Physical prowess (6'5", 230 pounds) and a four-pitch repertoire provide a strong foundation for Shaw. It doesn't guarantee success, but it will go a long way when coupled with hard work. Shaw felt he put it all together in Spring Training as he prepared to move up to Double-A..
"I pitched really well. All the outings I had were solid. I felt good about how I worked, and I really came out feeling pretty confident," he said.
"It's tough to have a goal, as far as performance-wise, in Spring Training. You're really just going there to hopefully feel good. But not only did I feel good but the results I got in the games were very pleasing," Shaw added.
The effectiveness of his curveball has improved a great deal from last year, according to Shaw.
"The curveball in Spring Training was a heck of a lot better than it was last year," he said. "All of last year I felt sometimes I was pitching without it because, either I didn't have confidence in throwing it, or it just wasn't good enough so I didn't throw it."
"When I got to Spring Training the curveball was really working for me, and I'm trying to carry that into this season. Even in (Saturday's) game my curveball was good," Shaw continued.
A big factor in how well Shaw progresses this season will be his fastball. He knows he needs to control it better and throw it more often if he wants to perform at a high level.
"My fastball is definitely going to be a key for me," he said. "Last year I kind of fell in love with relying on my off-speed pitches. Here, I even found out (Saturday) that you've got to be able to use the fastball, and I'm aware of that."
"I've got to be more confident in that pitch and rely on it, and get my command back to where it needs to be," he continued. "I feel like lately, not just this year but even last year, my fastball command wasn't as good as it can be. These are just minor adjustment's that I've got to work on every day and it will get there."
Shaw's Spring Training performance did not translate in his first start for the B-Mets this past Saturday. He lasted just 2 1/3 innings, allowed eight runs (seven earned), gave up eight hits and walked two, while adding one strikeout. It looks bad on paper, but Shaw feels there's a lot to take away from his season debut.
"It was a good learning experience for me," he said. "I don't feel like I pitched as bad as the line score may look. I felt comfortable out there. I never got to a point where I lost confidence and didn't want to throw strikes," Shaw explained.
"(Akron) just hit the ball, and that's baseball. Hopefully we don't have a repeat of that, but we can make steps forward after (Saturday) and take away a lot from it, including just getting my feet wet at this level…this is new to me. But I don't want to just be here; I want to do well here and continue moving forward in my career."
It was just Shaw's first start at the Double-A level, and he knows there will be a learning curve as he moves up the ranks, but it's something he's prepared for. He is confident that he belongs with Binghamton, and feels reassured knowing that the organization feels the same way.
"I handled it well in Spring Training. I was pitching to the Double-A hitters and things were good. It's certainly within my abilities to do well here. I'm a believer in that, just as the Mets are, otherwise I wouldn't be here," Shaw closed.
Inside Pitch will be in Manchester, NH tomorrow night for Shaw's start. Be sure to check out the