It felt like it has been there forever. It’s the love of the sport that drives you, the love of competition. It’s you versus the batter. There is a passion inside you that brings out the very best.
Baseball has always been there for you. It’s not like any other job you ever had. Baseball shows you the love – even on a cold winter day in February. That why when the temperature is barley reaching freezing, you are putting in the work to get better.
Baseball has given you so much – and you just want to give back. You want to be great at the sport – that’s why you are throwing everyday. That’s why as the snow is falling in Western New York, you are putting in the work outside.
Collin Reformat has a passion for the game. The Lancaster High School standout has been in love with the sport ever since he was born.
“Ever since my dad introduced me to the game, I fell in love with it. I’ve always loved being on the mound,” stated Reformat. “The feeling of having control of the game when you are pitching is one of the best feelings. Also, baseball is a game where you need all nine of your guys to be playing together to be successful, and that drew me toward baseball more than anything.”
Ever since that first day on the mound, Reformat has been working toward being successful for whichever team he’s played on. His success in high school and in the summer led him to be recruited by some very good Division I schools.
The recruiting process has been the culmination of all those year in the weight room, throwing extra pitches, working on things that no one else would see. It was the culmination of all the success Reformat had both invidually and with the teams he was on.
“My recruiting process was draining, but also enjoyable. I began to get recruited after having a very successful spring with my high school team,” stated Reformat. “In the fall, I went to a lot of college camps and that was the most draining for me. I would be pitching every weekend to my full potential to try to impress coaches, so that took a lot out of me.”
Pitching is a tough thing to do. You can’t get away with having a bad day like a hitter can. If a hitter has a bad day there is eight other guys that can pick him up and help the team.
If a pitcher has a bad day, the team normally loses. That’s why Reformat works on his game every chance he gets. For pitchers that usually means strength and mechanics. Mechanics is what can make or break a pitcher.
The best pitchers out there are the ones that can repeat their mechanics over and over again.
“Mechanics are the most important part of my game. My best quality on the mound is my mechanics and how smooth my delivery is. Thankfully, I worked with coaches on my mechanics ever since a young age,” explained Reformat. “It’s an aspect of the game that is very important, especially for younger players. Having the right mechanics is crucial for when I am throwing a lot during the season to keep my arm healthy.”
You also have to be mentally strong – especially playing in a league with aluminum bats. Pitchers need to have a short memory when an opposing player gets ahold of one and hits it 450-feet over the right-center field wall for a game-winning homerun.
Pitchers have to have a short memory. They also can’t be afraid to pitch to their strengths. Reformat loves to try and get hitters thinking out there. A lot of pitchers will just use the same pattern every time. Maybe they will go fastball in, then changeup away.
Reformat likes to in the hitters minds.
“When I’m pitching, my goal is to have the hitter guessing at which pitch is coming his way. I think that is part of the mental aspect of pitching. My catcher and I work to keep the hitters off balanced. A lot of pitching is mental, especially hitting your spots and knowing each situation no matter how crowded the stands are or if radar guns are up behind the backstop,” he explained. “I like to move the ball around the zone. I think my favorite spot has to be the low outside corner in a spot where that the hitter can barely reach. With movement on all of my pitches, I really like to mix up all of my pitches and throw off-speed just as much as my fastball. My game is very fast paced, although many people wouldn’t look at baseball as a fast moving game. Once I get in a groove on the mound, I’ll get right back up there and pitch as soon as the batter is in the box.”
Even with all the work he has put in, Reformat knows he still needs to work even harder when heading into the college.
The University at Buffalo plays in the very competitive MAC. If Reformat wants to be part of the rotation, he needs to work on everything from pitch selection, to pitch placement.
“The biggest thing to work on moving forward would have to be my velocity,” stated Reformat. “I have had success throwing from the left side with movement, but to continue that success at the Division I level, I will need to speed up those pitches as well to compete with the great hitters in our conference.”
One thing he won’t have to get used to is the cold. Pitching in what Western New York calls the spring is pretty difficult. For most of the spring, temps may get into the low 50’s – but nothing like 70s or 80’s.
Pitching in the cold is tough on pitchers as they could have a hard time getting loose and finding the different grips on the pitches.
For Reformat it’s just all part of the game.
“I don’t find it too tough to pitch in the cold, probably because I’ve gotten used to it,” stated Reformat. “For me, the most important thing is staying warm in between innings. When I’m pitching on a cold day, you’ll see me in a couple layers on the bench while I wait to get back out on the mound, because I like to stay warm and loose when I’m pitching.”