With their tenth round pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, the Mets selected right-handed…
Sewald Staying Aggressive
Since arriving to Brooklyn, Sewald has brought fire and excitement to the mound that he and his coaches lay mention to.
"It's still awesome," Sewald said. "At times it can drag a little bit and then you'll have a day where you wake up and then you realize that, you know, I get to go and play baseball for a living.
"They actually pay me to play a game that I've been playing since I was six years old and that'll get me through it. I'm still in shock that I get to play baseball for a living. It's amazing."
Valdez feels that Sewald's pitches are strong and accurate which came as a surprise, seeing as though he came to Brooklyn right out of college. Rich Donnelly, Cyclones' manager, sees Sewald's consistency and aggressiveness as necessary to succeed in baseball because of the intensity at the Major League level.
"When he came into Extended for a little bit, we gave him Ron Romanick the pitching coordinator," Valdez said, "and gave him our game plan on what we like to do. He picked it all up very easily and he's been a great surprise here to be this consistent coming out of college."
"What I've seen from Paul is his aggressiveness," Donnelly said, "and that he throws strikes. He throws them consistently, too. He's a tiger, he attacks. I love players who attack. In this game that's the way it is. That's how it is in pro ball. They'll eat you alive out there, so he can handle it."
Aside from his consistency, Sewald also throws with speed and accuracy, limiting his opposition to few hits and, as far as this season goes, no runs.
"I throw my four-seam and two-seam fastball at 87-90 mph," Sewald said, "and then I throw a slider and a changeup. I like to get ahead with my fastball, go for the strikeout with my slider, and mix them up with my changeup."
This consistency, speed, and accuracy make him an asset to the team as well as a valuable pitcher in the eyes of his coaches.
"When he gets in the game," Donnelly said, "he looks like he wants to be there and I can't wait to give him the ball and let him go."
When it comes to strengths and weaknesses on the mound, Sewald only has strengths. Valdez attests to this fact when he attributed only successes to Sewald's career.
"His strengths are definitely his location and his speed," Valdez said. "He locates his three pitches and he's very fast to the plate, very fast. Runners are almost on shutdown when they get to the plate. As for weaknesses, we're not focusing on anything because he's done everything so excellently. It's very positive."
"I've been trying to keep to my strengths—I throw strikes," Sewald said. "The most important thing is to hit those corners and throw strikes. I feel like I've continued to do that all season."
Like many of the players, Sewald takes time before the game to sign fans' autographs. Yet, when he goes out, he commits to taking time to thank his new fans for supporting him and goes down the entire first base line to sign memorabilia. Marc Valdez, Cyclones' pitching coach, thinks Sewald's humble personality carries over onto the mound.
"I think it does [carry over]. It's just his personality," Valdez said. "He really enjoys the game and he really enjoys what he's doing. I don't think he's going to take any day for granted at all. That helps him prepare each day for the mound. There have been times where he probably didn't have his good stuff but he got out of the innings with no problem."
"I played at a college where we didn't get more than 250 people at a game at any point," Sewald said. "So, it's been great that people want my autograph and that they care about the team here in Brooklyn. It's been awesome to play in front of a crowd like this."
Sewald knows exactly what he wants to do once his first season as a Brooklyn Cyclone comes to an end. He wants to continue to progress and have full command of the mound.
"I want to continue to command all three of my pitches—inside and outside," Sewald said. "I think that's the most important thing. Also, getting bigger and stronger and making sure I can stay through the whole season, keeping my velocity.
"Then, for Spring Training, I want to be ready to go and then still be ready next season. I learned to just be ready every day and that it's a grind, every single day you have to be focused."
Both Valdez and Donnelly notice Sewald's talents and believe he will quickly progress through the organization. As for the future, Sewald knows exactly where he wants to be and hopes that the Mets see the same potential he and his coaches see every day.
"I think he could move quickly through the organization," Valdez said, "because he's a guy that locates 89-91[mph] on both sides of the plate, but he's going to go through his lumps like every pitcher does, but it's how you bounce back afterwards that counts."
"Danny Muno texted me the day we first saw Paul," Donnelly said, "at Spring Training and he said, "you're going to love this kid—he's an animal" and I said that that was all I needed to know."
"I want to be on a full season team and I want to start," Sewald said. "That would be my ultimate situation, if the Mets think I'm better in the bullpen or better somewhere else, obviously I'm going to do whatever they want me to do, but I'd love to get to start. The quicker you get to New York, the better. Savannah would be great, even if I could get to St. Lucie that would be awesome, too."
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