Oakland A's Prospect Q&A: Ryan Doolittle

After missing all of last season, RHP Ryan Doolittle has been a great comeback story in 2010. In 29 innings this season for Kane County and Vancouver, Doolittle has allowed only two earned runs and he has walked one while striking out 28. The younger brother of Oakland A's prospect Sean Doolittle, Ryan talks about the influence of his brother, his road back from injury and more inside...

David Malamut: How has the season gone so far?

Ryan Doolittle: So far it's been great. I got up here a couple of weeks ago. It has been fun. It's a long season. I make my pitches, and it's great to be up here.

DM: What do you throw?

RD: Fastball, sinker, cutter and a change-up.

DM: What are you working on?

RD: Just throwing strikes. Attacking hitters. Going right after 'em and throwing to my strengths.

DM: What's your mentality on the mound?

RD: Just be aggressive, pitch to my strengths. Do what I can and try not to think about numbers. Just go out there and make them hit the ball.

DM: What did you learn at UNC-Wilmington?

RD: I learned a lot. We had a great coach. I learned a lot about pitching. I went there as a catcher, and they wound up putting me on the mound. They taught me just about throwing strikes and staying within yourself and not trying to do too much.

DM: Did the catching help you?

RD: Yeah I think to a degree, with calling the game and situational type things. My sophomore year I played first and short.

DM: How about Cumberland Junior College?

RD: There I was more of a pitcher. I played short a little bit.

DM: How was draft day?

RD: It was awesome. It was great. A lot of phone calls. It was very exciting for the whole family. I talked to my brother [Sean Doolittle] for awhile. It was a big day. It is always exciting when you find out something like that. I was driving home, I was at Virgina taking summer school, and I got the call, and I had to pull off to the side of the rode because I had so many people calling me.

DM: How bout being drafted by Oakland?

RD: It was perfect. Having my brother being on the same team, it is a pretty cool thing. I really didn't know who or when I was going to get picked up, just being picked up is a pretty big deal.

DM: You went to A's games as a kid?

RD: Yeah, we actually had season tickets when we were little. We lived in California, so we were big A's fans when we where little.

DM: What did your brother tell you about Oakland?

RD: That it was a great organization. Great guys, great coaches. I'm going to learn a lot. Just be a sponge just soak up everything. It is great having him in the same organization. I can kind of use him for some help.

DM: How was playing with Arizona A's?

RD: I liked it. It's hot. It's good, you learn a lot. We had a good coaching staff. It's a good place to get your work in and pick up a lot of things.

DM: How much did the injury effect you last year, mentally/physically?

RD: Not too much. It was more a mental thing. It definitely takes a mental toll on you. I got better, rehabbed and now I'm playing this year. It's not in the back of my mind anymore. It's all taken care of. I feel great so now I'm just out here playing.

DM: How was Vancouver?

RD: Very fun. I liked it a lot. Once again great coaching staff there, great guys, great atmosphere to play in for my first pro ball experience. I loved playing there.

DM: How was it coming back from the injury?

RD: It was great to play again. You take a year off and you really miss the game. Then you get out and playing in front of some people is great, and just going out there and playing baseball is fun. i stopped throwing [last year] in May and I didn't start again until January.

DM: How is playing with Kane County?

RD: When I found out the news it was very exciting. It was great to hear. I pitched well in Vancouver, and now I'm up here just trying to do the same thing.

DM: What besides baseball do you like to do?

RD: In the off-season there is a lot of downtime. I just hang out, spend a lot of time with my brother, play a little video games, just hang out, nothing too crazy. Go to the beach, stuff like that.

DM: If you were not playing baseball what would you be doing?

RD: I'd probably get into sports science, and exercise science, maybe be a strength coach, be around sport some how some way.

DM: Is that your major?

RD: No I was actually an education major. When I go back to school I will go back for exercise science.

DM: Top 5 artists in your iPod?

RD: Avenge Sevenfold, Dream Theater, Bullet for My Valentine, all country, AC/DC

DM: Biggest influence growing up?

RD: My brother. Just looking up to him. He has always been there to teach me. I've learned a lot from him, and having him growing up it's been great. I can kind of pick his brain, and now having him on the same team, I can now understand the game a little better, get the hitter's perspective.

DM: Baseball hero growing up?

RD: I was a big Pudge Rodriguez fan, from catching he was my guy. I looked up to him just the way he went about the game.

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