The Future of A's Baseball

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

My interview with A's prospect Ryan Webb

A's Future - What are your feelings about the 2005 season?

Ryan Webb - 2005 with Kane County was a great way to be introduced to "full season" professional baseball for me. It was a learning process from day 1 all the way through the season. As far as performance, I worked on alot of different things i needed to do to get better, so i dont dwell on stats. Inconsistancy was my biggest problem in 05 and that had alot to do with working on certain aspects of my game while trying to still compete between the lines. All in all I feel im entering 06 more prepared, more improved, and more confident, making my 2005 season a success for me.

AF - You got off to a quick start last year only to struggle a bit as the season wore on. Do you have an idea of why that was?

RW - Most of the answer to this question is in my first reply. The further into the season you go the more you have to work on making it hard to get in a groove.

AF - Before the 2004 draft, what round were you told to expect to be taken in?

RW - I had heard alot of different things anywhere from round 2 thru 7. 04 was loaded with great pitching so I could have ended up anywhere but I couldn't have been selected by a better organzation.

AF - What other teams had interest in you?

RW - Most of them had talked to me and I filled out questionaires for all 30 teams

AF - What were your thoughts when the Oakland "we don't take high school righties" A's drafted you?

RW - I wasent even aware of Oaklands policy and I was blindsided by them taking me. I also didn't think much about it until I realized i was the youngest guy in the organization by like 3 years, and the other guys didn't let me forget that.

AF - How involved were you in the contract negotiation process with your agent and the A's?

RW - It was fairly simple yet still stressfull for my faimly and I. My dad handled the negotiations with my scout and there was no agent involved. It was important to me to sign early and get a full rookie ball season in instead of holding out for a few extra $$.

AF - Word was that the A's drafted you with hopes that you'd increase your velocity. How was your velocity in Kane County last year? How is it now?

RW - My velo was around the 87-91 range in KC last year sitting at about 88-89. When I went to [Instructional League] all the work I had done came together and something clicked after a 120 inning season and I saw it jump to 89-93.. So far this spring I've been in the 88-92 range throwing mostly around 90-91. Hopefully as I build up arm strength my velo will increase more. I've also got a better direction and arm angle going to the plate which is giving me some more sink on my pitches, something that should come in handy at Stockton.

AF - Can you tell us a little about your repertoire of pitches?

RW - My change up has improved a lot with my new mechanics and I'm not as tenative to throw it anymore. I have tightened up my slider and added a knuckle curve to mix in to the lefties this year. Right now I have a good feel for 4 pitches now I have to figure out the best ways to use them to the hitters I face.

AF - How has spring training gone thus far?

RW - I feel better than I ever have and I got good experience pitching with the AA Midland team most of spring training. I've thrown good sides and had good games and had the chance to pitch to much more experienced hitters and even to some big league guys that came down for extra AB's. After spring my feeling is that I'm confident I can pitch this year at the AA level so I need to keep improving and throw well in Stockton to earn that promotion sometime during the year.

AF - What were the limitations the A's put on you last season with innings and pitch count?

RW - Last year I was shut down after 120 innings and no more than 90 pitches in a game.

AF - Have they told you what they'll be limiting you to this season?
RW - I'd guess around 140 innings and 100 pitches a game. But it will probably be less.

AF - What are your goals for 2006?

RW - We have a great team going to Stockton and I think we will be very competitive, so one of my goals is to be a significant contributer to a winning team. Of course a goal is to stay healthy all year, and keep improving on the things I've learned. And one of my biggest goals is to earn a promotion to AA and hopefully get invited to the Arizona Fall League at the end of the season. Another long term goal is to pitch

I'd really like to thank Ryan for his time and well thought out answers.

Season starts tomorrow so daily postings will once again begin. I may or may not have an interview with Dan Meyer coming up soon. It was all set, then I kind of talked crap about Bill Shanks (Braves front office guy, real jackass) and I think it might have angered Meyer a bit. We'll see.


  • Good inteview.

    I'll keep an eye on Webb. I'm close to Stockton, and he's AWESOME in the video game sims I have. hfg


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:22 AM  

  • Nice interview Blee and thank you Ryan.

    I never heard about a questionaire. Is that something all prospects have to fill out before they're drafted?

    And is Ryan any relations to Brandon?

    By Blogger Toni, at 12:03 PM  

  • Good Interview. I really like hearing about what pitches they throw and with what kind of velocity. Keep them coming.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:49 PM  

  • I have no idea on both your questions Toni

    By Blogger Bobby, at 12:52 PM  

  • What???

    And here I thought you knew everything!!


    By Blogger Toni, at 2:16 PM  

  • Nice interview.

    On a not-so-related front, is there any particular reason why Jared Lansford is starting the year in the AZL instead of low-A ball with Mazzano and Italiano?

    By Anonymous grover, at 6:20 PM  

  • I don't know, but I was upset to find out that was the case. I have to assume that Lansford suffered some sort of injury

    By Blogger Bobby, at 12:13 AM  

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