The questions surrounding Josh Willingham are the same ones faced by any impact hitter the A's import from the National League.

People wonder how he'll adjust to American League pitchers and whether he can thrive in the Oakland Coliseum, a ballpark that can be tough on right-handed power hitters.

"I'm sure there will be an adjustment," Willingham said. "Obviously I haven't seen all these pitchers, and I'll have to do a lot more work in the film room. But it's still baseball. They've got to throw it over the plate, and I've got to hit it."

That's a pretty basic philosophy, and it sums up the A's new left fielder in a nutshell.

There's nothing remotely flashy about Willingham, 32, whom the A's obtained from the Washington Nationals in December in exchange for reliever Henry Rodriguez and outfielder Corey Brown.

Those who know Willingham best talk first about his character and integrity before they mention his baseball skills.

"He's everything you want a person to be," said Willingham's agent, Matt Sosnick, a close friend who named his only son after Willingham.

Upon reporting to A's spring training camp Saturday, Willingham spent a few minutes in the clubhouse before hitting the field, even though position players weren't required to practice until two days later.