It’s safe to say that Noah LaFine has made the most of his time around the New Balance Baseball Future Stars Series staff.
The Vanderbilt commit is set to pitch in relief in Game 2 for the Orange Team at the upcoming Main Event and might play some in the outfield as well, capitalizing on a big showing at the National Combine in Nashville to earn his way to Fenway Park.
The five-foot-eleven, 175-pounder was first seen at a Chicago Regional Combine back in 2021, but more recently was at the Akron RubberDucks Scout Day in his native Ohio in early February, where he continued to work with fellow Ohioan and FSS VP of Baseball Operations, Chris Capozzi, also a long-time coach and instructor.
“My biggest takeaway is the involvement of the direct staff, particularly Chris Capozzi,” LaFine said. “My expectation was that I would be surrounded by and with good ballplayers, and that expectation was met. My expectation concerning insight, tips, and constructive feedback has been well surpassed.”
Ohio 2024 RHP/OF Noah Lafine (@NoahLaFine) looking polished on the mound locating easy 88-90 mph velo while flashing a nasty splitter & barreled frequent liners in BP at our @NB_Baseball @ftrstarsseries @P15Sports @AkronRubberDuck Scout Day. @VandyBoys commit pic.twitter.com/JMYIblSceM
— Future Stars Series Ohio Valley (@fss_ohiovalley) February 4, 2023
LaFine used a fastball-curveball-changeup mix at Shelby Park in July, touching 89 miles per hour with the heater from a three-quarter, righty arm slot. The scouting staff liked his arm speed and riding action in the zone, but the development staff also noticed some changes he could make that would provide the potential for an even bigger outing on the big stage in Boston.
“Working on a few mechanical processes; the National Combine staff identified some head movement in my delivery and I have been working — with input from Chris — to minimize this movement to enhance productivity,” LaFine said.
Now up to 92 in outings later this summer on the amateur circuit, LaFine is set to show those improvements on a stage he’s wanted to be on for quite some time.
“Fenway has been a park I have wanted to visit, as a fan of the game and Fenway’s historical presence in baseball makes this visit special,” he said. “To be able to step foot in the field and play ball makes it even more exciting.”
Even with a big SEC school awaiting him, LaFine will also have the opportunity to get to pitch in front of dozens of big-league scouts and execs set to attend both in Hartford and in Boston, and wants to show them that his pitchability, as well as showing impressive pitch movement and athleticism in a still-projectable frame can make him an asset moving forward.
“I’m looking to showcase my abilities and drive to become proficient at a high level in this profession,” he said.
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