With all the noise lately about Stephen Strasburg, inverted W's, and mechanics, I started to think about my life in baseball as a player and a coach.
Therefore, this post will be a little different, a little more on the development side, called Devon's Development Insider.
I really hope that any parents or readers email me after reading this.
The cream of the crop will no doubt rise to the top, and undoubtedly attend top NCAA DI schools.
What about the rest of the players out there; the one's scouts miss, scouts ignore or the talent that falls through the cracks?
I do not claim I was a prized prospect when trying to land that scholarship in the midst of my senior year of high school (1996-1997). I do however suggest that I had talent but was naive on how to market myself. I was unaware of how big the university and college baseball world was.
What I did have was a superior support system around me that made all the long hours and hard work worth it.
When I say hard work that is exactly what I mean.
Being raised in a hockey-obsessed nation, I was well aware that the deck was stacked against me. I also knew that at 5'10, and at the time 150 pounds, I had to show the brass I had the ability and had the skill to be a good or great college player.
What I did know was that the dream of being a Florida Gator was slim; the chance to play big-time baseball at the "U" or Arizona was exactly that; a dream.
I had to play to my strengths, and adapt to a game that over 100 years looks the same, but is very different, even from the 90's to 00's to 10's.
Marketing myself was something I knew very little of, so when in doubt, create a promotional video. Now that all the big schools are crossed of the list, where does a small-town Canadian go to play baseball in the States?
You create a plan, an area of where you want to play, where you can afford to play, and where you have the ability to play.
I can talk about this for days, so I will stop at that for now until next time.
For the next little bit, I will address Strasburg and a rash of arm injuries that are affecting many young pitchers.
I can understand both sides of the story, Strasburg is a phenom and for the amount of money he is getting paid ($15 million over 4 years), he cannot sit in Syracuse for a whole season striking out everyone.
On the other hand, he has not faced the rigors of a full season in the pros and peaked at 109 innings in his senior season at San Diego State. What does strike me as odd is that he has thrown only 123 innings this season before a torn ligament shut him down for the season.
Are players being rushed? Maybe, maybe not?
What about the mechanics issue?
Mark Prior was said to have the best mechanics that Tom House (Guru) had ever seen.
Prior pitched 138 innings in his last year at USC (2001), followed by 166 in 02', 211 in 03' then an insurmountable amount of injuries forcing him to an early exit
On the other end of the spectrum, Chris Carpenter had Tommy John Surgery ten years after his big league debut.
Evidence already suggests that pitchers will be watched closer than ever; Brandon Morrow is being shut down for the season after his next start against the Yankees on September three. His 143 innings pitched more than doubles his high of 69 in 2009.
The game is more of a business than ever. Does that mean shutting down your stars early and does that mean preparing for next season a little earlier than usual?
On that note, feel free, parents, coaches, and prospects to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments or questions.
Let me know your thoughts on the game, insights on college, or any advice on a player's development.
This article can be found on The GM's Perspective