When you’re one of the more impressive arms on the amateur circuit, baseball will take you many, many places.
It had yet to take Mason Middleton to a big-league stadium, however.
A six-foot-two, 220-pound bulldog righty, Middleton is tentatively set to take the ball in relief for the White Team in the opener of Saturday’s doubleheader at Fenway Park as part of the New Balance Baseball Future Stars Series Main Event, slated for September 29-October 1.
“I have never got to play or be on a Major League Baseball field before, so that is what has got me most excited about getting to play at a legendary venue like Fenway Park,” he said. “Plus, getting to compete against some of the best talent in the country with the best staff in the country while my family is in attendance makes this whole event special.”
— New Balance 𝗙𝘂𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝗿𝘀 𝗦𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗲𝘀 (@ftrstarsseries) July 5, 2023
First seen at the North Carolina Regional Combine last year, Middleton has quickly established himself as one of the fastest risers and most consistent performers on the mound at FSS events.
“My experience with the Future Stars Series has been awesome,” he said. “In my opinion, this is the best organization to be a part of. Ever since my first combine in Holly Springs, North Carolina, everybody has treated me and others as a professional and gets you the exposure that you need.”
Middleton allowed just one hit and struck out four at last year’s Underclass Elite, but saw his stuff take a significant step upwards at this year’s National Combine where he used a three-pitch mix, headlined by a fastball that was up to 91 miles per hour, that left a bevy of praise in his most recent report by the scouting staff.
Set to potentially play some first base as well, he’s been working on all aspects of his game since his Shelby Park appearance to put on his best possible performance during his first time under the brightest of lights.
“Since the last time that you all have seen me, I have been working on many different things to help me perform better,” he said. “They include jumping farther and higher to help build explosiveness as well as doing sprints to generate that fast twitch motion. Furthermore, my weightlifting coach for the past three years has been Seth Crowell, who has improved my strength as well as helped me get my velocity into the 90MPH range. I have not received any help with my pitching mechanics since the National Combine, so I have been consistent with throwing all my pitches after every time I throw and making sure that I am on the mound at least twice a week.”
Typically, Middleton lets his pitching do the talking, with a memorable, trademark stare towards the plate a staple of his outings. An innings-eater with a bulldog mentality and sturdy, durable frame, the North Carolina native looks to carry that same approach to his biggest game yet.
“I am looking to show the scouts and executives that I am ready to get the job done,” he said. “I am not really the loudest one in the dugout or on the mound, but when someone steps in that box I am ready to compete. Also, I hope the work and time that I have put in since the National Combine shows.”
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