TAMPA, FLA. — Garrett Cave is turning heads in his first season at the University of Tampa, including that of his head coach Joe Urso.
And it takes a lot to impress the experienced bench boss.
The Junior is pitching the best baseball of his life and is likely to hear his name called in the early rounds at the MLB draft in June.
Urso, one of the most successful college coaches in the nation, says the key is the jump in his control that he has made this year.
“It’s just electric stuff, you don’t see arms like this at the Division II level very often,” said Urso, during a hot Wednesday practice. “To see a guy that tops out at 98 mph is amazing.”
Entering the year as the 56th college prospect, according to Baseball America, Urso didn’t exactly fly under the radar but his play has exceeded all expectations.
The Bushnell, Fla, native currently has a 2.77 earned run average, is holding opponents to a .160 batting average, and striking out 14.54 hitters per nine innings.
“I’ve been blessed with a good arm and God has granted me that,” said Cave, a former Florida International University relief pitcher who really advanced his game in the 2016 Cape Cod League.
“I think it has to do with mentality, and just maturing as a pitcher,” he said. “I had a lot of success this (past) summer and that taught me a lot of things that I can bring in to this year.”
The 6-foot-4 power pitcher is quick to acknowledge the role that the Tampa Spartans and Coach Urso have had.
“Urso is just incredible to play for, and he’s a winning coach and he expects that.”
The future is bright for the Spartan standout who is proving his worth with every appearance on the mound.
“I want to be a big leaguer, and that sounds cliche, that’s everybody’s baseball dream, but I think that I can do what is needed to make that dream a reality.”