2018 Commitment Q&A with No. 11 2018 RHP Luke La Flam
December 19, 2017
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With the the first signing period passing, we reached out to committed players from the 2018 class to hear about their baseball career and to gain insight into their recruitment. Continuing our look is No. 11 2018 RHP Luke La Flam of Grandview who is committed to Arizona State.
PBR: Why did you choose Arizona State?
La Flam: I chose ASU because of the coaching staff, the baseball atmosphere, and the fact that ASU has been selected as the nation's most innovative university for 3 consecutive years. I was also really excited to have the opportunity to play for Coach Smith and Coach Cather. Coach Smith has a winning track record wherever he has been and Coach Cather has a long history of developing young pitchers. Coach Greenspan, the recruiting coordinator, is on of the nicest guys I have ever met and I really enjoy talking to him.
PBR: What other schools were you considering?
La Flam: Iowa Western CC, UNC, Cal Poly, and Virginia.
PBR: Where did they first see you? How did your relationship develop with the coaching staff?
La Flam: They first saw me via video that was sent by my pitching coach. They were interested and wanted to see me throw in a game situation so I joined a team out of Florida for the Wilson Premier in Arizona. Immediately following the tournament, I drove over to ASU and met the recruiting coordinator, pitching coach, and head coach. I was very impressed with the staff and facilities. My relationship with them continued to develop as I made two unofficial visits and one official visit.
PBR: What role do you expect to play your first year on campus?
La Flam: My role will be determined by my performance during fall practice and where the coaching staff thinks I fit in. I have trust in Coach Smith and Coach Cather in deciding who their starters, relievers, and closers are going to be. Whatever role I end up in I will respect Coach Smith's decision and continue to work hard in order to fulfill the role the coaches and myself envision.
PBR: Who has had the biggest impact on you as a baseball player?
La Flam: I have had a lot of great coaches over the years including my last youth coach as well as all of my high school coaches. The coach who has made the biggest impact on me as a baseball player though, is my pitching coach, Sean Cashman, who I met this past summer. He has helped me with both the physical and mental tools needed to compete on the mound. He has also helped me gain a better understanding of who I am off the field and the importance of being a great person, brother, and son.
PBR: What have you worked on/improved since last year?
La Flam: I have been working with my pitching coach on my timing on the mound. I have also worked on developing a routine for all aspects of the game(pre-game, pre-inning, pre-pitch, etc.). I feel like mentally, I am the strongest I have ever been. My biggest improvements have definitely been developing my routine and becoming mentally stronger.
PBR: Who is the best player that you have played against or with?
La Flam: I would say either Cole Winn or a couple of kids I played with on the Elite Squad team at the Wilson Premier.
PBR: What are your thoughts on the recruiting process? Any advice for other players who have the desire to play college baseball.
La Flam: The recruiting process for me has been a roller coaster ride for me. I was late to the recruiting process but have been in situations where coaches showed interest and then went silent and situations where I was surprised by an offer. There were days where I celebrated good news and days where I was bummed out because I did not hear back from a coach. I learned quickly that thick skin is a must when going through the recruiting process. Recruiting coordinators do their jobs well when the talk to you about coming to their school and all the benefits that come along with it. Recruiting coordinators talk to a lot of players so don't be offended if something does not work out with a particular school or coach. The best advice I have is go to a school that you would enjoy if baseball was out of the picture because you never know what is going to happen and baseball ends for everybody someday.
6-foot-2, 185 pounds. First time we have seen LaFlam and we came away impressed. Starts with modified stretch windup, easy delivery from high 3/4 arm slot. Loose arm, effortless towards plate with 88 mph fastball. Change was nasty at 80 mph. If he can throw strikes consistently he is going to be a force for Grandview. Prospect to follow.
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