12/28/2009 2:46 PM ET
Adam Kennedy: Versatility on the fly
Trade to Oakland led to him learning third base
This season, I spent a lot of time at third base. After playing second base for so long, it was different, but the move was good for the club and good for me, too, because I got the opportunity to learn a new position -- something that will serve me well as my careers moves forward.
I would hit a rough patch every now and again, but I really enjoy playing the infield and trying new things out, so, from that standpoint, I had a lot of fun learning to play third base.
For someone who has never made that change, the most difficult part of the transition is how the ball comes at you at a much different angle. You really have to work on reading the balls hit your way. Adjusting to the throw to first base was also challenging.
I've also played some outfield in my big league career. Going to the outfield from the infield is not very hard in my opinion. Changing infield positions is definitely harder.
Because the move to third was really something that just happened, I really didn't get a chance to talk to too many guys who have experienced the transition. But all I have to do is look at a guy like Chone Figgins and see the progress he's made by making the move. I'm very impressed by how well he's taken to the position and the level of his play there now.
So I just try to make notes about how other players did it and see what I can assimilate into my game.
Defense is also a mindset. The A's second baseman, Mark Ellis, was hurt when I came over, so I knew that I was just filling the second base spot until he got back. I'm a big Ellis fan. I had been hitting the ball pretty good, so when Ellis came back and the spot at third opened up, I got plugged in.
I think another plus in making the move is that it absolutely adds to my versatility as a player. It's pretty simple -- the more positions you can play, the longer you can stay in the game. It has opened people's eyes, and that's one of the goals.
Free agent second baseman Adam Kennedy, an 11-year veteran with a .330 on-base average, enjoyed a productive 2009 season with Oakland, batting .289 with 63 RBIs -- his highest total since 2000.