A's minor league reliever Steve Sharpe was 24 when he began this past season at Class-A Kane County…
Prospect Interview: Steven Sharpe, RP
That performance earned Sharpe an All-Star bid and he threw a scoreless inning in the Midwest League All-Star game on Tuesday. It also earned him an early promotion to A-Stockton, where he will be headed on Thursday.
Jennifer Harasek caught-up with Sharpe this past weekend and discussed his role as a reliever, his pitching arsenal and more…
Jennifer Harasek: After being a starter in college, how are you taking to being a reliever? Do you enjoy closing?
Steven Sharpe: It's good, I really like it. You get the chance to play every day instead of sitting around all week. I am enjoying it. I like closing a lot. This is actually the first time I've closed.
I think if you're in the bullpen it's the best thing to do because you know when you are going to throw. You know you have the 9th inning, so I enjoy it a lot.
JH: What pitches are you throwing?
SS: A little bit of everything, mostly fastballs and sliders, but anything to get an out.
JH: What is your best out-pitch?
SS: Slider, definitely.
JH: Do you approach lefties different than righties?
SS: Yeah, I do. Typically with the lefties I'll try to throw some changeups in there, which is a little different for me, I don't throw a lot of changeups. I'll see some good lefties, I like to try and stay away from them and then go in late.
JH: Being from Missouri, does your family get to see you play much?
SS: Every once in awhile, maybe two or three times a year. Actually, my wife travels with me. We live together on the road so she's there for every game, which is nice.
JH: Is there anything you are looking to improve on by the end of the year?
SS: Just consistency. Just continue to stay consistent and stay healthy. Throwing that many days out of the year, I just want to make sure I stay healthy.
JH: How do you feel about being selected for the All-Star team?
SS: It's awesome, it's outstanding. I feel great, this is such a good team. There are some strong teams in this league, but besides Peoria, this [the Cougars] is the best team. To be coming off this team as an all-star is awesome.
JH: Have you made an All-Star roster before?
SS: Yeah, I did my first year in short season, but as a starter so this is different. I'm excited.
JH: How do you pass the time on road trips?
SS: We play some chess, Scrabble, Scattergories. We do kind of play some intellectual games on this team. There are some guys that like to do competitive stuff – cards, a lot of that. It's pretty fun. Not a lot of video games with these guys, it's a lot of competitive you and me games. It's fun.
JH: Growing up, who was your favorite athlete? Favorite team?
SS: I loved the Royals, obviously. For players I liked George Brett a lot, and Doc Gooden. I came up watching the Royals a whole lot, even though they suck now, it's okay. That's my hometown team.
JH: What's the best part of being a professional baseball player?
SS: It's a game. They say pro ball, but really, it's a game. It's so much fun.
JH: If you weren't a professional baseball player, what would you be doing?
SS: Oh man, who knows. I don't know. I guess I'd probably be in real estate with my brother.
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