Team Northwest 18U has won the PG MLK tournament in Arizona, and I couldn’t be more proud of our guys. The team had four Driveline Baseball athletes on the main roster with two being called up from the 16U team for the championship game, and everyone contributed in a huge way. Tons of kudos has to be given to coach Rob Tomlinson as well as Mike Brooks, who is the mastermind behind the entirety of the Team Northwest organization. As some of you may know, Mike and I will be figuring out ways to partner together and this will likely include a role in the development of the Team Northwest pitchers going forward, since some of the biggest contributors have already been Driveline clients!
Perfect Game featured a story on the main page of their website, calling out Driveline client Drew Rasmussen:
Rasmussen started the championship game and pitched three scoreless, hitless innings with four strikeouts and two walks.
Rasmussen did, indeed, pitch earlier in the tournament, a three-inning outing in which he didn’t allow a base runner and struck out seven. His line for the weekend: six innings pitched, no runs, no hits, 11 strikeouts and two walks, and for that effort he was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Pitcher.
I can’t emphasize how proud I am of Drew for earning this honor. Drew was utterly dominant at the PG MLK event and has done the same thing at all national events – Area Code Games, Team USA trials, PG events, you name it. He simply gets guys out, pounds the strike zone, and competes hard. Just early last year, Drew was throwing 83-84 MPH and wasn’t even on the highest team of his select organization, the Spokane Dodgers. Fast forward not even a year later, and Drew has touched 93 MPH and easily sat in the low 90’s in January for this event, and has a scholarship to Oregon State waiting for him next year.
Drew is what we call a “worker” in our program – despite being in Spokane, WA (over 3 hours away from our facility), he gets his work done via remote programming that we set up for him and gets regular checkups. Drew loves video work, so we spend plenty of quality time behind the computer picking out things in his delivery in high-speed video. We also spent a fair amount of time talking about pitch tunneling and deception during his last visit, as this overlaid image demonstrates how deceptive and late the break on his slider vs. changeup can be:
Here’s how Team Driveline performed on the mound for the event:
- Drew Rasmussen (Mt. Spokane HS, 2014 – Oregon State) – W, 6 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 11 K, 2 BB
- Taiki Green (Bonney Lake HS, 2014 – New Mexico) – W, 3 IP, 2 R (2 ER), 1 H, 4 K, 3 BB
- Brendan Illies (Puyallup HS, 2015 – North Carolina) – SV, 1.1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 2 K, 1 BB
- Taylor Davis (Todd Beamer HS, 2015 – Seattle University) – H, 3 IP, 5 R (5 ER), 4 H, 3K, 2 BB
Driveline client JJ Asinas (Todd Beamer HS, 2016) threw in the quarterfinal game of the 16U playoff bracket, giving up no earned runs but picked up the loss due to a plethora of errors made behind him.
Of course, they all know that work starts again tomorrow. We have just two months until the start of the HS season!
Congratulations to Mike Brooks and Rob Tomlinson for picking up the first Perfect Game title for Team Northwest. Let this be the first of many!
If you are interested in trying out for Team Northwest, please visit the official site for more details!