So a kid named Dylan Fosnacht threw 194 pitches in a playoff game for a small high school in Washington state and everybody is in an uproar -- including Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price, who suggested on Twitter the kid's coach should be fired.
Fosnacht isn't a pro prospect or even a college prospect. Should we be outraged?
I don't think so. Every kid is different. This playoff game will probably be the biggest moment in Fosnacht's athletic career: Why would he want to leave the game? He's not putting a future contract or millions of dollars in potential earnings on the line. He's trying to win a baseball game with his buddies.
People just don't understand. I'm not a ace pitcher, I'm a infielder who pitches every now and then. Not a prospect ruining there career
— Dylan Fosnacht (@DFosnacht5) May 15, 2014
That doesn't mean high school and college coaches shouldn't be more cautious, especially for a kid who does have professional prospects. I had a friend in high school who was an excellent college prospect. In his junior year of American Legion ball, he pitched 12 innings and threw 195 pitches in one day of a regional tournament final (I kept the scorebook and used to keep pitch counts for my friend; this was in the late '80s, so I guess we were ahead of our time). The next week he pitched several more games and innings in the state tournament.
In his first game of his senior year of high school ball, he hurt his elbow. The college offers dried up, although he eventually walked on to a major program and had a fine college career and pitched professionally for seven years, reaching Triple-A. But I'm not sure he ever threw quite as hard as he did that summer of Legion ball when he was 17 years old. He's gone on to make a fine career in baseball (he's a college head coach), but I wonder: Does he remember that day he threw 195 pitches as vividly as I still do?
For Dylan Fosnacht, he now has his own memory and it will be a positive one, a story he'll be able to tell his kids and grandkids someday: The day I threw 14 innings and got a Cy Young winner to congratulate me on Twitter.
I think that's pretty cool.