty good learning experience to determine what kind of pitcher I am.

OC: What do you throw?

MP: Fastball, slider, cutter and change-up.

DM: What are you working on?

MP: Trying to stay closed a little longer and go straight toward the hitter. I have a tendency to fall off to the third-base side. Sometimes it's a battle to do that but most of the time I've felt like I have been able to do that pretty well this year.

DM: What's your mentality on the mound?

MP: Here hit it. Sometimes I get away from that and end up getting behind hitters and they are in a hitter's count. Lately it's been 'here it is, hit if you can.'

DM: What did you learn from Westview High School?

MP: I learned a lot about just the game in general, like bunt plays, first and third plays. Just learning the game.

DM: How about San Diego Mesa Junior College?

MP: Getting innings. They helped me a lot with pitching and being able to handle the hundred innings a year and the mentality of playing four days a week.

DM: How about San Jose State?

MP: I learned a lot, everything about the game: pitching, mental toughness, time management was a big key with them. I still have a year left. In the off-season, I will take a few classes and see what I can do.

DM: How was the Alaskan Summer League?

MP: A blast. You go fishing all the time, learn from the other Division One players.

DM: Sociology major?

MP: Not really a school guy. Never have been, but it's something that interests me a little bit. So I had to run with it.

DM: How was draft day?

MP: Fun, unbelievable. Seeing your name pop up is one of the most exhilarating things I've ever had experience doing. Oakland is great. I've always been an A's fan growing up. I'm from San Diego but I've always been a San Diego and Oakland fan. Eric Chavez is from San Diego so I watched him growing up in high school.

DM: How was Vancouver?

MP: Fun. I learned a lot from Lefty [Craig Lefferts] and Skip [Rick Magnante]. Lefty taught me how to deal with the every day struggles of being a pitcher in pro ball, where you throw every day or throw every two or three days. It's a different country but you get used to it. The travel was fun. The cities we went to, the fans were great.

DM: The travel was fun?

MP: I didn't mind the travel. We went to some cool places. Eugene, you see the University of Oregon and their football stadium. There are a few places that I won't mention that were not the nicest places.

DM: How was Extended Spring this year?

MP: It was good. I needed to work on a few things. Lefty and Ariel [Prieto] kind of sat down and said this is what you need to do and we worked on it every single day and I learned a lot from it. That somethings don't go your way sometimes and to just keep going, just keep battling.

DM: How about coming to Kane County?

MP: Fun. I've played with most of these guys last year, and getting an opportunity to play with them and playing a full season with this kind of crowd all the time and this kind of stadium, it is really fun.

DM: How about the Midwest League?

MP: Fun, good competition. Most of the stadiums are really nice. The locker rooms are good and the travel is not horrible.

DM: Besides baseball what do you like to do?

MP: Golf, I'm ok.

DM: If not for baseball, what would you be doing?

MP: Coaching baseball or trying to play golf.

DM: Top 5 artists in your iPod?

MP: Creed, Tim McGraw, Dirks Bently, Toby Keith, Hootie and the Blowfish.

DM: Who was your biggest influence growing up?

MP: My mom, she just kept telling me keep going, don't stop. Never pressured me into anything I didn't want to do. She supported me and is the reason I'm here.

DM: Baseball hero?

MP: Sandy Kofax. I read his book and some of the stuff he went through. I think he threw with a torn elbow for a few years, and being able to do that mentally and physicality is impressive. Sometimes I worry about 'oh I've got a sore arm' and he threw with a torn elbow ligament. It's kind of like 'wow, what am I complaining about.'

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