STORY: 2019 RHP/C Mason Speaker (All Saints)


Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Texas Writer

FORT WORTH, TX - For a number of years now, Mason Speaker has considered catching as his ticket to college. But that may have changed.

“Until a month or two ago I was all set on catching in college,” the All Saints Episcopal junior said. “But by the end of last summer I had gained six or seven miles per hour.”

Suddenly, pitching became a possibility.

“I pitched on my high school team and it feels nice out there,” Speaker said. “It’s feels like something I can do at the next level.”

Colleges are beginning to think the same way.

“Ever since one PBR video, everything has blown up for me,” the 86th-ranked player in the state’s 2019 class pointed out. “It introduced me a Big 12 recruiting coordinator and they started talking to me as a pitcher and started following.”

It has helped put Speaker on the recruiting map.

“The process has kind of been what I assumed it would be like, but I didn’t think it would come all at once like it has,” Speaker admitted. “I thought it would be spaced out over time. But ever since we played when a Texas Tech commit was on the mound it has picked up. Coach (Toby) Bicknell (PBR Texas Scouting Director) was there and he helped give me a lot of exposure. Ever since, schools have started contacting me.”

Being an experienced catcher has benefitted the 6-4 215-pounder on the mound.

“It really helps,” Speaker said. “When it’s an 0-2 count I think like a catcher - a high fastball to get the eyes up, then something out of the zone they can’t hit. I’m always thinking like a catcher when I’m pitching and as a pitcher when I’m catching.”

Being behind the plate in college is something the 11th-rated unsigned junior in the state has not given up on.

“Since I started catching at 12U, I’ve really liked it,” said Speaker, a shortstop and third baseman up until that point in time of his life. “I’ve worked and worked at it and gotten good at it. For me, it just feels like I’m basically controlling the game. I’m the quarterback of the infield and the outfield.”

It began looking like his key to playing after high school.

“My coach said keep working at it and you can play at the next level, so I’ve been thinking it’s a possibility,” Speaker noted.

However, now that pitching has entered the picture there is more to consider.

“It’s probably too early to decide about doing just one or being a two-way,” the switch-hitting Speaker said. “If a big school asks me to just pitch, it’s totally an option. But being a two-way is something I’d really like to do.”

No matter the position, Speaker has a lot to give to a program.

“As a junior, I feel I’m a good role model on our team,” Speaker said. “I try to step up as a leader. I’m a mood-changer in the dugout and I talk to the team after hard games.”

One of those teammates is twin brother Jacob, another college recruit whose interest has soared as a pitcher, while also getting recruited at shortstop.

“In baseball it’s great to have a twin, but in life it’s kind of a hassle at times,” Speaker admitted. “But on the field it’s a lot more fun with him out there. I’ve caught him forever and I know everything he’s got. He can make me look better just like I can make him look better when I catch him.”

But is there a future playing together in the sport for the Speaker twins?

“We both know we may get into the same college and that would be amazing,” explained Mason, whose first memory of playing ball with his brother was on the Timber Rattlers Pee Wee team. “But if it doesn’t happen we’re not going to cry ourselves to sleep. We’re prepared if it doesn’t happen.”

For now the focus for Mason - a 3.7 student who plans to stay in sports in some capacity later in life, perhaps in physical therapy - is on getting more exposure prior to his final year of high school.

“I’m playing with my summer team (Texas Stix), which in the past has gotten me some exposure, and I’m going to a PBR showcase the beginning of June at Prestonwood,” noted Speaker, who points to high school teammate Cade Farr, a Texas Tech commit, as being a big influence in helping teach him about composure.

“I try to be a top-tier guy at those events and show off my leadership,” Speaker said. “I hope to gain some miles per hour on my fastball and lower my pop time. Those are the biggest things I strive for at showcases.”

 

 

 

 

 


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