Baseball players are like fish in the sense that there are big ones and small ones. They all live in bodies of water, some bigger than others.
Valencia pitcher Ryan Kysar experienced that first hand at the Area Code Games in Long Beach from Aug. 5-9.
“A hard division or our Southern Section is small a lake, but once you get to the nation it’s like, an ocean,” Kysar said. “There’s bigger fish over here and good people over here and over there. It really made me more humble.”
Over 220 of the top prep baseball players from around the country convened in Long Beach for the five-day showcase. Scouts from Major League Baseball teams were in attendance to watch and evaluate players.
Kysar, whose assigned team was the Brewers, played in one game per day across the five days. The Brewers went 3-1-1 in the games. The first two days had additional batting practice before the games, but the remainder of the week had days filled with games.
“It was kind of rough having to play every day because I’m not used to it, but it wasn’t that hard,” Kysar said. “I usually work out every day after baseball, so it wasn’t crazy, but it was still hard to go through a game a day and sit there and pay attention.”
With a large amount of pitchers in attendance, Kysar was able to pitch for 1 ⅔ innings during the week. There were different starters each game, but every pitcher was able to throw on at least one occasion.
Kysar is always working on his craft in many ways, but he said working on his mental strength made the difference in his performance at the Area Code Games.
“Not letting anything get to me and overreact over little stuff on the mound but just keeping my calm,” Kysar said of his best asset in the games. “The weight room and throwing a lot, that’s good but the biggest thing was mental toughness and how to deal with different situations and failure.”
Kysar will be playing for the 2019 Milwaukee Brewers Scout Team starting on Aug. 20, an experience that is designed to simulate playing in the MLB.
After that, the University of Arizona commit will be focused on winning a Foothill League championship with the Vikings and having a long run in the playoffs.
After the experience he had at the Area Code Games, Kysar is humbled and well-equipped to play against the league’s top competition and improve even more.
“Everybody is as good as or better than me across the country,” Kysar said. “There’s still room to improve even if I’m good, but I’m never good enough.”