Pryor discusses offseason training, quest for D1 scholarships and possible state tournament
Senior Talon staff writer Andrew Graham sat down with junior pitcher John Pryor to discuss his offseason training and this year’s baseball season as well as his quest to play Division I college baseball.
You were All-Conference Honorable Mention last year as a sophomore on the basketball team. What went into your decision to forgo your junior season and focus on baseball?
Just looking into the future for baseball, definitely looking to play baseball in college. And I love basketball, but it was just a decision that I had to make so I would be better prepared for this year and next year. Because for baseball as a senior, they don’t recruit you as a senior, because you have three months left of school. So, they recruit you as a junior because they have more time.
Can you describe the extra work you did? What did you do on weekends? Where did you go?
I was working out with my summer team, and we would go out to a place in Edina. We were doing drills, lifting and stuff, and I would lift here [at Minnehaha] everyday after school. Just doing my own workouts at home and just really focusing on getting my arm stronger so I can throw harder. Just getting ready for baseball.
Did you do a lot of traveling?
Oh yeah, I went to a lot of different college camps and prospect camps to get the feel for it and stuff like that.
What areas have those places been in?
Usually south, southeast. Thats where I’m looking to go to college.
Like North Carolina, South Carolina?
Yeah, and Georgia.
Was this on an every weekend basis?
This was at least every other weekend I would be down (south) and I would be out of state.
Have you noticed any improvements going into the season?
Oh yeah, last year I was throwing 82 to 84 (miles per hour) and this fall I hit 88 at a showcase, so my velocity has increased a lot.
Have you noticed the reception from college coaches has been different? Have they been contacting you more?
Yeah I think since I hit 87 [miles per hour]; 87 they say is the magic number in baseball, then you start getting big looks. I think after I got that I got some more looks that I didn’t get before. Just more attention that they know that I throw 88.
What are your personal expectations going into the season?[My] personal goal is to beat St. Anthony. I pitched against them freshman year and we won a game, but I didn’t pitch against them at all last year which was kind of a bummer. Personal goals..? To not walk a lot of people, pitch well and go to a state tournament.
Do you think this is a year you guys could go to a state tournament?
The team probably isn’t as good as last year’s because we graduated six of nine starters, we lost a lot of seniors. I think the section is a lot weaker this year, we have good pitching, a good catcher [junior Eamon Manion]. We just have to figure out some things on defense, and we will be good.