CORNER BROOK Myles Vincent is glad part of growing up is being able to adjust the mindset when you know it’s in your best interest.
The 17-year-old southpaw pitcher from Corner Brook recently returned home after his first stint with the junior varsity baseball team at the Prairie Baseball Academy in Lethbridge, Alta. Looking forward to graduating with his friends at Corner Brook Regional High in June, Vincent was recruited by the academy’s head coach Todd Hubka at the 2011 Canada Cup baseball tournament in Moncton, N.B.
Touted as a potential major league baseball prospect, Vincent almost packed it in at the academy before it even got rolling. He was doubting whether or not he wanted to commit the program when he was certainly missing home and all of his friends. He began to look at the big picture after receiving support in all pockets of life, and opted to stay the course and see what the future brings.
“I really enjoyed it after I got over that first little bump. I was just homesick I think. I didn’t really know anyone,” Vincent said.
“I’m really glad I stayed. Once I got to know the guys it was a lot better.”
Being immersed in a baseball-first environment where he’s hitting the weights and throwing from the bullpen on a consistent basis has helped him develop into a stronger play from a physical standpoint. But, more importantly the left-hander with a nasty fastball has matured as a person and is learning how to keep his composure.
His friends in local baseball circles will see a dramatic difference in his personality.
“Probably that I stay calm and I’m not a headcase like I usually am,” he said of the biggest change in him as a pitcher since going west.
Of course, being involved with a structured program that teaches players to live and breathe the game has helped him develop. Playing baseball every day in Alberta during the college season is a far cry from what he was used to doing as a budding player in Corner Brook at various stages of his development.
He will be putting his arsenal on display this summer with the Junior Barons of the Corner Brook Molson Senior Baseball League and it’s a safe bet he will be throwing heat against the best in the province when the provincial junior baseball tournament is held this summer. In the meantime, he has to keep his pitch count at 80 or 85 pitches and keep in the same training mode that he was in when he was at the academy before returning in September.
The local baseball fraternity had its hand full with Vincent before he went away. How tough will he be after spending time immersed in the game?
“Lifting and throwing every day I’ve gotten stronger so my velocity is up, and mixing my pitches and stuff it’s better,” he said.
Handing out a resume for a summer job is on his priority list in between training stints and then it’s a matter of relaxing at home around the game he enjoys.
There is a team in Vancouver who expressed interest in Vincent going out to British Columbia for the summer, but it’s quiet on that particular front at the moment.
Would he give up his summer at home if somebody comes calling?
“Yeah, definitely if they call,” he said.