From the very first time that Brady Singer to the mound for the Florida Gators last season, you could tell he was going to be something special. There are always going to be some twists and turns in your first year of college ball no matter who you are, but the kid with the nasty sinker can hurl the ball.
This past summer Singer was named the top prospect in the Cape Cod League, an instructional platform for baseball players to go and home of the best at trying to do that. Singer says he got a lot out of the time in Cape Cod.
“The Cape was awesome,” he told a small media contingent at McKethan Stadium last week. “The Cape itself is absolutely gorgeous. I learned a lot playing baseball. I was coming out of the pen last year here at Florida. I went up there and made a lot starts. I learned a lot about starting, learned a lot about command of the fastball more. How to use my off-speed to get more success I just learned a lot and had a good time.”
He believes that time this summer will translate into a better transition into a starting role for what head coach Kevin O’Sullivan believes will be another special year for his team.
“It was huge,” he said. “I learned so much being a starter. If I am fortunate enough to be a starter here this year it will definitely help me a lot.”
Singer will have some pretty big shoes to fill. All-Americans A.J. Puk and Logan Shore are gone to professional baseball along with others from the bullpen and he is going to have to fill the role of one of those guys.
“Yeah, there’s a little bit of pressure trying to replace Logan, A.J., and all of them,” he said. “They were definitely good and had a huge impact on this program. Of course it helped out a lot (having them around) last year.
Singer anticipates it being a little different starting a game rather than coming from the bullpen in terms of the atmosphere at the ball park. That is something he will have to deal with when the time comes.
“Just dealing with the big crowds, dealing with the pressure with becoming a starter,” he said in terms of the unknown. “There is a lot of pressure in coming out of the bullpen obviously, but I’m looking forward to it, it’s going to be fun.”
When Singer got in trouble on the mound last year it was all about command of his best pitches. That is what he will be working diligently on this fall.
“Command of the fastball, both sides of the plate, inside and outside,” he said. “Just get the slider and I developed a little bit of a change up, so we’re going to work on that the rest of the fall and bring that into the spring.”
“Being a sinker guy, having a sinker is a really good pitch. It’s going to help me a lot and just command and just not walking guys and getting behind guys a lot.”
Singer says the biggest thing he and his pitching mates can do this year is just get to the mound and do their thing, which is try and dominate the batters they face. That is something he thinks he learned from last season.
“Last year… just compete,” he said. “Not worry about mechanical issues. Just get out there and try and bury people in the ground and try to win every game.”
And the goal for the team is to be back in Omaha and win it all this year.
“That is a place where we want to go back. It’s definitely a goal this year and on to the (Championship) bring the first one back to Gainesville.”