Pitcher of the yr: East Rowan’s Padgett taking pondering man’s strategy, abilities to UNC – Salisbury Post

By David Shaw

For the Salisbury Post

GRANITE QUARRY — There isn’t any method to quantify what Cameron Padgett meant to the East Rowan baseball group this spring.

There’s no linear equation, no mind-twisting quadratic or commonplace deviation to measure what the Houdini-like right-handed pitcher routinely delivered from 60 ft, 6 inches. There’s merely a trove of gushing testimony from those that witnessed a season braided with each pleasure and despair, culminating along with his second consecutive Patrick Snider Memorial Award as Rowan County’s pitcher of the yr.

“In my book, it’s a big deal,” Padgett mentioned throughout a mid-week interview at Staton Discipline. “It’s good to know your work is being recognized. It means I was the best pitcher in the county. But at the end of the day, it wasn’t the goal we were looking for. The cards have to fall your way and this year, they just didn’t.”

Certainly. Whereas the 25-5 Mustangs fell 5 victories wanting successful a 3A state title, Padgett’s contribution was immense. The 6-foot-4, 185-pound craftsman gained his first 10 choices earlier than struggling a season-ending, third-round loss to eventual champion South Rowan on Could 17. Six instances he hurled complete-game shutouts. And in 75.1 innings pitched, he struck out 115 batters, walked 22 and yielded solely six earned runs. That’s an ERA of 0.56, not some random name on Bingo evening.

“He was a great high school pitcher for four years,” mentioned East coach Brett Hatley. “He always had this determination, this grit. He was a bulldog on the mound.”

What Padgett had in abundance was command and management of the strike zone. Utilizing a four-pitch arsenal that resembled the Pebble Seashore Golf Hyperlinks — lovely to take a look at, tough to overcome — he toiled with seen confidence, serving up a buffet of unhittable pitches and manipulating opposing lineups the way in which Dizzy Gillespie may work a trumpet. His fastball was extra polish than energy, topping out within the low 90s. His curve, changeup and newly minted slider baffled hitters, forcing them to play at his tempo. In 12 begins, together with two within the playoffs, Padgett held opponents to a paltry .165 common.

“All of his pitches are money pitches,” famous East catcher Tristan Miller, a .292 hitter in ’22. “It seemed like each of them had a different purpose and moved in a different direction. His changeup looked like his fastball. If there’s one word to describe his pitching, it’s effortless. He’s very fluid, very focused, very confident. When he’s out there, the mound is the only place he wants to be.”

“I’m not the most overpowering pitcher,” Padgett acknowledged. “But I get a lot of strikeouts from keeping hitters off-balance, getting them mixed up in their own heads. My mindset wasn’t to strike everybody out. I just wanted them to hit it where my fielders were.”

Padgett has at all times been a pondering man’s pitcher. This yr, his knack for clever deception made him a swing-and-a-miss specialist.

“Watching him pitch is different from watching anyone else pitch,” supplied Hatley. “I would have to call it swagger. He was always in rhythm with the game.”

The lone exception got here in his last varsity look at South Rowan, the place an overflow crowd watched the Raiders rating seven fourth-inning runs en path to an 8-3 victory. Padgett exhausted his pitch rely after 4 2/3 innings, surrendered eight hits and walked 4.

“It was the biggest game in Rowan County history,” he mentioned. “There were 2,200 tickets sold, but that doesn’t include the other thousand who snuck behind the fence for free. Then they put up seven on me in one inning. I felt just as good as I had for any other game. It was one bad inning. Of course, South had some fast kids, the best 1-2-3 hitters in the state and they all battled really well with two strikes. Guys like that, you do all you can to get them out or pitch around them. But at some point, you’ve got to hope they get themselves out.”

Now it’s on to UNC-Chapel Hill, the college he fell in love with as a teen and signed with in November.

He reviews as we speak  and begins summer season tutoring, weight lifting and agility coaching on Monday. Hatley says he spoke with UNC pitching coach Bryant Gaines and was instructed Padgett is not going to be red-shirted.

“They have high expectations for him,” Hatley reported. “They’re going to put some weight on him and he’ll turn a few heads. You can compare it to (West Rowan graduate) Austin Love, who went up there. He was probably throwing 85-86 (mph) in high school and by his fourth year he was throwing 97. Now he’s playing in the Cardinals organization.”

Padgett would like to comply with an identical path, although he drew lukewarm curiosity from Oakland’s scouting employees this spring. The MLB draft is scheduled July 17-19 in Los Angeles. “I might get drafted low, but for me to get swayed out of school it would have to be in the first three rounds. It doesn’t look like that’ll happen.”

For now he’ll bide his time, bulk up and put together for a future draft.

“The end goal is to get drafted, but we’ll see what happens,” he mentioned. “Feels like college is the way to go for me. I’ll put on some weight and break down everything about pitching with some smart coaches, one-on-one. That’s something I’ve never really had. The people at Carolina were very encouraging. They made me feel like I have something other people don’t.”

He does — and it’s one thing you may’t quantify.

Tales on the coach and participant of the yr, in addition to the all-county baseball group, shall be upcoming within the Post.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.