Upside, upside, upside.
It’s one of the many terms you see repeated over and over again in the amateur circuit, a word that gets thrown around far too often.
Peyton Olds makes it mean something.
A six-foot-two, 205-pound right-handed pitcher who has made waves with the NorCal program, the two-sport star is already up to 89 miles per hour with a fastball that plays in game action, one that he supplements with a slider that got more than a few outs at the most recent New Balance Baseball Future Stars Series Underclass Combine and Underclass Elite events.
It’s that kind of pedigree that made him a no-brainer selection for the upcoming inaugural Future Stars Series Showdown, where he’ll be one of just a handful of 2025 grad class players set to compete on the big stage.
Olds will join fellow NorCal teammate Manny Dorantes as one of the juniors being showcased, and has been appreciative of his experiences with that program that have helped him get to this point today.
“It’s just great,” Olds told FSS Plus. “I love all my teammates there, there’s great coaches there, and there’s great history. They know what they’re doing, so I’m just glad to be a part of it. You want your name (on the famous shirts with NorCal draft picks and All-Stars), and it just motivates you more. You’ve got to set a standard for the program for the guys in front of you. There’s so many names, and you look up to all of them. You want to be in that big spotlight at the end of the day.”
— New Balance 𝗙𝘂𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝗿𝘀 𝗦𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗲𝘀 (@ftrstarsseries) July 4, 2023
He’s on the right track to get there right now. But Olds, who grew up a San Francisco Giants fan and enjoyed watching Madison Bumgarner, says he knows he needs to continue to work in the future to make it all happen.
To that end, Olds says he’s working on a third pitch, a changeup, which is one that you may see in game action at Globe Life Field next week.
“It’s just getting it more consistent,” he said. “It got a lot better in the fall, and I want to keep working on all of my pitches, but especially get the changeup down. It’s focusing more on bullpens and throwing it more in games, during high school fall ball games where we’re trying to work on stuff, and in practices. I throw a lot of flatgrounds with it, and just try to work it in whenever I can. I think it’s just another pitch where they have to keep guessing, and I think it can really help me be a long-term starter instead of a reliever.”
Olds’ fastball velocity has slowly been creeping up — he was sitting 85-87 at the National Combine, and then touching 88 at the Underclass Elite — and with his big frame, he can’t help but wonder himself what might be in there when he truly develops what’s left in the tank.
“I feel like there’s a lot left in the tank,” he said. “I feel like I’ve barely even reached my potential. I’m just going to keep getting better the harder I work.”
Now? The scouting reports of the FSS staff are glowing, with notes like “has now arm strength and velo,” and “only a ’25, so by the time he is draft eligible he could be a factor…sure will have D1 drooling” dotted across one of his most recent write-ups.
Down the road? It’s continuing to unlock that upside, and understanding the process that will take him there, with Olds saying he knows he needs to “continue to hit the weight room hard and do a lot of mobility stretches.”
The now, though? It plays.
Olds didn’t allow an earned run during his Underclass Elite outing, striking out two along the way during a relief performance at Dunkin’ Donuts Park, and enjoyed the opportunity to hopefully get an early taste of what his future might hold by pitching in a professional ballpark.
“That was just a great time, and I got to meet a lot of new people,” he said. “Playing in a pro ball like that, it gives you a projection on where you want to be, and a way to set a goal. It makes you want to be there even more, every day.”
First, however, it’s college. Olds remains uncommitted, and is hopeful that his big summer and the work that he continues to put in will lead to earning an opportunity to show what he can do at the next level.
“Just trying to stay patient,” he said. “Still uncommitted, but trying to find the right school. I want them to want me just as much as I want them. It’s exciting, all the interest, but I’m just trying to be patient so I can find what’s best for me…this is all I’ve ever wanted since I was a little kid, so I’ll just keep grinding every day.”
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