• Chris Sale, Back In The Day

    Posted by on August 22nd, 2012 · Comments (8)

    Via Naple News last month –

    As a freshman in high school, Chris Sale didn’t resemble a baseball player.

    He stood just 5-foot-8. He weighed about 100 pounds.

    “Growing up he was never the kind of kid that you could build the team around,” his father, Allen Sale, said.

    Sale has certainly grown in all aspects.

    Now he’s 6-foot-6. At a still slim 180 pounds, he anchors the Chicago White Sox starting pitching staff.

    And he’s an All-Star.

    At Lakeland High, Sale’s coaches saw potential in the skinny little left-hander but never imagined he’d be a major leaguer.

    “His delivery was nice and loose with that lanky body, but he didn’t really throw all that hard, and he struggled with his control at the beginning,” said Ron Nipper, his junior varsity coach at Lakeland High. “I wish I could say that I knew it all along, but I really didn’t. He was just a good athlete with a decent arm who would likely be a varsity pitcher one day.”

    Not much about Sale’s early high school career hinted at his future stardom.

    He did grow four inches over the summer before his junior year. But for the most part he was just another big kid with a good arm — something that is almost as common in the state of Florida as saw palmetto bushes.

    Perhaps the most memorable moments of his prep career were tape-measure home runs hit off him.

    Winter Haven’s Jordan Schafer, who now plays for the Houston Astros, connected on one. And then there’s the 440-foot blast that current Pittsburgh Pirates and National League All-Star Andrew McCutchen hit during a game while playing for neighboring Fort Meade.

    “I think it was closer to 475 feet,” Sale’s dad joked of McCutchen’s shot. “One of the scouts in attendance said it was the longest home run that was hit in the state that year. But Chris did strike him out earlier in the game, and I think that was one of only four strikeouts Andrew had that entire year.”

    “Chris only got lit up by the best,” Nipper said.

    Sale came into his own during his senior year. Still extremely lanky, Sale managed to add a few more pounds to his 6-4 frame, which also added a few miles per hour to his fastball. Sale also managed to refine his control. He only walked 11 batters that year compared to his 99 strikeouts. He even tossed a complete game in which he never threw a single ball outside of the strike zone.

    “That summer before his senior year, he really blossomed,” his father said. “He grew up a lot.”

    Imagine growing 10 inches in High School. Can you say “growth spurt”?  By the way, how’s Andrew Brackman these days?

    Comments on Chris Sale, Back In The Day

    1. FakeGeneMichaels
      August 22nd, 2012 | 11:18 pm

      what a gme this kid pitched tonight… Sale’s delivery has a lot of deception. Coupled with good velocity, command, and secondary stuff you can see why he’s so good. White sox have got themselves a true front end starter for years to come.

      IMO he is on my list of pitchers to one day pitch a perfect game..

      as for Andrew Brackman.. its too late to dicuss what he is doing..

    2. Raf
      August 23rd, 2012 | 12:04 am

      Last I heard, the Reds designated Brackman for assignment when they got Broxton.

    3. Evan3457
      August 23rd, 2012 | 12:38 am

      What does Brackman have to do with Sale?

    4. August 23rd, 2012 | 6:51 am

      They are both tall pitchers drafted in the 1st round. Other than that, they have nothing in common – see what Sale has done this year and were Brackman is…

    5. MJ Recanati
      August 23rd, 2012 | 9:05 am

      Evan3457 wrote:

      What does Brackman have to do with Sale?

      Absolutely nothing. It’s just Steve’s way of trying to connect two unrelated issues in order to prove how much the Yankees suck at everything.

      In other words, it makes absolutely no sense.

    6. August 23rd, 2012 | 9:28 am

      How about C.J. Henry, instead?

      Chris Sale was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 1st round (13th pick) of the 2010 amateur draft.

      Last time the Yankees had a pick near that high, they drafted C.J. Henry in the 1st round (17th pick) of the 2005 amateur draft.

      Anyone know where C.J. Henry is these days?

    7. MJ Recanati
      August 23rd, 2012 | 9:44 am

      @ Steve L.:
      Since you were trying to make a correlation between tall pitchers then your comparison of Sale to Henry fails in that Henry wasn’t a pitcher. Or did you change the rules of this conversation and you’re now arbitrarily comparing any bad Yankee first rounder to any good first rounder taken within a handful of picks — and a handful of years, at that — in the history of baseball? If that’s the new game we’re playing, I’ll get you started:

      In 1975, the Yankees picked 1B Jim McDonald with the 19th pick of the first round. In 1979, the Expos picked 3B Tim Wallach with the 10th pick of the first round. The 10th and 19th picks are relatively close and 1975 and 1979 are relatively close. Plus, since McDonald and Wallach were both infielders, the comparison is perfect.

      Look, don’t beat around the bush with your silly games. You think the Yankees are the worst franchise in global sports history. Don’t waste your time listing all the players that haven’t panned out, I’ll just concede the point that the Yankees are a shameful bunch of frauds that have been run into the ground over the last 15 or so years. They’re terrible and, if this were a European soccer league, they would’ve been relegated to the lowest division available.

      Seriously. Enough already.

      Finally, as to where Henry is…I have no idea. The Yankees traded him for Bobby Abreu in 2006 and I stopped caring about him after that point.

    8. Raf
      August 23rd, 2012 | 5:26 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      How about C.J. Henry, instead?
      Chris Sale was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 1st round (13th pick) of the 2010 amateur draft.
      Last time the Yankees had a pick near that high, they drafted C.J. Henry in the 1st round (17th pick) of the 2005 amateur draft.
      Anyone know where C.J. Henry is these days?

      With Matt Drews?

      Drafted in the 1st round (13th) of the 1993 amateur draft…

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