There’s a new data point in the escalating argument about high school pitch counts, and his name is A.J. Alexy.
According to ESPN’s Keith Law, a former member of the Toronto Blue Jays front office, Alexy tossed 164 pitches in a nine-inning performance for his Twin Valley baseball team’s 2-1 victory against Berks Catholic. The Reading Eagle reported that the 6-foot-4, 190 pounder finished with 16 strikeouts in the win, but also racked up the aforementioned pitch count that Law claims left scouts at the ballpark “appalled.”
In a nine-inning game, 164 pitches comes out to an average of more than 18 per inning, so even if the game hadn’t gone into extra frames, Alexy still would have been on the hook for 128 pitches in the regulation seven innings per that average.
All of which highlights ongoing concerns about prep baseball coaches wearing out the arms of their young charges before they truly hit their stride. Alexy is a Radford commitment and a potential MLB draft selection, though he’s unlikely to land in one of the draft’s earlier rounds. Regardless, whoever does coach him next will have concerns about his prior workload as a high school ace, even for an athlete with such a pro-ready frame.
Like it or loathe it, Alexy’s big pitch count night is in the books. All Law and other advocates can do is try to educate parents and coaches further while hoping that the growing momentum behind statewide or nationally mandated pitch counts bear fruit.