The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

January 26, 2014

Well-armed

Everything's all right for lefty Brandon Easton as he preps for his second season as a professional

When Pymatuning Valley product Brandon Easton arrives in Fort Myers, Fla. for Minnesota Twins spring training the big left-handed pitcher plans on being ready to impress.

Drafted in the 24th round by the Twins out of Lakeland Community College in 2013, Easton spent his first season pitching for the Twins rookie ball team in Arizona last year.

The 6-foot-5, 190-pound Easton has been back home in Ohio during the offseason, physically and mentally preparing for the upcoming season.

“It’s been great (being home),” he said. “I’ve just been working out and mentally preparing for the upcoming season. I’ve been working hard and plan on coming into spring training strong.”

As is usually the case in the first season, Easton had an up-and-down rookie campaign.

He posted a 1-3 record, which doesn’t necessarily mean much at that level because pitchers are slotted and innings are limited.

He struck out 11 in 19.1 innings work and posted a WHIP (walks, hits per inning pitching) of 1.97.

One of the biggest focuses in the offseason has been putting on weight.

Listed at 190 when he was drafted, the organization is hoping he’ll add some muscle in the offseason.

“They want me to be 210,” he said. “So I’ve been working on my weight trying to gain more muscle and mass. I just want to be stronger and faster. Hopefully, I’ll see increases to my velocity and come into spring training strong.”

Easton said the biggest adjustment was trying to learn what the Twins were teaching opposed to what he had been taught at PV then Lakeland.

“It was tough,” he admitted. “I came in not knowing some of what they teach. But, once you get that down it helps. Once you know the routine it becomes a lot easier and I got the hang of it.”

One of the biggest things Easton is changing going into this season is his arm slot.

After throwing at a three-quarters’ arm slot, he learned he was putting too much stress on his shoulder.

So, he made the decision to come more over the top, which he believes will increase his velocity and keep his arm healthy.

“I was three-quarters, when I started but it was putting stress on my shoulder,” he said. “So I switched to more of an over-the-top arm slot and my velocity went up and my arm wasn’t hurting. It was a major adjustment for me.

“They didn’t tell me to change, so it was something I wanted to do. They want you to throw however you’ve always thrown, they don’t try to mess you up. They always say just go out and throw.”

In addition to a new arm slot and added muscle, Easton is working on controlling the running game going into this season, something he said he didn’t do a very good job of last season.

“I wanna keep people from stealing on me,” he said. “That’s a major focus. If there’s a guy on first and second or just first, I want to keep them from running. I just want to hopefully dominate the game and move up the ladder.”

While holding runners might not be an emphasis for many at the lower levels of baseball, Easton said it’s a major focus at the professional level.

“It’s a big concentration,” he said. “You gotta have the mindset that you’re not thinking about anything but keeping the guys on base from scoring. That’s how you win baseball games — you have to be mentally focused. You need to be focused then let your defense back you up.”

Easton said the focus this year is moving up classes.

He plans to open at Single A Cedar Rapids out of spring training and go from there.

“Like I said, I just want to dominate and try to move up,” he said. “I think I have a pretty good chance to make it to Cedar Rapids after spring training and then move up from there.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • The Final Countdown A Don McCormack column: If you could go back...

    Over the weekend, yours truly had an opportunity to catch on of his favorite, albeit more than a bit cheesy, movies — “The Final Countdown” — which starred Kirk Douglas, Martin Sheen, Katherine Ross, James Farentino and Charles Durning.

    April 21, 2014 5 Photos

  • Don A Don McCormack column: AAC seems A-OK for Edgewood

    For the first time since the demise of the storied Northeastern Conference, teams from Edgewood High School are competing for conference championships this spring.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Scholastic Schedule:

    MONDAY, APRIL 21
    Baseball

    PV at Windham (4:30)
    Conneaut at Seneca (4:30)
    Wickliffe at Madison (4:30)
    Niles McKinley at Jefferson (5)

    April 21, 2014

  • Dale Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: Waitin’ on a woman...

    Let’s face it — we will never know exactly what a gobbler is thinking. However, we have a good idea of what his motives are during the spring. In one word, girls, he’s waitin’ on a woman.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jefferson flying high

    Jefferson boys track coach T.J. Furman didn’t know what to expect from his young team coming into the 2014 season.

    April 20, 2014

  • Scholastic Statistics:

    BOYS TRACK
    NON-CONFERENCE
    Jefferson 130, Pymatuning Valley 88, Springfield 75, Southeast 73.50, LaBrae 67, Liberty 56.50, Conneaut 44, Maplewood 39, Chalker 32, Windham 18
    at LaBrae

    April 20, 2014

  • Advantage, Diemer

    Every pitcher wants to get the advantage against every batter she faces. Edgewood lefty Taylor Diemer gave herself that edge and it proved to be key as the Warriors topped Madison, 1-0, Friday at Edgewood.

    April 19, 2014

  • Scholastic Statistics:

    SOFTBALL
    NON-CONFERENCE
    Edgewood 1, Madison 0
    at Edgewood

    April 19, 2014

  • Scholastic Schedule:

    SATURDAY, APRIL 19
    Baseball

    Brookfield at Conneaut (1)
    Grand Valley at Berkshire (10)
    Chardon at Madison (DH, 11)
    Edgewood at Fairport (11)
    West Geauga at Riverside (11)

    April 19, 2014

  • Spartans knock around Dragons

    After being cooped up in gymnasiums for the better part of the season so far, the Conneaut and Lakeside softball teams were just happy to get onto a diamond. Playing for the first time in nearly a week, the Spartans toppled the Dragons, 11-2, Thursday afternoon at Lakeside.

    April 18, 2014

Sports Week in Review April 14 to 19
Sports Week in Review April 7-12
Spring Sports Practice in Ashtabula County
2014 AP BB Tourney Top 25
2014 AP BB Tourney Scoreboard
2014 AP BB Tourney News
2014 AP BB Tourney Photos
Star Beacon-Ed Batanian Senior Classic
Girls Regional Basketball Action
Week of Champions
Sports Week in Review February 21, 22
Grand Valley at Edgewood Boys Basketball
Sports Week in Review Feb. 3 to 8
Sports Week in Review January 30 to Feb. 1
Sports Week in Review January 13-18
Sports Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video