CASEY READY TO MAKE HIS MARK
by Sarah Kincart - BrooklynCyclones.com
The boys of summer are finally back in Brooklyn and ready to start the baseball season. Right handed pitcher, Casey Meisner will take the mound as the starting pitcher for the home opener against the Staten Island Yankees Saturday night. The Mets drafted Meisner out of high school in the third round of the MLB Draft. He spent the 2013 season pitching for the GCL Mets and will now make his debut appearance for the Cyclones in Saturday’s game.
“I’m pretty pumped up,” says Meisner. I feel honored to be able to pitch the first home game. I found out at the airport on Monday. The pitching coach went ahead and said hey you’re going to be the home opener. And we talked about what to expect and why I was there.”
The 6’7 pitcher started playing baseball when he was five years old and always played competitively at a higher level than what was age appropriate for him. He had plans to play college ball before realizing the opportunity he had to play professionally and explains how he ended up where he is today.
“I remember my dad saying I should watch the draft (the year before I actually got drafted) and I asked him, “Can you imagine if they called my name next year?” My dad said, ‘Well, you have a shot. You know they might.’ I was a junior at that time and I was thinking that I was so ready for college at that point. I ended up committing to Texas Tech as a junior in high school. I made the Area Code team, which helped me a lot because that’s when all of the scouts started coming to all of the big tournaments. And I started getting letters from different pro ball teams saying they wanted to visit. I actually had 28 teams come to my house and talk to me.”
Cyclones manager, Tom Gamboa, sees a lot of potential in Meisner’s pitching abilities and expects him to be a key contribution to the team. He spent most of the off-season following a specific training program and throwing regimen to get his body ready for the upcoming season. However, he has a more specific routine in mind in order to prepare for Saturday’s game.
“I try to keep my mind right. Eat the right breakfast, to make sure you get your energy up. Then I get my mind right by listening to music, that gets me prepared and in the zone. It makes me feel good. I don’t have the nerves that I would if I just sat around thinking about the game. So I relax, and come out about 30 minutes before I gotta throw and stretch. The bullpen is really where I like to zone in and I treat the bullpen like a game situation. I’ll then go into the dugout, get some water, take a breather, and step onto the field.”
Meisner’s preparation routine may be the same for each start, but one thing that will come new to the 19 year old is the upbeat atmosphere of Coney Island. He has heard about the excitement and liveliness of MCU Park and its surroundings, but is looking to find the right balance of taking it all in without losing focus while on the mound.
“This stadium is amazing. I haven’t played at a stadium this nice. And everyone is talking about the fans. And I think that’s going to be a crazy thing because it gets packed and you really have to learn to focus and not let that distract you. I was at the GCL last year and we had about 5 people at the game. I’m going to try to block everything out, but its still baseball. And coach says, ‘the sun is still going to rise tomorrow,” Meisner explains.
After making 10 appearance and only 4 starts for the GCL Mets last year, Cyclone fans can look forward to seeing this young pitcher take command at the next level.