There was a time this season when it didn't seem likely that Tom Everidge
would be posting career-bests in anything. At the All-Star break, Everidge was batting only .209 with 10 homers and a .325 OBP.
Something appeared to click for Everidge soon after that, however. Since the All-Star break, he is batting .292 with 14 homers and a .374 OBP. In August alone, Everidge is batting .330 with a .434 OBP. On the season, the burly first baseman is batting .248 with 24 homers, 85 RBI and a 798 OPS.
We spoke to Everidge during the Ports' last home-stand to get his thoughts on his improvements during the second half of the season and his plans for the off-season.
OaklandClubhouse: It seems like the season has been a complete 180 for you since the All-Star break. What has been the key to your turnaround?
I think just relaxing and being healthy. Towards the end of the first half, I hurt my wrist a little bit, so I was swinging with one hand for awhile. But I think really just having the approach of not trying to do too much has helped me hit better.
OC: Have you felt like you have learned anything from your experience in the California League last season?
I think just being more relaxed and not trying to do too much. I think last year, I wouldn't take my walks when they were there for me. I am starting to understand when they are not trying to pitch to me, so I can just take the walk if they are trying to give it to me.
OC: I saw a pitch chart in the pressbox that showed that you were hitting a lot more balls up the middle than you were earlier in the season. Is that something that you have been working on?
Yeah. I haven't been seeing as many pitches to drive because we have been playing teams like San Jose and a few other good pitching clubs. When I am not getting pitches to drive, I try to focus on going up the box so that I don't pull off of pitches that I can't do anything with.
OC: Despite the slow start, you are establishing career-highs in a number of areas. What has been the difference this season for you?
I think it just shows the difference in being patient. I have been waiting for my pitch a lot better. I had good numbers last year, but I feel like they could have been better, except that I wouldn't allow them to be because I was trying to do too much.
OC: How are you feeling defensively?
I have just been working with Juan Navarette, and Darren Bush gets me out there as much as possible to take ground balls. I have just been working on hand position and working on getting my feet in better position.
OC: Do you have a plan for your off-season already?
Yeah, I have already talked to my trainer. We are going to work on getting me to slim down more and get more agile. I am also planning to work a lot more on my defense with my college coach.
Stockton first baseman Tom Everidge is quietly leading the Oakland A's organization in homeruns and RBI. On Friday, Everidge clubbed his 24th homer of the season and drove-in three runs, giving him 85 RBI. Both totals are career-highs for the Sonoma State grad, who hit 20 homers and drove-in 83 runs for Stockton last year. We caught-up with Everidge during Stockton's last home-stand for a Q&A.
We spoke to Everidge about his improvement in the second half of the season and more...
Everidge has an 883 OPS since the ASB.