The Phillies former top pitching prospect made some major adjustments during the 2012 season and was headed in the right direction after facing some adversity on the mound.
Up or out.
For former Phillies’ prospect Trevor May, it seemed as if he had met adversity for the first time in his baseball career last summer and was headed in the right direction. Still, it was impressive to see how a pitcher who was on the fast track can take a minor derailment and regroup.
May, who was traded along with Vance Worley to the Twins for outfielder Ben Revere on Thursday, was the Phillies Paul Owens Award winner for best pitching prospect in 2011 and also singled out by all of the big baseball publications as the franchise’s top pitching prospect.
For a team already loaded with elite-level starting pitching in the majors, May seemed to be the top-of-the-rotation piece to lead the Phillies when Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels were closing out their careers.
In five starts in April, May racked up 33 strikeouts in 30 innings with a 2.40 ERA. Then in his 10 starts that followed, May won just one game. In 19 starts after April, May went seven innings just twice and made it through six innings just four other times.
May was in trouble and he knew it.
“I was battling myself and I thought a lot of my mechanical things involved a lot of body tension,” May explained last August. “When you’re tense all the time it’s hard to relax. I don’t work well that way. I need to relax and have my body where my mind has always been. So what we did was relax all sorts of stuff in my delivery.”
May said he simply hit the reset button on his season. There also were a few tweaks and adjustments, too, such as the way he stood on the rubber while waiting for the catcher’s signal. No, there was nothing earth shattering about May’s tweaks, but for a 22-year old, simply understanding that adjustments needed to be made was victory enough.
“He’s a young guy and hopefully he’s making those adjustments from start to start and from inning to inning and from pitch to pitch,” Reading manager Dusty Wathan said. “Right now he’s making adjustments in-season, which is huge because he really could have let this season get away from him. He said, ‘You know what? I’m going to stop it and I’m going to work on some things and fix some things. I might regress a little bit in a few starts here or there because I’m trying to do some things.’ But for the future of his career, it’s all going to work out for the best.”
The 2012 season doesn’t jump off the page as some sort of
moment when a pitcher came into his own. After all, the 10-13 record and 4.87
ERA in 28 starts is nothing to do backflips over. However, May had 151
strikeouts in 149 innings and put himself on the right path for a possible
appearance in the majors in 2013.
“I’m getting better in my consistency,” May said. “I’ve worked on a lot of consistency things with my delivery and with my mental approach to the game and I’ve been working on confidence things. All of these things have come together and when I’ve been working on putting my mind in the same exact place every time I go out there. It’s going to be hard sometimes, but the more relaxed I am the more success I’m going to have. It’s something I’ve been working on a lot. I can’t do it on a dot, but I’m getting there.”