McLean’s ace discovered the ‘magic capsule’ and is now an MLB draft prospect


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Earlier in his highschool profession, Griffin Stieg would let failure get to him. If the McLean pitcher felt victimized by a nasty name, a troublesome hop or a teammate’s error, he usually discovered it troublesome to rebound. The Highlanders went 7-7 throughout a shortened 2021 season, and Stieg — one of many prime highschool juniors within the space on the time — felt he wasn’t reaching his potential.

“I didn’t have my finest 12 months. It was laborious,” Stieg mentioned.

So he took motion. Stieg enlisted the assistance of a former main league participant to really deal with the psychological facet of baseball. And after a stellar senior 12 months, which earned him first-team All-Met honors, the following huge accomplishment could possibly be having his identify referred to as within the first 10 rounds of the MLB draft, which begins Sunday.

Armed with a mid-90s fastball and an efficient change-up and curveball, Stieg went 9-1 on the mound with 93 strikeouts and a zero.90 ERA in 54⅔ innings this previous season. The Virginia Tech commit additionally batted .368 with 4 residence runs. For that, he can partially thank former Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Guardians outfielder Brandon Guyer.

Since he retired from baseball in 2020, Guyer, a Herndon Excessive and College of Virginia product, has targeted on serving to athletes enhance their aggressive mind-set.

Guyer made a speech to the athletes at McLean simply earlier than the beginning of final season. As he usually does when he addresses a bunch of scholars, he concluded the speech by holding up a wrist band he wore throughout the 2016 World Collection and imparting a chunk of information: “Your ideas decide what you need, and your actions decide what you get.”

Stieg ran as much as Guyer to seize the wrist band. Just a few days after their introduction, the pair have been working collectively.

Utilizing the tenets he has established in his Main League Mindset program, Guyer has helped Stieg accomplish his purpose to, as Stieg put it, “keep sharp on the sphere and at all times be current, deal with the sphere and actually give my entire consideration to this environment.”

Guyer mentioned he struggled along with his personal psychological toughness throughout his highschool profession at Herndon, however he labored at it and picked up loads of data throughout a professional profession that spanned greater than a decade.

One of many foundational features of Stieg’s enchancment comes from a significant breath, one thing Guyer calls “the magic capsule.” It’s not a breath to calm the participant however relatively to maneuver towards “energized tranquility.” It’s meant to make use of nerves as gas to succeed in peak efficiency.

In a matchup in opposition to Washington-Liberty in Might, Stieg didn’t get on base in his first three at-bats, however he centered himself with a significant breath and obtained a success in his subsequent plate look. He commonly does this on the mound, too.

As Stieg helped carry McLean into the Class 6 playoffs, his teammates seen the modifications their ace made.

“He stands up there with confidence,” catcher JW Harrington mentioned. “You may simply inform that it’s 100 % in regards to the sport. He doesn’t get in his head a lot.”

Stieg and Guyer now have weekly conferences, and Stieg usually referred to as Guyer following video games to debate his efficiency.

“I don’t even care in regards to the outcomes, ’trigger I do know these will handle itself,” Guyer mentioned. “I simply wish to know from [him], ‘How have been you together with your course of?’ ”

Stieg’s last efficiency of his highschool profession, in opposition to Herndon within the area semifinals, was not his most interesting; he was knocked out within the first inning of a 10-Eight loss.

That disappointment offers one other alternative for Stieg to make use of the instruments he has developed over the previous 12 months.

“It didn’t go how I needed it to go,” Stieg mentioned. “They helped me out with getting me these methods to have the ability to bounce again and be taught from that as an alternative of overthink about it.”

After the highschool season, Stieg labored out with the Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers. He’s one in every of a number of native highschool gamers who could possibly be drafted early this weekend; Gonzaga’s Nicholas Morabito and O’Connell’s Jack O’Connor are more likely to be the very best alternatives from the D.C. space.

Stieg’s subsequent problem shall be selecting the place he’ll take the mound within the close to future — with the professional group that drafts him or in Blacksburg, Va., with the Hokies.

No matter his path, Stieg will carry alongside Guyer’s teachings as his baseball profession progresses.

“They’re getting somebody who is aware of compete and likes to compete,” Stieg mentioned. “[Someone who] is just not going to draw back from failure and goes to be taught from it.”



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