A’S PROSPECTS LOOK AHEAD TO 2015 SEASON (originally posted 1/15/15 on OaklandClubhouse.com)


Kimberly Contreras
Arizona Correspondent
A's Prospects Look Ahead to 2015 Season

Throughout the week, Kimberly Contreras has given us a glimpse into the off-season lives of several Oakland A’s prospects. In the final segment of her series, Kimberly turns to focus to the future and what these prospects are resolving to do and how they are motivating themselves in the new year.

This is part four of a four-part series.

To read part one of this series, click here.

To read part two of this series, click here.

To read part three of this series, click here.

In the final part of the series, we focus on the year and the season ahead. The 9th question is whether or not they make resolutions at the new year, and if so, what are they.

The BONUS question: What quote/ saying/ word will be your focus for the coming year?

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little glimpse into the lives of these wonderful young men. The morsels of information they’ve provided will have to last us a little longer… we can make it.

In less than two months, all four of our basic human needs will, once again be met: food, shelter, clothing… and baseball. And not necessarily in that order.


Jon Massad: “I have made a few New Years’ resolutions. One is that I want to wake up earlier every day.”

Joey Bennie: “I don’t make New Years’ resolutions. I believe changes can be made at any point in the year, not just in the beginning of a new year.”

A.J. Burke: “I’m not big on New Years’ resolutions just because I don’t think you should wait until the New Year to try and improve yourself in any sort of way. Every day is a chance to get better.”

Heath Fillmyer: “My resolution was to eat healthier in 2015! To also increase my work ethic and take it to another level!”

Chad Pinder: “I did not make a New Year’s resolution this year! But I guess it would be continue to build on what I’ve gained from 2014.”

Rob Huber: “I have never been much of a New Year’s resolution guy, but the things I have told myself I will do in 2015 is continue to learn more programming languages that compliment my computer science degree. Programming and coding is similar to baseball in that if you don’t practice the skill will go away. I took time off from it for baseball, but I don’t want to take too much time off and fall behind in a quickly expanding field.”

Derek Beasley: “My New Year’s resolution is to keep the walks low and ERA down, just your average pitcher’s New Year’s resolution.”

J.P. Sportman: “HAHA I did make a joke with my Mom to pay less attention to my phone this year, and I actually think I’m going to stick with it.”

Cody Stull:“Not really any resolutions but I sat back and reflected on the wonderful events of 2014. I graduated college, played my senior season with my best friends, and was drafted by the A’s, allowing me to continue with my passion of playing baseball.”

Max Kuhn: “I don’t really make any resolutions. I hold myself to a high standard so I’m always pushing myself to get better in whatever I do.”

John Nogowski: “Not really into resolutions for the new year. I try to make sure I live every day to the fullest. To make sure that I make the most out of each new day because it is another opportunity to do something great. That mentality doesn’t ever really change for me.”

Seth Frankoff: “I strive to be the best person I can be in all aspects of life. I also strive to be of service, and to be a positive example / influence on others. I don’t believe that should be a resolution, for me, it is a daily pursuit.”

Ryan Dull: “I don’t usually make resolutions. As long as I know I did everything possible to get better that day, then I am satisfied and the results will speak for themselves.”

Daniel Gossett: “My New Year’s resolution was to not let the little things bother me. Keep in mind the big picture and don’t sweat the small stuff.”

Bobby Wahl: “I’m not a huge resolution guy.”

Tyler Painton: “My New Year’s resolution was to be an overall healthier person. Starting with my diet and including things such as just keeping my room clean and avoiding illness at all cost.”

Josh Miller: “No New Year’s resolution for me, although I quit tobacco!!!”

Dillon Overton: “My wife and I made a New Year’s resolution to tithe on a regular basis at the church we attend together.”

Dom Vattuone: “As for a New Year’s Resolution: to live each and every day and take nothing for granted. Enjoy the small things because they, in turn, become the big things later down the road. Eat clean, be positive and get after it.”

Chris Lamb: “I’ve never made New Year’s resolutions. I feel like self-improvement should be a year round commitment.”

Ryan Mathews: “I didn’t make a New Year’s resolution this year but Morgan and I have been doing a lot of pre-marriage counseling. And from that counseling, a goal of mine over this next year is to grow in love and truth.”

Nick Rickles: “My New Years’ resolution is – be someone who makes me happy, work harder than I ever have in my life and be positive even in the most negative situations; that goes for on and off the baseball field.”


Drew Granier: “For a performer, love is the most basic ingredient for success.”Mind Gym

“Just love what you do; be confident in yourself and your talents. That alone should take you a long way. For a stretch this past season somewhere along the line I lost confidence and the results showed it. So, for me I have to tell myself good or bad just stay confident and keep working and everything will turn out fine.”

Jon Massad: “Control what you can control” is a quote I use to remind myself.
Another quote I like is by Babe Ruth: “Perseverance, it’s hard to beat a person that never gives up.”

Boog Powell: “NEGU” (Never Ever Give Up)

Joey Bennie: “Without struggle, there is no progress.” – Frederick Douglass

“That quote has a lot of meaning, especially in baseball where you are going to fail more than you succeed. It also keeps my mind right in the midst of tough times.

A.J. Burke: “My “focus word” is the same as it has been since last June:

For those guys who got the chance to work with Bob Welch, we all know the phrase“You man”. Bob inspired a lot of us to become better men and better baseball players and I take that to the field with me every time I step on the mound. I have it written inside my hat and before I throw my first pitch of my outing, I stand on the back of the mound and take off my hat and take a second to look at that phrase.”

Heath Fillmyer: “Mohammed Ali’s: “To be a Great Champion, you must believe you are the best, if you’re not, pretend you are!”

Chad Pinder: “My word for 2015 would be “Growth”. I want to be able to look back at 2015 and say I continued to grow as a player, person, friend, and family member.”

Derek Beasley: “I like to focus on the verse, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

I know if I trust in God’s plan, everything will work itself out. Knowing this gives me confidence and in return pushes the act of worrying out the door.”

Daniel Robertson: “My father engrained in me something that will always be my saying: “Believe You Belong!” Always.”

J.P. Sportman: “I can’t find or think of who said this quote but “Height doesn’t measure heart” is one quote that has always stuck with me. Especially being a smaller framed guy, I think it resembles me as a player. Every year I face doubters especially in my college days saying “he’s too small to play at the next level”.

It’s a quote that reminds me every day that size doesn’t matter if you work hard and play hard every day.”

Cody Stull: “I am continuing with my approach of making sure I pause and experience each opportunity I have as a professional baseball player. When I left for Arizona, my mom reminded me to make sure I “Slow down and enjoy the moments, have fun and never lose the passion of playing this game”. So without knowing it I have been using “Press Pause” as well, and now I have it all in a nice sentence.

Max Kuhn: “My favorite quote that I have always stuck to is, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”– Mark Twain

John Nogowski: “Stick with the process” 142 game season is a grind and I will constantly be reminding myself throughout the year to trust that if I “stick with the process” everything else will fall in place.”

Seth Frankoff: “The first quote is from Michael Jordan, who I view as the ultimate competitor, and it speaks to relentlessness and never giving up.”

“I’ve failed over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” -Michael Jordan

”The second quote is one my father told me growing up and is from a legend in NC, a man I’ve always looked up to, former UNC basketball Coach Dean Smith. I’ve always tried to remember and demonstrate this in regards to being humble and letting what happens on the field speak for itself.”

“A lion never roars after a kill.” -Dean Smith

Ryan Dull: “I have a couple quotes that I use:

“Never Give Up. Never Back Down. Never Lose Faith” I saw that on the cover for the movie “Facing the Giants” my senior year of high school.“Breathe and have fun” My brother always tells me that so I relax and don’t let the emotions of the game get to me.”

Bobby Wahl: “I’m not sure if I have a saying but just to have a positive outlook on life, work hard, and enjoy every minute of what I do.”

Tyler Painton: “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

That is going to be my focus for the new year. I want to carry myself in a humble manner and attack the task at hand the best way that I can in order to get the job done.”

Josh Miller: “Enjoy the little things!”

So many times I’ve taken this game for granted, and after spending a year away, I realize how much I love it. Enjoy stretch, bullpens, in and out, all the little things that lead to the big moments.”

Dillon Overton: “The quote I’m gonna use is one that my grandpa always told us kids growing up and working with him. “Off your ass and on your feet, outta the shade and in the heat”.

He was always one that worked hard at whatever he did. And before he passed away he instilled in me the quality of work ethic. He had a big hand in molding me into the man I am today.”

Dom Vattuone: “A quote that I will take with me on this 2015 season as well as the rest of my career and life for that matter is:

“Why Not You?” – from Russell Wilson’s Super Bowl Speech.

Growing up, his father would always say “Russell, why not you?” For Example: Why not you in the super bowl?

That gives me that internal drive; the reminder that anything in the game is possible. Why not go out there and show them and have that icon be you? That’s what I get from it.

There are too many Welchie sayings to put down here that I will always carry with me. But something he would always say to everyone to lift up and to give them confidence was “YOU MAN”. Wise man of many words. I always have the BW on my hat and in my mind.

Chris Lamb: “Motivation is fleeting. Discipline is habitual.”

Ryan Mathews: “My focus phrase for this next year actually comes from the bible verses, Philippians 3:13-14

I’ve shortened it for my focus phrase to this:”

Forget the past, look forward to what’s ahead, press on for Jesus.Nick Rickles: “There are a few quotes I will be using this year:

“Let your dreams be bigger than your fears and your actions louder than your words”The first one reminds me to keep dreaming, and to play my game even though I did get injured. Don’t hold back; work hard for it, don’t just talk about it!

“The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why” -Mark Twain

This is a quote I just think can be related to a lot of baseball players that believe that playing ball is what they were born to do!

“You gotta be a man to play baseball for a living, but you gotta have a lot of little boy in you too” – Roy Campanella

“You could be a kid for as long as you want when you play baseball” – Cal Ripken Jr.

These last two quotes go hand in hand. They just remind me to have fun when I’m playing again. Be the bug kid I am and play for the love of the game.”


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