Interview with Jack Scanlon Pitcher / Catcher at Suffern High School

By Nunzio Signore (BA, CSCS, NASM, CPT, PES, FMS)

Jack Scanlon Joint

We are here with Jack Scanlon, who will be entering his junior year at Suffern High School this September.  Jack has been training with us at RPP since he was 13 years old.  He is a multi-sport athlete playing both basketball and baseball. Jack was recently invited to play at the PG Underclass Games in San Diego later this summer, which is a great honor.  Invites to this event from PG only go out to the best players in the country.

Nunzio:  Jack thanks for being with us today.  I remember the day you walked in here when you were 13 years old with your mom.  You have obviously come a long way since then.  Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself?

Jack: My name is Jack Scanlon.  I am 16 years old, graduating class of 2019.  I am a catcher / pitcher which can make it challenging at times.  In the summer, I play for the Dirtbags out of North Carolina.  And during the school year I play for my school here at Suffern High School.

Nunzio: I have to assume it gets tough in the winter when you are playing basketball, training for baseball and keeping up with your school work.  How do you manage it all?

Jack:  It can get difficult at times but I make sure I have a balance.  As I look to play in college as a student-athlete, I know I have to manage my time.  I play basketball at school 5 days a week in the winter and I have to make sure I get to do my homework and then hit the gym.  It’s definitey a full load during the winter months.  I also make sure that I train all winter to be prepared for my main sport which is baseball.  I normally have a set schedule to plan out my weeks.  It’s the only way I can get it all done and do well in school.

Nunzio:  You have spent a lot of time training here over the years working on your physicality, both off-season and in-season.  Can you talk a little about how you think the training has helped you as a player?

Jack: First of all Nunz, I have to thank you guys for all you do for me.  When I walk in the door here, it always feels like my second family.  This place is extremely welcoming.  When I get here, I just put my head down and I grind away.  If I miss a couple of days here I immediately feel it in my body. I have been coming here since I was 13 and I couldn’t be the player I am today without the time I have spent here over the years.

Nunzio:  I know you have a big decision coming up soon with respect to college ball.  Can you tell me a little about what’s important to you when you think of the type of school you would like to play for?

Jack: The biggest thing for me is to be able to play in the power conferences like the ACC or SEC.  But also really making sure that I am in the right place, where I feel at home during all four years.  I love this game and I just want to make sure I play at the highest level that I can while also being happy being there every day.

Nunzio: I know you were recently invited to play in the Perfect Game Underclass games in San Diego later this summer? Can you tell me a little about that?  Sounds amazing.

Jack: It’s a huge honor, frankly.  I think Perfect Game invites a total of 150 players down to San Diego from all over the country.  It should be incredible.  I am very excited about the event.  But I have to say I probably wouldn’t have been invited if I hadn’t been training here.  I don’t think I would be half the player I am today without it.

Scanlon PBRNunzio:  We hear all the time about metrics, metrics, metrics.  Whether exit velo, pop time or throwing velocity.  How important are these metrics to coaches?  Does it come up a lot as a topic of conversation?

Jack: I think it comes up a lot as a topic.  But I think they also really want to see how you play the game and measure up your baseball IQ, as they say.  Metrics are important initially, but they want to see much more.  They want to see you interact with others.  They want to measure your game IQ.   They want to see you hustle.  They want to see you react to adversity and failure.  Don’t misunderstand me, metrics are very important but based on what I hear there is a lot more that goes into it.

Nunzio: Do you think that physical stature and size makes a difference when you are being evaluated by coaches and scouts?

Jack: Absolutely.  I am 6’4” and 215 lbs. Coaches like size and athleticism.  They view size and athleticism as a big plus.

Nunzio:  I know you have been hitting with Coach Mike Rozema here at RPP during the past year.  Can you talk a little about how you think Mike has helped you.

Jack: Well, first of all Mike has been my first real instruction from a hitting standpoint.  He has been unbelievable.  His experience and knowledge of the game given his years with the Braves comes through in every lesson.  He has taught me a lot about the mental side of the game and how to approach each at-bat.  He covers so many different game situations and so many different aspects of the game in every session.  It’s really more like a lesson on the game of baseball, as well as simply making better contact and driving the ball.

Nunzio:  What advice do you have for younger athletes like yourself looking to play baseball at a high level?

Jack:  I think kids my age can get caught up in social media and we have to be careful.  So, that’s one thing I would say to younger athletes.

You also have to be committed to what you want.  One of the most important things I believe that has helped me out a lot is staying strong through-out the whole season, from off-season all the way through the in-season.  Training on a regular basis is the only way to make it through all the way from start to finish in great shape.

Nunzio:  This is great Jack.  I have really enjoyed this interview.  I feel like you are one of my own kids.  It’s great to see and be a part of your development over the years.  Congratulations.

Jack:  Thanks Nunz, I really appreciate it.  I owe much of this to my parents, who put in an enormous amount of time helping me pursue my dreams.   I would also like to thank you, Coach Rozema and the rest of the coaches at RPP.  And last, but not least, I’d like to thank my coaches at Ani Ramos Catching Academy, Ani Ramos, John Kroeger and Mike Murray.

Scanlon PG