When the Toronto Blue Jays selected Irv Carter in the 5th round of the 2021 MLB Draft, they were acquiring more than a great baseball player.
Carter, just 19-year-old, boasts an electric fastball that touches 96 mph, alongside a good slider and a developing changeup, according to MLB Pipeline.
Perhaps more importantly, however, is the fantastic attitude and presence that his high school coach Gil Morales says the right hander carries with him everywhere he goes.
“He has an amazing charisma about him,” says Morales, who coached the youngster for two years at Calvary Christian Academy in Florida. “There are just some guys that have got it … some guys, you can tell they’re different, and that’s him.”
That demeanor, to go alongside his exceptional work ethic, is a big part of what made Carter so appealing to the Toronto Blue Jays, according to Cory Popham, the club’s Pitching Development Coordinator.
“We’ve always known that Irv is going to be working hard and doing exactly what he needs to, if not a little bit more,” he says. “He’s done a really good job with his routines.”
That reliance on routine, and keeping himself ready to go, is something that Morales says has been a part of the starter’s repertoire dating back prior to his time at Calvary Christian Academy. The work ethic began to bear fruit as early as Grade 8, anhe learned to maintain his body all the way through senior year.
Morales says that there weren’t very many players that could match the New Jersey native’s intensity in the weight room.
“It’s a three-hour workout, and it’s nonstop,” he said. “And it’s not just him throwing weights around, everything is very calculated.”
Morales also praised another under heralded skill that Carter possesses in spades — his coachability.
“We had a Yakkertech [a ball flight data collection device], so we were able to chart his pitches, and when I was able to do that, I could show him when pitches weren’t good enough.” Morales said, explaining the strong line of communication the pair had.
It’s all these attributes together that made Carter so enticing for the Blue Jays, and what prompted them to pay him $500,000 above his draft pick slot value to pry him from his University of Miami commitment.
Now, having spent a year away from pitching in affiliated ballgames and working at the Blue Jays complex, the club says that they’ve focused on maximizing that skillset to allow Carter to thrive.
“With Irv, it was really about building routines and getting comfortable with professional baseball,” Popham said. “The stuff was really impressive, and we’re really excited.”