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Midwest Marlins Senior Interviews

04/26/2019, 10:45am EDT
By Jake Spegal

A look at all of the talent the Marlins are sending off to the next level and what went into it

The Midwest Marlins pride ourselves in getting our guys to the next level. As we get ready to send off another 18u class to college, we have put together a commitement article to highlight all of our guys, both those committed and those still in the process. We asked them each several questions about their history with the Marlins and got some great feedback. Let's dive in!

The Players

Justin Maynard (JM) - (6’4 210 lbs/ RHP, 3B, OF); Wittenberg

Clay Stivison - (6’ 180 lbs/ LHP, 1B); Uncommitted

JJ Carr - (6’2 215 lbs/ 1B, 3B, RHP); Salem University

Noah Laurent - (5’10 175 lbs/ SS); Sinclair CC

Austin Erdely - (6’ 195 lbs/ RHP, OF); University of Indianapolis

Billy DeLeon - (6’2 187 lbs/ RHP); Wheeling Jesuit University

Dylan Swensen - (6’4 215 lbs/ RHP); Miami University (OH)

Damon Wheeler - (5’10 200 lbs/ C); Salem University

Cade Brintlinger - (6’3 205 lbs/ RHP, 3B, LF); Uncommitted

Tyler Monk - (6’0 185 lbs/ INF, OF); Tusculum University

Cody Trago - (6’0 165 lbs/ OF, P); Notre Dame College

Trace Ruff - (5’9 180 lbs/ OF); Salem University

Garrott Kennedy - (5’10, 145 lbs/ INF); Capital University

Joshua Moore (JM*) - (5’10 185 lbs/ 2B); Uncommitted

Jay Hester III - (6’2 195 lbs/ OF); Eastern Kentucky University

Aiden Lao - (5’8 160 lbs/ C, MIF); University of Findlay

Ryan McMurray - (6'1 170 lbs/ RHP); Uncommitted

Tanner Congrove - (6'3 200 lbs/ 1B, LHP); Uncommitted

Trey Givens - (5'8 150 lbs/ RHP); Heidelberg University

The Questions

Q: How many years have you played for the Marlins?

JM - One season

CS - One season

JJC - Two seasons

NL - Three seasons

AE - Two seasons

BD - Two seasons

DS - Two seasons

DW - Two seasons

CB - Two seasons

TM - Three seasons

CT - Two seasons

TR - Two seasons

GK - Four seasons

JM* - This is my first season

JH - Two seasons

AL - This is my first season

RM - This is my first season

TC - Four seasons 

TG - One season

Q: How have the Marlins helped you prepare for the next level?

JM -  Through the exceptional training and facilities, quality coaching staff, great networking, scheduling the right tournaments and the support we receive.

CS - The driveline throwing program has really helped get my arm ready for the next level.

JJC - When I first started playing for the Midwest Marlins at the age of 15, I was unsure I would even be scouted to play baseball at the collegiate level. It was at this point I had started to feel I was starting to excel within the game, due to all of the relentless work that the coaching staffs had put me through. All thanks to the entirety of the Marlins organization and their never ending work, I had started to get exposed to college coaches every single weekend through the competitive tournaments we had been placed in, and the camps and showcases put on by the Midwest Marlins. A year later I had the honor of committing and signing to Salem University!

NL - I have been trained physically and emotionally at the highest level. The Marlins have given me the opportunity to play against the best competition in the midwest.

AE - Everything Coach Weaver has done for us. The training, preparation, and opportunities I’ve gained access to by joining the Marlins have helped me tremendously. The level of competition we have played has helped as well. It has bettered my game to play those at and above my level.

BD - They have given me opportunities to play at the next level and make me a better person both on and off the field.

DS - They’ve taught me the high level work ethic you need to succeed and how to be ready each day to compete and put your best foot forward.

DW - Ever since the first time I was around Coach Weaver and the rest of the coaches I knew they took baseball more serious than any team I have ever been on and I knew they took the game seriously. Everything the Marlins have done for me has more than just prepared me for the next level, they have also built me to be stronger mentally and emotionally.

CB - How elite and hard we train prepares us to dominate at any level.

TM - They provide good facilities with great hours to get work in and they work you when you are there. Everyone who plays for the Marlins is good so there is always competition within the teams which makes players better.

CT - All the clinics and open time for hitting and pitching have really pushed me to the next level.

TR - The Marlins really helped me by getting my name out there to several colleges.

GK - I feel that being around players that all have the same aspirations as you to play at the next level and being pushed by all your coaches and teammates to be your best all the time has been the biggest thing I’ll take with me. Having a facility that is open and always having a coach like Coach Weaver that is there to help you strengthen every aspect of your game has also helped prepare me for the next level.

JM* -  The Marlins have helped me improve my skills physically and aided me in the college search process.

JH - It put me up against great competition and what also helped was being around some really good ball players that I could learn from.

AL - This past winter and fall increased my game greatly as I had the opportunity to come in to a great facility multiple times a week and work on different aspects on my game. It was also very helpful to be able to face off against live pitching well before the school season started.

RM - Playing for the Marlins has been unlike any other team I've ever been on. The coaches put a priority on developing players to their full potential during the off season and they do it with a passion that’s hard to find in other organizations.

TC - The dedication, hard work and scouting have all helped me.

TG - They have helped me with all the little techniques that I was missing to help my game.

Q: What will you take most with you to the next level from the Marlins?

JM - I will take away the dedication to the program and the process.

CS - The attitude that they bring everyday.

JJC - The competitive edge. College ball will be a whole new experience packed with adversity and I know I'll need to stay competitive in order to earn as much playing time as possible.

NL - The mental toughness needed to compete.

AE - The teamwork/togetherness. While winning is fun, it’s about being with your teammates and enjoying it. These guys are like brothers and I’ll take with me to just enjoy it and have fun. Not to always try and press or over think things. Just relax and have fun.

BD - All the advice that Coach Weaver, Coach Rush and Coach Miller have given me.

DS - I’ll take the high level work ethic that they taught me. Try to be the best you can be on any given day.

DW - I have learned a lot from the Marlins, but the thing that I rely most on is the pride that I have from being a Marlin.

CB - Just continuing to work hard on and off the field.

TM - The work ethic that you get from working with all of the coaches and other players.

CT - The confidence that Coach Weaver has helped me build.

TR - The hard work and dedication that you need to be successful.

GK - I’ll take the work ethic I have gained through being around other hard working players and hard working coaches with me most.

JM* - The mindset of hard work and perseverance within baseball both physically and mentally.

JH - The thing that I will continue to take with me onto the next level that I learned while being with the Marlins is simply just playing hard, making adjustments, and also working through adversity.

AL - During my short time thus far with the marlins, it has been clear to me the importance of building relationships with your teammates and I’m glad to have the relationships with all of the guys that I have met thus far.

RM - The fact that when you think you’re good and working hard, there’s always players somewhere in some facility working harder and getting better, so you can’t stop grinding.

TC - I will take the work ethic with me.

TG - I will take all the fundamentals that I have learned along with the dedication aspect of it.

Q: What made you choose your college of choice?

JM - Wittenberg felt the most like home. The coaches seemed interested in me both on and off the field. The staff followed my progress for 2 years and never lost touch with me. I really feel wanted there.

JJC - Salem felt like home to me. Coach Rouse and Coach Gyorkos are coaches that put their players first and are all about developing their players to be the best ball players, students, and people that they can possibly be.

NL - Sinclair is a perfect fit for me because it will help me transition from high school to Division I college baseball.

AE - The connection with the coaches, the environment/campus, and the teams values all led me to choose Indy.

BD - I love everything about Wheeling Jesuit. The vibes are positive and they welcomed me into their program on the three visits I had with them.

DS - I chose Miami because when I stepped on campus I was blown away with how it looked, how great the school is overall, and of course the baseball team. The facilities there are amazing and they can definitely rival some power five facilities, also the teams atmosphere is incredible and it was one of the main reasons I chose there. Everyone wants to win and everyone plays their roles. The coaches made me feel at home and made me feel really wanted. They made me instantly feel like a Redhawk. Like they say, “Push the rock.”

DW - When I met the coaching staff at Salem University, I knew that they play the game the right way. The baseball atmosphere there is incredible and that just helped my decision even more.

TM - The amazing facilities they have and the fact that I’ve always wanted to go south to play baseball.

CT - The scholarship that they offered me.

TR - What really helped me choose was how important baseball is to the coaches there.

GK - I chose Capital University because it felt like home when I visited and I liked the small class sizes that I find more comfortable than large classes at bigger universities. I liked the culture I saw when I visited and met the players and coaches. The facilities were another big part of choosing Capital but more than anything it’s where I felt wanted and knew it was a place I would feel comfortable for four years, ultimately leading me to choosing Capital.

Q:Are you excited for what the future holds at your school of choice?

JM - I am extremely excited for the future at Wittenberg.

JJC - I am very excited for the future. I cannot wait to get to Salem in the fall!

NL - I am very excited to see where Sinclair brings me.

AE - I am very excited and can’t wait to get started there!

BD - I am very excited for what the future holds for me both in baseball and academically.

DS - I’m extremely excited to be able to develop under the amazing coaching staff at Miami and especially under the pitching coach, Coach Pass.

DW - Yes, I cannot wait to get down there in the fall and get ball rolling.

TM - Yes. I think they will provide me with a great opportunity to great things.

CT - Yes, I am very excited for the future!

TR - Yes, I’m extremely excited for the future at Salem!

GK - I’m excited for both my academic and athletic future at Capital. Baseball has always been a huge part of my life and being able to continue playing baseball while I get an education excites me.

JH - I am very excited.

AL - Yes, I am very excited to get started and to compete at the next level.

RM - Yes, because I have the opportunity to try and walk-on to a great program and the Marlins have given me the confidence that I have the potential to reach a level of playing that will allow me to make it if I keep working.

TG - Yes. They have a great program along with great coaches.

Q: How did Jeremy Booth and the Future Stars team help benefit your recruitment?

JM - I was already committed to Wittenberg at the time.

JJC - It was definitely beneficial to work with guys that are heavily involved within the MLB. It was definitely an eye opener. That experience showed me that there is ALWAYS room for improvement.

NL - Their staff got my name out there for plenty of coaches to see.

AE - They were able to get my numbers and name out there for coaches to see. The access and connections they have allowed for me to be contacted by numerous schools and help better my game.

DS - They really put me on the map. The same night as their combine I was getting texts from multiple Division I schools. One of the schools that reached out was Miami. They helped me get to my dream school.

TG - He really allowed for me to get more exposure.

Q: What is your favorite memory made while playing for the Marlins?

JM - Before this season I only filled in as a pitcher for one of their tournaments in Cleveland. I finished the semifinal game and started the championship game. We took home the championship.

CS - Watching Coach Rush and Coach Beerman run through the fountain in left field.

JJC - Winning our last tournament of the year last summer in Cleveland.

NL - Winning the Cincy Flames tournament last summer.

AE - Winning the last tournament and seeing Coach Rush and Coach Beerman run through the fountain.

BD - I don’t have an exact favorite memory with the Marlins because we make new memories every time I am with the team. It’s all positive and good vibes.

DS - My favorite memory playing for the Marlins really isn’t one specific time or event. It was just being able to see my brothers, that we worked our asses off together in the off-season, and committed to go on to play at the next level. It’s just a testament to what this program is and every single player in the program.

DW - My favorite memory as a Marlin comes from the last summer tournament of 2018 in Cleveland. We made it to the semifinals and knew we had to win back to back games to win the tournament and we did just that. After winning, the feeling of accomplishment was in the air and everything the coaching staff at the Marlins did made that feeling possible.

CB - Simply hanging with all the Marlins, it’s like a family because everyone is so close on and off the field.

TM - The trip to Nashville last season was sweet and really fun with the team.

CT - I am still playing this year so hopefully I can make some amazing ones!

TR - My favorite memory is always being one of the best teams in every tournament.

GK - I don't have a single memory but being apart of a great culture and meeting great players and coaches have created memories I won't forget.

JM* - My favorite memory is playing fall because those are the only games I’ve got to play as a Marlin so far.

JH - Going to Midland and playing some really good ball players. Playing against dudes that are at your level or even maybe a little better is always exciting for me because it allows me to see how good I really am.

AL - Coming into the thunderdome for practices and being able to compete with all of the guys while still having a great time.

RM - The season hasn’t even started and the team atmosphere created in the off season is already so strong that it’s going to be hard to choose a favorite memory by the end of the season.

TC - All the friendships that I have made.

TG - Hanging with all the guys and the great coaches.

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