By: Justin Girshon
April 16, 2020
Today, I had the privilege to interview Austin Beck. Beck attended North Davidson High School in Welcome, North Carolina before he turned pro. Before a playoff game in his junior year of high school, Beck tore his ACL which forced him to miss the rest of the playoffs and all of summer ball. Beck fully recovered for the start of his senior year and proved to scouts why he was a top high school talent. Although he had a scholarship to play baseball at the University of North Carolina, Beck decided to enter the 2017 MLB Draft. Beck was selected sixth overall by the Oakland A’s and signed for a franchise record $5,303,000. In 2019, Beck played for the Stockton Ports (Class A-Advanced) and was recently rated the number 11 prospect in the A’s farm system by prospects1500.com.
Question: When you tore your ACL, what was your initial reaction? What motivated you to overcome your ACL tear and return back to the field?
Answer: My initial reaction was that I would be fine in a couple (of) days and be back in the lineup in the state playoffs, but when I found out I tore it I was upset especially the team we had, but I just had the drive that I wanted to try and get back for summer ball so I spent hours and hours in rehab every single day and was able to get back in 5 months which is crazy to think about.
Question: Although you had a scholarship to play baseball at the University of North Carolina, why did you decide to go pro? What was the biggest change going straight from high school to the minor leagues?
Answer: I decided to go pro because it was so hard to pass up the opportunity pro ball was going to give me, it was always my dream to get the chance to play in the big leagues and if that meant skipping college then I would have. UNC was always my dream school to play baseball at but when I got drafted I knew the decision would be easy. (The) biggest change was definitely the work load and playing for so much longer, but once you figure out a routine to stay healthy then it gets a whole lot easier.
Question: What was the MLB Draft process like? What were you able to do that stood out to scouts?
Answer: The draft is a crazy thing, it was even crazier coming off an injury because I had workouts for scouts after every practice during the year because they all wanted to see what I could do since I missed all of the summer circuit.
Question: What are your goals for the 2020 season (assuming there is one)? How will this help you eventually reach the major leagues?
Answer: My goals for this season (assuming we play) are just (to) be better at the plate with the pitches I swing at and the counts I put myself into, just have a better plan at the plate and to not miss my pitch when I get it.
Question: What have you been doing during quarantine to stay ready for the season? How has it been different then a regular spring training?
Answer: I’ve been hitting off the tee and working out a lot with the tools that I have, it’s hard to do too much because nothing is open, it’s completely different than normal because right now we’d be playing and the season would be in full send but as a player we always have to adapt to everything so being able to adapt to this pandemic has been a lot easier
Featured image via oaklandclubhouse.com