SAN DIEGO — Brady Aiken has been throwing strikes since third grade. His coach says the lefty’s pitch tops 97 miles per hour, and his arm is on the radar of every major league scout in the country. This Cathedral Catholic pitcher is on fire.
The six-foot- four senior is on the short list to go as a top pick in this year’s draft, which comes with it’s fair share of pressure.
“It doesn’t really change anything for me, at least, I go out there and try to pitch and go out there and do what I do and maybe if I’m lucky I’ll get drafted, but I am committed to UCLA so I’m focused on that.”
“What gets him to move up in depth charts and gets him the attention he`s getting this year is the fact that not only does he have the velocity, but he can pitch,” said his coach, Gary Remiker. “ He can change speeds, He`s got a plus breaking ball. He`s got a plus change up. He commands the strike zone real really well.”
Last September, the seventeen year old led Team USA to the gold medal at the 18 and Under World Cup in Taiwan, pitching in the championship game against japan. This spring, he’s averaged ten strikeouts through his first eight games, crediting rigorous off-season strength training and the encouragement of his fellow Dons.
Aiken has already drawn comparisons to a Dodgers ace, who just happens to be his big league idol.
“I love Clayton Kershaw. Everything he does on and off the field,” Aiken said. “He’s a great guy off the field with all his charity work ,and on the field he’s one of the best in the league. I admire him and I try to mimic my game after him.”
Since Brady is committed to play ball at UCLA, when draft day comes along, he plans to let the chips fall as they may.
“I’ll just be with my family, in my living room, and whatever happens, happens. It will be a good environment.”