Sean Doolittle was Oakland's second draft pick in 2007 (41st overall) after a stellar career as a two-way player at the University of Virginia. The slick-fielding first baseman split his rookie campaign between Vancouver of the Northwest League and Kane County of the Midwest League. He hit .243 with four homers and 33 RBIs in 68 total games.
I would like to begin my first-ever journal entry by saying hello to everyone who decides to read this, and thank you to MiLB.com for the opportunity to share my experiences during this upcoming year. Throughout the season, I'll be providing you with insight on what happens on a daily basis in the Minor Leagues, and I hope I'll be able to give you a good idea of what life in the Minors is like.
By now you have met four of the other players who will also be keeping a journal for you, so it's my turn to introduce myself. A New Jersey native, I spent three years playing my college ball at the University of Virginia, where I also doubled as a pitcher. I had a blast during my career at UVA, playing under head coach Brian O'Connor in a program that is well on its way to joining college baseball's perennial powerhouses.
Interestingly enough, I played alongside (fellow 2008 journalists) Joe Savery and Matt LaPorta on the USA national squad during the summer of 2005. It's great to see them having success, and I hope our paths will cross again in the future on a baseball field somewhere -- hopefully, in the big leagues someday.
I was selected with Oakland's second pick in the 2007 draft in the supplemental first round, and I just concluded my first Spring Training. As is the case for most players in their first professional year, 2007 was a whirlwind for me, and I am looking forward to starting my first full season in the Minor Leagues after breaking camp with the Class A Advanced club, the Stockton Ports.
After getting selected in the draft last June, I had a short stint in the Northwest League with the Vancouver Canadians before spending the last two months of the summer playing first base for the Kane County Cougars in the Midwest League. I finished 2007 playing in the instructional league out in Phoenix until the middle of October.
During this first Spring Training, I was lucky enough to spend some time up in big-league camp. In a handful of plate appearances, I collected a hit and drove in a run. But in the short amount of time I was there, I learned a lot about what it takes to get to the big leagues and to have success at that level. It was an invaluable experience for me to get under my belt, and I am very grateful I had the chance to get playing time in big-league games in just my first Spring Training. Seeing the routines and the work ethic of the Major Leaguers, and the way they prepared for the season, is something I will take with me throughout the rest of my career.
As I previously mentioned, I broke camp with the Class A Advanced club that makes its home in the California League. As we look forward to opening the season, it's hard not to get excited about playing with this team, and not just because we play in the hitter-friendly Cal League. On paper, we seem to have a good amount of talent on both sides of the ball, and it's a great group of guys -- so I'm hoping we can have some fun while we win as many ballgames as possible.
I want to thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it. I feel blessed for the opportunity to get paid to do something I love, and I'm glad I'll have the opportunity to share it with you. Please don't hesitate to email me, as I look forward to hearing from you and answering any questions in my next journal entry.
Sean Doolittle is a first-base prospect in the Oakland A's organization and a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.