Till I Collapse -My Journey to D1 Baseball and Beyond


#681

tough outing today. Felt really relaxed and prepared in the bullpen and in the game. Had runners on 1st and 2nd with 1 out when I took the bump in the 7th. Spotted up in warm-ups and felt like I was throwing as hard as I have all year.

Stuck to fastballs on the first guy and got him 2-2. The ball was zipping and I felt really confident in my stuff. I missed up with a 2-2 slider, which was my chance to put him away, and he poked a 3-2 good fastball through the infield driving in a run. Next guy bunted to 1st base side, and it was a tweener bunt that my first basemen went after. I was yelling for it as loud as I could but the noise in the stadium made it tough for him to hear I guess. Worked ahead of the next guy, still filling up the zone and throwing what I thought was cheese. Guy sits outside fastball and pokes one through the right side for a single.

That was it. Missed maybe two spots the entire outing and had my A fastball and I couldn’t get an out. Kind of a crappy deal but I’m confident in my stuff and my composure out there. 9 times out of 10 I’m going to have success when I pitch to contact low in the zone like that, and everyone on my team said the ball was coming out significantly harder. I don’t really know where my velo is at right now, since my coach doesn’t believe in worrying about that sort of thing. It felt like 90, but who knows.

Getting ready for tomorrow. I just have to keep controlling what I can control and pitch like I did today and the outcome will sway in my favor next time out there.


#682

Was following the game when I saw you come in.

Can’t do much about garbage contact getting through. Process, not results. Go get 'em.


#683

[quote=“kyleb”]Was following the game when I saw you come in.

Can’t do much about garbage contact getting through. Process, not results. Go get 'em.[/quote]

thanks Kyle. That’s the reason I’m not too bummed about how I did. Apparently the broadcasters said I was throwing low 90s, although I don’t know how reliable that is. If I have similar fastball command with that kind of velocity all year, it will be a successful one. My off speed has been maybe a B or at times B+ in the bullpen. I need to begin working it in during the games more, which will be easier if I can maintain the fastball command I’ve built over the last couple weeks.


#684

Just released an article on my fat loss program which has been in the works for a while. Give it a read!

http://www.treadathletics.com/1/post/2013/02/accelerated-fat-loss-for-anaerobic-athletes.html

would love to hear your thoughts


#685

Lanky,

As somebody who is trying to lose weight (more specifically body fat) I commend you for your progress and self-discipline. However, my only question is are you going to ever go back to a normal meal plan of having “three meals” a day? I know that three meals a day is kind of a myth in terms that people often either don’t eat that (often a snack is included at least once a day) but hopefully you understand my point. Part of the reason why fad diets rarely work is that losing weight also means keeping that weight off and while the 16 hour fast works well for losing body fat do you really think that you will continue to use it in the long term or will you switch back to a more “normal” meal plan? I can’t imagine doing a 16 hour fast in season.


#686

[quote=“Priceless”]Lanky,

As somebody who is trying to lose weight (more specifically body fat) I commend you for your progress and self-discipline. However, my only question is are you going to ever go back to a normal meal plan of having “three meals” a day? I know that three meals a day is kind of a myth in terms that people often either don’t eat that (often a snack is included at least once a day) but hopefully you understand my point. Part of the reason why fad diets rarely work is that losing weight also means keeping that weight off and while the 16 hour fast works well for losing body fat do you really think that you will continue to use it in the long term or will you switch back to a more “normal” meal plan? I can’t imagine doing a 16 hour fast in season.[/quote]

You’re right that things get thrown off quite a bit in season. However, I am still attempting to keep an 8-hour feeding window. Some day its more like 10 hours, and sometimes my calories are broken up differently than others. Now that I am in maintenance mode though, it is far less strict. I have to eat so much just to keep my weight from dropping in season that the quality doesn’t have to be kept quite as perfect all the time. In-season the goal is to not lose lean mass. I’d rather put on 2-3lbs of fat over the course of the season and lose that in 2 week over the summer than lose 5-10 lbs of lean mass from not eating enough. Now that I know how to effectively cut, it will be a breeze to drop back down if I ever creep up into double digit body fat again


#687

This season has more or less been a joke. I know I haven’t been keeping up much with the log and for good reason - I haven’t been getting much playing time.

I’m not going to waste my breath complaining about that here, but here are my stats so far in the limited time I’ve seen.

5.1 IP, 5H, 3BB, 8K, 1ER, 1.69ERA

Of the hits, all were ground ball or bloop singles. I’ve had some mechanical difficulties along the way, with some velocity fluctuations as well. However, in my last and best outing, I sat 88 with a few 87s and an 89 in one inning of work. I haven’t pitched in almost 2 weeks since all but striking out the side in that inning.

Because I haven’t been getting to play, I’ve been focusing heavily on my own development during my daily throwing. Since mechanically I was a bit out of sync earlier on, I began to realize that I hadn’t been long tossing in about 2-3 months because it was no longer prescribed to us in-season. several weeks ago I began daily long tossing again. Although this goes against my current pitching coach’s philosophy, there is no oversight in our throwing program so I have been able to do this with some regularity and this seems to have gotten my delivery and velocity back in a pretty good place. I have recently been getting out to pretty extreme distances (350 feet) without a crow hop.

Although this velocity has obviously not fully transferred to the mound quite yet, it has certainly helped some, and all of my pitches are more consistent and nasty when I can stay connected and in sync.

Side note: I haven’t lifted heavy lower body in about 4 months because my low back was acting up on and off earlier in the season…it’s settled down now but this just goes to show that squatting 400lbs is irrelevant for generating elite velocities. I still have strong enough legs to get the job done, but my legs are weaker than ever and I’m still able to generate mid 90s velocities in long toss. Get the hips strong and flexible, get the core strong and flexible, get your upper back as strong as humanly possible and train your chest and triceps to be flexible and explosive, but not bulky. Get momentum, connection and rotation on your side and it’s a recipe for high velocities, regardless of if you squat your bodyweight or double bodyweight.

Second side note:

I’m training/interning with Dan Blewett this summer in Bloomington, Illinois and playing summer ball in the MidWest Collegiate League for the Lexington Snipes. I decided not to return to the more competitive NECBL because I feel like this option will give me the best of both worlds. I will get consistent starts, be free to train and learn from one of the best strength coaches around and spend less time riding around on 10 hour round trip bus rides multiple times per week. Can’t wait!


#688

A few questions :

How are you paying for food and housing for the summer internship?

With only three seniors on the team this year and minimal playing time, do you feel you will roster next year?

Looking back, would you have been more satisfied had you attended a school where you could have started or been a frequent reliever?


#689

Ben, I just really respect your attitude and approach…You are a success and it has been my pleasure to watch it all happen…Gods Speed laddie…


#690

Lanky,

Thanks for the update.

Interning with Dan will be an incredible opportunity for you.

That’s unfortunate it’s been a difficult season.

All the best this summer.


#691

Ben and I spoke privately about the lack of playing time, but the nonsense that goes in the minds of college coaches… :shock:


#692

Good luck this summer Ben.

It really is a small world, my son worked with Dan for a few months this past winter and gained a lot of strength, we had to stop working with him once our high school condition started.

I also used to work with the pitching coach (Brian Dubois) for the Snipes, he is a good guy.


#693

it’s crazy, bud of mine had a stud lefty son at ol’miss. Did well as a fresh, minor injury as soph…on the shelf, told him no plans for him going forward end of soph. year and going a differing direction.

1 strike and your out…


#694

I had some bitter disappointments in my life. Alot of them came in my twenties. It does no good to specifically mention them but suffice to say they were related to various common themes: baseball, love, work and dream chasing.

At the time, I thought a great disservice had been done but in time I recognized that doors weren’t being shut in my face, I was just being asked to open a different door with more promised behind it. This isn’t just a bunch of horse hockey bull crap spread around to make a guy feel better. It is the truth. I look back now and thank God I didn’t succeed. It was a little painful at the time but I wouldn’t change a thing in retrospect.

Whatever happened in the way of a let down, I predict Ben will use it as a springboard for something truly remarkable.


#695

[quote=“Dino”]A few questions :

How are you paying for food and housing for the summer internship?

With only three seniors on the team this year and minimal playing time, do you feel you will roster next year?

Looking back, would you have been more satisfied had you attended a school where you could have started or been a frequent reliever?[/quote]

First of all thanks for the awesome support you guys have given me on here. This is certainly not the end and is only a minor obstacle in my career and development!

I do plan on returning to Maryland in the fall, and yes I will be on the roster for sure. I wish I had been in a situation where I could attend a school that guaranteed more playing time, but only being lightly recruited out of high school this was my best bet and I don’t regret the decision. My only regret is not redshirting either of the last two years.

I don’t quite know what to expect for next year, but I’m going to do my best and do what it takes to continue improving. It can be a difficult environment to be in sometimes (discouraged from long tossing, berated if a ball hits the ground during catch play, told that velocity training is useless, etc.) but that’s not going to stop me from getting better.

I’m going to be living with a host family this summer and making money working a camp that Dan runs as well (Summer Smoke). Having known Dan for several years I’m really excited to get to work and train with him and I’ll keep you guys posted on how everything goes.

@2lefties: that’s all too common. If there is nothing heavily invested in the player (like a hefty scholarship) then it can be an even more difficult situation if you don’t perform right away…the same holds true in pro ball from everything I’ve heard

@munster: thats great! I’m living with the Bronke’s if you know them. Come check out some of our games this summer

@jd thank you, you’ve always supported me and I appreciate everything you’ve done for me

@Dino that’s a really good way of looking at it, and I’m grateful for your help and faith in me!

Now to lighten the mood, let’s all appreciate Fernando Rodney’s 100mph slide step…pure rotation!


#696

Ben,

I know what you are saying about how thngs can change in college. That is something that few understand when making the jump from HS to college ball (and fewere less from collge to pro ball). You really have to grind to rise above it all.

D1 ball isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. There is plenty of crap to sift thru, and a lot of the coaching you get is slightly less than useless. Hate to say it but it probably doesn’t get much better as you go further. The less they have invested in you, the less margin of error you have.

But that’s how it is.

I will say that I think it’s unfortunate that you do not want to play in a more competitive summer league. Summer ball is where you get noticed, and the competition itself can make you a better player (regardless of what type of coaching you receive).

I know you have a plan, and hope it works out for you. I know you will do well in whatever it is you decide.

Good luck kid.


#697

[quote=“101mph”]Ben,

I know what you are saying about how thngs can change in college. That is something that few understand when making the jump from HS to college ball (and fewere less from collge to pro ball). You really have to grind to rise above it all.

D1 ball isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. There is plenty of crap to sift thru, and a lot of the coaching you get is slightly less than useless. Hate to say it but it probably doesn’t get much better as you go further. The less they have invested in you, the less margin of error you have.

But that’s how it is.

I will say that I think it’s unfortunate that you do not want to play in a more competitive summer league. Summer ball is where you get noticed, and the competition itself can make you a better player (regardless of what type of coaching you receive).

I know you have a plan, and hope it works out for you. I know you will do well in whatever it is you decide.

Good luck kid.[/quote]

thanks 101. The reason I made the choice I did was because I did play in that league last year…the most competitive one that there is behind the Cape…and I did get noticed, a lot. Problem is, none of it matters if I don’t put up stats and get playing time in the spring…I’m more concerned with my development than getting noticed this summer. And my development requires proper training and plenty of game time…it’s less relevant for me how good the hitters are because I’m still going to be working on the craft of executing pitches in a game situation. I think it may actually be more beneficial because having some more wiggle room will let me throw my off speed pitches even more and develop them more fully.

Besides, once I’m sitting 91-93 with command of all of my pitches, someone is going to take notice, of that I am sure.


#698

Here is the way the guy gets ready for an outing…all core


#699

If I were a college coach I would have a hard time not utilizing a LHP such as Lanky Lefty due to the fact that he has solid velocity and likely provides a good amount of deception. For me he would be an excellent specialist and short guy at the very least.

I was going to post more but I don’t want to offend anyone other then to say that my faith in college baseball has always been low, for many valid reasons. This simple reinforces that belief.


#700

Threw well in our intrasquad this week, one inning 3 up 3 down and 2ks. I was throwing decently hard, maybe 88-90 and the slider was pretty unhittable.

Warmed up in the pen tonight in a 2-1 game, felt amazing but didn’t get in. Hopefully I’ll get some time this last series against Boston College. I’m going to rear back and throw as hard as I can…who knows, maybe I pop a 93 and someone takes notice. I have nothing to lose at this point. I’ve only had two bullpens this year where I truly felt unhittable, and today was one of them. The problem for me at this point is consistency…sometimes my timing will be off or I’ll tense up just a hair or fly open too early and everything is all over the place at 87 vs spotting up 89 or 90.

My suspicion is that it has to do with getting my hips fully open and delaying shoulder rotation…when I do this properly its hard to NOT throw strikes. I just can’t figure out how to consistently get that feeling every day.

Still optimistic about the summer. If I go to a tryout and throw like I did today it’s going to be hard to not generate some interest…but this has to be a routine thing, not once every week or two. I’m thinking that consistent starts and playing time this summer will really help cement in the mechanics and make things a lot more repeatable.

I’m ready to dominate.