Cranston pitcher Kyle McCutcheon just finished up his summer baseball season with the Florida International Baseball Academy team, which plays in the Florida Gulf Coast League based in Sarasota. The league is one of the most
Cranston pitcher Kyle McCutcheon just finished up his summer baseball season with the Florida International Baseball Academy team, which plays in the Florida Gulf Coast League based in Sarasota.
The league is one of the most competitive summer college programs in the country, featuring players from Division I, II, and III schools.
McCutcheon, who currently plays for Division III Nichols College in Massachusetts, joined the league once his options became limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, back in Cranston, he is happy to have had the experience and to square off against some of the country’s best players.
“I got to play against a bunch of SEC schools so it was a great experience. I had a lot of fun, met new people, I’m glad I went down. It was a big difference. Everyday was hot and humid, close to 100 degrees every day. It was different but it was fun, it was good to play down there just to see what it was like for these guys that are playing year-round,” said McCutcheon.
His biggest takeaway was the quality of batters he faced, which forced him to up his game and get more creative while on the mound.
“What I noticed was that the kids from the DI schools have a very selective strike zone. Even though I may throw a good pitch that may just be out of the strike zone, they won’t swing and it’s because they really know their strike zones. They are very, very disciplined hitters which was different because I had to attack batter differently than I do against Division III schools,” said McCutcheon.
Looking forward, McCutcheon looks to continue to work on his craft and appreciates being able to continue to compete despite the circumstances.
“It was really important to play somewhere this summer. I would have still been practicing, but getting game reps is really important so it was helpful to get them in. I just got back and am in quarantine, so for now I am going to sit at home and then get back to the gym in a bit and continue to get some simulation reps in. Looking to next season, I learned that I have to attack the strike zone differently, working up and down, locate my pitches better, not allow hard contact. This experience taught me that and it was really beneficial.”