Tagged: UCLA

Dad’s Day at Chase Field, Bauer Style

Photo by Jordan Megenhardt

By Josh Greene

While Father’s Day is usually a date reserved to show dad your everlasting appreciation, D-backs first-round draft pick Trevor Bauer did one better earlier this week. The young right-hander got to show his father where he may be pitching one day, thanks to Tuesday’s introductory press conference at Chase Field.

 “I’m so happy for Trevor,” Warren Bauer said. “He’s worked a lot to get where he is, and I’m just happy it looks like it will turn out. A lot of kids put effort into things, and they don’t pan out. Some get to live their dream, and he’s getting to live his. It’s been great watching him. We’re proud parents, but it’s not about us. It’s him who is on the field doing the heavy lifting. We’re just along for the ride.

“He takes it all in stride. He understands he needs to stay grounded in the fact you still need to go out there and produce results. It’s not a done deal. It feels like the finish line, but it’s really the beginning.”

Even at 4 years old, the future UCLA standout was a hot commodity for his neighborhood baseball team. Of course, back then it was because the team was always short on players.

“When he was little, Trevor showed an interest right away,” he added. “We had neighbors who were a few years older than him and liked playing baseball, so when they needed another guy, they’d come get him. Half the time he’d come home crying, because the bigger boys wouldn’t let him hit or whatever. He grew up having to compete against guys older than him, so he learned how to thrive in that environment and enjoy it after awhile. After he got old enough to understand, he learned that when you play against older guys, you will be the last man out.

“There was a point where we thought if he made the high school team and not warm the bench, that would be enough. Anything past that would be gravy. He had a good junior year, and UCLA got interested. It snowballed from there. At no point did you say this will turn into something bigger. You just tried to take each step as it came, and it came pretty rapidly. It was like a fire hydrant opening up. From high school to college, they put him on the mound right away, and he was successful right away. It just kept going.”

Even coming off all of his son’s collegiate success, the elder Bauer admits Trevor wasn’t the most athletic kid out on the diamond growing up. But, boy, have times changed.

“He’s very diligent and maximizes the ability he has,” Warren said. “He’s never what you would call an athlete growing up. He didn’t run fast or throw hard. He was a guy you’d look at and say, ‘He was alright.’ When you’re talented, you have the option of working hard or not. When you’re not, you don’t have any choice but to work hard. He was always the guy who had to work hard. When he did begin to blossom athletically in high school, he already had the work ethic to go with it and it followed him. He’s a hard working kid, and his success is a product of a lot of hard work.”

Top pick Bauer visits Chase Field

Photo by Jordan Megenhardt

By Greg Dillard

In last week’s 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft, the D-backs made a splash with the selection of highly touted UCLA pitcher Trevor Bauer.

The third overall pick got his first taste of life as a D-back on Tuesday, when he received the full Chase Field experience and attended the series-opening game against the rival Giants. Bauer was escorted on a tour of the ballpark and met D-backs skipper Kirk Gibson and the coaching staff, as well as several of the team’s current players.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to play in the big leagues… never something that was an expectation or a reality until just recently,” Bauer said. “So getting to meet those guys and have a conversation is pretty spectacular.”

Bauer wasn’t alone during his D-backs journey. His father, Warren, was also in attendance throughout Tuesday’s events, while the entire Bauer clan made the trip to Phoenix this week.

“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Bauer said. “My family and I are really close. My mom and my sister are actually in town with me. They chose to go shopping right now, but they’ll be here for the game. They’ve been a huge part in my process, my development, and raising me obviously. It’s really good to share it with them.”

The 6-foot-2 Bauer is fresh off a dominating season as a member of the UCLA baseball team. In 16 starts, he posted a 13-2 record with a miniscule 1.25 ERA. Bauer’s 203 strikeouts led the entire NCAA. Of his 16 starts, 10 of them were complete games.

The right-hander’s success did not go unnoticed as he received plenty of national recognition. He claimed National Player of the Year honors from Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball. Bauer was also awarded as the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year, and was a top-three semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award.

This week’s visit to the Valley of Sun wasn’t Bauer’s first trip to Arizona. Just three weeks ago, Bauer and his Bruins came to Tempe for a three-game series against Arizona State. Bauer dominated in his May 28th start, unleashing a complete-game shutout over the Sun Devils.

“That was a fun night,” Bauer said. “I beat ASU my freshman year, and they got me in a bad way last year. So I was happy to go out there and pitch well.”

Of course, all those accolades and performances came as a collegiate player. Bauer now faces the tall task of translating his talent to the professional level.

“When I’d miss spots in college at 93, 94 mph, guys still had trouble squaring it up,” Bauer said. “Even if they did get a good pass on it, maybe it was a fly out to the track. But you miss spots in professional baseball, it’s a double off the wall. It’s a home run. (I’m) probably just going to have to be finer with my control.”

Bauer’s professional debut has yet to be determined. He has not signed with the D-backs, and is unsure of when those negotiations will be hammered out. All that matters to him is that it’s sometime in the near future.

“I want to get back out there on the field,” Bauer said. “I’m starting to miss it already.”

Whenever Bauer does sign, he will embark on what he hopes to be a rapid ascension through the minor league ranks. Despite being just 20 years old, Bauer hopes to be on the Chase Field mound in the near future.

“I hope to be up by next year at some point,” Bauer said. “I’m fully confident in my abilities, and that I can compete and give my team a chance to win at the big league level. That being said, it’s not entirely my decision. It depends on how I do obviously in the minor leagues and as the season gets going and (things) like that.”

Whether or not Bauer reaches the Major Leagues next season remains to be seen. However, the talented right-hander holds high expectations for his future.

“I’m a winner,” Bauer said. “That’s my goal, to go out there and win.”