CHATHAM — It’s no secret that the Cape League provides college baseball players with an opportunity to showcase their skills in front of Major League Baseball scouts.
While that opportunity might rattle some ballplayers, others relish the chance to compete and don’t pay much mind to the scouts standing or sitting behind the backstop.
For Chatham pitcher Cy Nielson, a 6-foot-3 lefty from Brigham Young University, pitching on the Cape has always been about improving each time he toes the rubber.
“Last summer I came into the summer after struggling in the spring with BYU and I came here looking to kind of change that and clear my mind,” said Nielson, who returned to Chatham this summer for a second season with the Anglers. “That worked out – I ended the summer strong and felt good about it. This summer, I kind of came back and I didn’t necessarily have a bad year this year, but I wanted to improve on it here.”
After posting two strong outings to open the season, Nielson took another step Saturday night when he earned the win after tossing five innings of one-run ball in which he allowed just one hit and struck out seven in a 7-2 win over defending CCBL champion Brewster.
“I kind of got in a rhythm and groove and felt really good about it,” said Nielson, a native of Spanish Fork, Utah.
Nielson is among the Anglers who are eligible to be drafted in the MLB Draft beginning July 17.
Although it’s his goal to make it to the big leagues, Nielson said he hasn’t allowed pitching in front of scouts to weigh on him this summer. It helps, he said, that he went through the draft process as a high school senior when the Cleveland Indians selected him in the 40th round of the 2019 MLB June Amateur Draft.
“My senior year, I was definitely overwhelmed by it and paid way too much attention to it,” Nielson said. “Now I just focus on playing. If you focus on the scouts or whatever, you’re focusing on the wrong thing and that’s when you’ll mess up. I kind of just block it all out and don’t let it affect me.”
Email Brad Joyal at firstname.lastname@example.org.