For more great baseball stories like this one, 'like' us on Facebook -

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Mike Oquist kept learning over seven seasons in majors; Became regular over three with Oakland

Mike Oquist knew he had to keep experimenting, even in his seventh season with time in the bigs, he told The Associated Press a May 1999 win with Oakland. 

"You change speeds. You move the ball in and out. It's a learning process," Oquist told The AP then. "I'm not a power pitcher, I'm not going to blast balls by hitters."

That season with Oakland proved Oquist's second busiest in the bigs, after the year before, also with Oakland. That 1999 campaign also proved his last. He saw three different clubs over his seven big league seasons.

Oquist's career began in 1989, taken by the Orioles in the 13th round of the draft out of the University of Arkansas.

With Arkansas, Oquist helped the Razorbacks to the 1989 College World Series. He pitched in both the team's first two games, picking up a win in relief in the second.

"He had a good fastball and a good slider," Arkansas coach Norm DeBriyn told The Omaha World-Herald of Oquist after the second game.

Oquist started with the Orioles at short-season Erie. He then moved to high-A Frederick in 1990 and AA Hagerstown in 1991. He went 10-9 in 26 starts at Hagerstown, with a 4.06 ERA.

He arrived at AAA Rochester in 1992 and returned there for 1993. In August 1993, he debuted in Baltimore. He saw five relief outings and gave up five earned over 11.2 innings of work.

Oquist then returned to Baltimore for 15 more outings, nine starts, in 1994. He went 3-3, with a 6.17 ERA. That June, in his first big league start, he gave up three home runs in a span of four batters in a loss.

"I didn't make the pitches I had to in that one inning," Oquist told The Washington Post afterward. "Other than that, I felt I threw the ball okay. But that didn't really matter because that one inning was so bad."

Oquist saw 27 relief outings with Baltimore in 1995, then eight with the Padres in 1996. For 1997, he signed with the Athletics and saw 19 games, 17 starts. He went 4-6, with a 5.02 ERA.

He spoke to his hometown Pueblo Chieftain in July 1997 about changes he'd made, specifically throwing his curveball.

"When I was with Rochester I never threw my curveball a lot," Oquist told The Chieftain. "The last year, year and a half with Baltimore, I threw a curveball. It's turned out to be very good. That's helped me a bunch."

Oquist then went 7-11 with the Athletics in 1998 and 9-10 in 1999 to end his career.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,113
Made the Majors:1,363-33.1%-X
Never Made Majors:2,750-66.9%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:556-X
10+ Seasons in the Minors:336

No comments:

Post a Comment