Catcher Stephen Vogt Offers the Inside Scoop on the A’s Top Pitching Prospects

svstephenvogtoaklandathleticsvminnesota5tni_depo0cl2Catcher Stephen Vogt turned out to be something of a secret weapon for the A’s last year. Acquired from Tampa Bay during the first week of the season, he started the year at Sacramento. But when catcher John Jaso went down with a concussion, Vogt got the call. And not only did he help propel the team during its pennant drive, but he also started every game behind the plate in the A.L. Divisional Series and ended up driving in the game-winning run in the A’s dramatic Game #2 victory.

So far this spring, Vogt’s been one of the team’s most productive hitters. With Jaso’s return though, Vogt finds himself battling for an opening day roster spot. But whatever happens, we figured that anyone who’s spent the time that Vogt has behind the plate for the A’s this spring ought to have a pretty good perspective on some of the A’s top pitching prospects, so we took the opportunity to get his take on some of the A’s most talented young pitchers.

 

Michael YnoaOn RHP Michael Ynoa

I caught him in the bullpen and I caught him in live BP. And his fastball is there – it’s electric – it’s a good fastball. His curveball’s really good, and his changeup’s coming along. The biggest thing with him is just his command. He has a hard time staying in the strike zone at times. But when his stuff is in the zone, he’s pretty nasty. He’s definitely got good stuff and he’s got a lot of potential – just some of the issues he runs into are with his control and his command.

 

raraul-alcantara01cOn RHP Raul Alcantara

I actually hit against him in live BP. Same thing there, you know, good stuff, just a little raw. I think both those guys have a really good chance of being something special. His changeup was outstanding – it’s a really good secondary pitch – he’s got a good feel for it and it’s a good pitch. He throws hard and he’s got a lot of life on his ball.

 

al628x471dOn RHP Arnold Leon

He’s outstanding. He’s got four quality pitches. He’s smart and he throws hard, and he’s able to command and control all four pitches. He’s got a lot of upside and he’s ready to go. I caught him probably three times at Sacramento. He’s very good and he’s got a good idea. His ball’s got a lot of life on it right now – his curveball’s good, his changeup’s good, and his slider’s a lot better than it was last year. So he’s going to be something special.

 

dpdrew-pomeranz-baseball-headshot-photo3On LHP Drew Pomeranz

That’s a left-handed power arm right there. The thing with him is his command at times. And I think as he gets deeper into the season, it’s going to get better. He’s pretty special. His changeup and curveball are good pitches. He’s got good stuff. Fastball command is his biggest thing.

 

jl12016128bOn RHP Josh Lindblom

It’s early in camp right now and he’s still getting a feel for his breaking pitches. But for the most part, his slider and his curveball are really good, and his fastball’s good and his changeup’s good. I mean, we’ve got a lot of good arms here and Josh is another one of those – it’s exciting to have him.

 

On the success he’s been having at the plate this spring…

I made some minor adjustments in the winter, but nothing crazy. Just trying to allow myself to stay back a little bit more and see the ball a little bit longer. It’s been working so far and I’ve just got to keep it going.

 

sv51ce58484676a.preview-620bOn having the chance to play in his native northern California…

Last year, being in Sacramento and Oakland was huge – just being back in my home state, close to where I grew up. I’ve had a lot of fun so far.

 

On the clubhouse environment in Oakland…

It’s pretty special. I’ve been blessed to be in two pretty special places – Tampa and here. They’re pretty similar atmospheres in the clubhouse. There’s a lot of personalities, but we all mesh well and have a lot of fun.

 

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