December 20, 2013
RALEIGH, N.C. — Sometimes the process of becoming a superstar is as intriguing as the remarkable numbers that are turned out by these athletes.
Example A is Carlos Rodon of N.C. State who is the heavy favorite to be the No. 1 pick overall in the 2014 Major League Baseball Free Agent Draft next June.
This chiseled 6-foot, 234-pound southpaw pitcher has carved up opposing hitters for two seasons with the Wolfpack after being chosen in the 16th round by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2011 out of Holly Springs H.S. (Holly Springs, N.C.).
The development of this young man, who has hit 101 mph with his fastball, has been something to behold after N.C. State pitching coach Tom Holliday began working with him.
As a freshman at N.C. State, he punched out 135 (third in the nation) as he posted a 9-0 record in 2012 to become the first freshmen in Atlantic Coast Conference history to earn conference Pitcher of The Year honors.
Last season, he struck out 184 batters and averaged 12.51 strikeouts per game to rank No. 1 in both categories.
When Rodon arrived at N.C. State in the fall of 2012, he was hardly the finished product he is now.
“When Carlos came here, he simply didn’t throw enough strikes,” said Holliday.
“He wanted to throw 190 mph with his fastball, and he didn’t understand the vital importance of command. We made several mechanical adjustments as we shortened his stride and made his mechanics more compact. All of a sudden, the light went on. He learned that he didn’t have to reach all the way back and strike out everybody.”
Holliday said that Rodon was asked to pick his 4-seam fastball or 2-seamer to simplify the strike throwing process as a freshman. He picked the 4-seamer as he became a strike throwing machine.
The rest of the in-depth story on the development of Carlos Rodon can be obtained by purchasing the Jan. 3, 2014 College Preview Edition of Collegiate Baseball by CLICKING HERE.