It certainly didn’t escape Landon Cochran that he was speaking with FSS Plus on the day where many players were officially signing their NLI’s to cement their college commitments.
With what he’s done on the field, one day he’ll be next. But with what he’s continuing to do off of it, he’d be a fantastic fit for any college looking for someone who can be a leader between the lines as well as in the community.
Cochran has helped raise over $24,000 through his work with Pitching For Pediatrics charity through a variety of events — like softball tournaments, bingo, a paint night and even a mixer — which is part of a genuine interest to give back to his community and raise funds for those in need.
Thank you everyone who has helped me build my foundation and helped me give back to my community!! Raising over $22,000 in 2 years is crazy. @Da_real_ham13 @_ReneeBooth @ftrstarsseries @_JeremyBooth @chriscapozzi5 @FtrSSFoundation pic.twitter.com/bZpXwHoiZF
— Landon Cochran (@reactor2b5) October 28, 2023
Often lauded by New Balance Baseball Future Stars Series staff for his demeanor and off-the-charts makeup, Cochran, a Pennsylvania-based 2025 grad who is both a right-handed pitcher and middle infielder, has continued to work hard on the field as well, striving to find that right fit for the next level.
“The next step for me is college baseball, and hopefully after that, professional baseball,” Cochran told FSS Plus. “But I always just want to keep my nose to the grindstone, just go out there and compete. Never stop working. Staying with the (Future Stars Series) stuff, they help out a lot…with me being a small-town kid, I want to get out and get as many opportunities as I can to go out there for my junior year and have a good season, hopefully get a district championship too.”
Cochran has never been anything but ambitious in his aspirations, and remains a two-way player, although some eventually see him moving to the mound for the long haul.
“I want to take as many opportunities as I can, keep being a two-way until someone tells me I can’t be,” he said. “I like (being) on the mound, I like having the control of the game. Always like the ball in my hand.”
The mound is likely where you remember Cochran, a veteran of multiple Future Stars Series signature events over the past two years, the most, but that may be independent of anything he’s done in the box score at the end of the day. He’s often utilized a high leg kick — one FSS scouting report said it was reminiscent of one used by Bronson Arroyo — in his delivery, but briefly scrapped it during the Underclass Elite before bringing it back for his appearances in the Dominican Republic at the Caribbean Classic.
“Last high school season, my sophomore season, my first four or five starts or so, I walked too many guys,” Cochran said. “I got with our pitching coach, who is a great guy, and we were talking between things. Obviously, you don’t want to make the switch in-season, so we decided this off-season, let’s try out a couple things. We went with the no-leg kick to try to get more coil and try to keep my accuracy more there. It was working, but down at the Caribbean Classic, everyone was begging for it to come back during the All-Star Game, so I was like, ‘Why not, let’s give it a shot,’ and I threw pretty well down there.”
Cochran says he intends on keeping it for now, and says that in conversations with hitters that the leg kick is something that’s given him some added deception and makes it harder for them to pick up a ball that he already hides well.
Still working on building velocity — he’s currently between 82-84 miles per hour with his fastball — anything helps, but he’s also been making strides in adding to a five-foot-ten, 150-pound frame that he knows has some overlook him before he ever even throws a pitch or swings the bat.
“I was always that small guy,” he said. “Growing up, always the little guy on the team, but I’m always outworking people. I’m always in the weight room, obviously wanting to put on some good muscle, and hopefully grow a couple more inches…a couple coaches would always tell me I’m too small for ball, and that just always lit a fire under my butt. To this day, I still want to prove them wrong.”
Having made the cut for last year’s Fresh 50 as well as this year’s Underclass Elite and Caribbean Classic, Cochran knows he remains on the right track to doing just that so long as he continues to put in that work. Getting a taste of what he hopes his future holds — pitching in a professional ballpark like he did at Dunkin Donuts Park in Hartford during the Underclass Elite, as well as getting to compete on the international side in the DR — has only provided more motivation.
“Pitching in Hartford was unreal,” he said. “Beautiful ballpark, had the opportunity to pitch to a really good catch, Maddox (Perez), he was great…even the bullpen I threw beforehand, he knew what I wanted to work with, and we were in sync pretty well. (The Dominican), seeing the the other guys and how they compete, it’s 110 percent all the time. They’re not laying up, they want to get out of there. Seeing the environment down there, it was eye-opening, and I’m grateful for what I have.”
With good showings in both of those heavily-scouted events now under his belt, Cochran is eager to keep the momentum going with a big off-season.
“I’ve got to get bigger, got to get my velo up,” he said. “82-84, in my opinion, isn’t going to cut it for college ball. So, it’s getting in the weight room, getting good lifts — not necessarily lifting a whole bunch of weight, but a lot of explosive stuff — and (working) on my legs,” Cochran said. “Gain velo, get a little bit bigger.”
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