When Alaska Baseball Academy (ABA) alum Dalton Chapman arrived at Everett Community College in Washington two years ago he threw a baseball.
Now he pitches.
“I’ve learned a ton,” he told me. “You can throw a ball 100 mph but have no pitching ability and be known as a guy who just throws hard or be a pitcher known as the guy who gets the job done and knows how to get outs.”
Back from a redshirt season, the right-hander has started his sophomore season beautifully with a 1.87 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 24 innings.
Chapman, former ABA pitcher and West Post 1 fame, sat out last season to get his academics in order.
“The reason why I couldn’t play last year was because I took 30 credits that didn’t transfer, so I had two options: redshirt or play and only be able to go to NAIA schools, which isn’t bad but I have dreams to play D1.”
Turns out taking a year off was the best thing that ever happened.
“It gave me a year to get better and mature and now I am in contact with about 15 schools and pro scouts as well,” Chapman said.
He throws a 4-seam fastball, a 2-seamer, changeup and slider.
“My slider is my out pitcher for sure,” Chapman said.
He’s also throwing his fastball in the 92-mph range, quite the jump from when he threw in the mid-80s in Alaska.
The 6-foot-5 pitcher has allowed 10 hits and 14 walks in his five starts.
Dancing around so many base runners is a sign of growth with improved mental makeup because he no longer gets rattled under pressure.
“Every time I face a batter I just tell myself over and over ‘one pitch at a time,’” he said. “As a freshman, I struggled because I would only care about the end result. You have to get two strikes on a guy before punching him out with strike three.”
Credit: Van Williams