Mosser gets drafted by Padres
A superior pitcher hums like a fierce engine. Toe to the rubber in the starting position, he’s ready to unleash unbridled fury 60 feet, six inches away. Entering into the delivery, everything should be smooth: The transfer of weight, the pivot foot, the leg lift, the stride, the launch and finally the follow through.
You can’t be a superior pitcher without proper mechanics, but you need more than that. You need the ability to concentrate and the confidence to put it on the line when an confrontation is needed. Victory or failure for the pitcher in the gunslinger showdown with a batter often involves deception. His ammunition includes a four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, fastball with the seams, change up, slider, curve ball and maybe something wacky mixed in. His arm is the cannon.
Gabriel Michael Mosser knows all about superior pitching because he is a superior pitcher. Selected June 6 in the Major League Baseball Draft as the No. 801 selection in the 27th round by the San Diego Padres, the Parkland High School and Shippensburg University product is looking to become a superior pitcher on the grandest of all stages.
“It’s surreal,” Mosser said of his selection. “It’s just pure emotion. You really can’t describe it.”
Mosser didn’t need words when he flew to Arizona June 10 for a Padre mini-camp. He just needed his mechanics, his mental toughness and his fire balling right arm. He’s launching a journey few baseball players will ever realize.
“They (the Padres) want me to gain some weight, but mostly they just told me to keep doing what I’m doing,” Mosser said.
What San Diego wants him to do is keep making hitters look bad. His senior campaign at Ship ended with an 8-4 record and 3.28 ERA. Batters claimed just 66 hits in 74 innings of work. He struck out 93 batters and walked just 21. Stats don’t always tell the story, but this one says a lot: Mosser fired six complete games. He’s a horse who just keeps coming and coming.
The season also contained what Mosser calls “his most memorable” collegiate moment.
“It was just after my aunt’s funeral in March,” Mosser recalls. One day later, he fired a no-hitter.
“I was just locked in,” he says thinking about the 97 pitch no-no. Mosser is modest about the accomplishment, crediting catcher Jack Goertzen for calling a great game and for superior fielding from his teammates.
In recalling his path to the minor leagues, Mosser said he grew up with a ball in his hand thanks to his mother, Teresa, and father, Craig. As a youngster he idolized Carl Yaztrzemski, who is enshrined in Cooperstown after an iconic 23-year, 3,308 game career all with the Boston Red Sox.
He earned two varsity letters for the Trojans in high school under head coach Tony Galucy and as named to the 2014 All-State First Team squad. He holds single-season school records in wins and strikeouts and high school career records for shutouts with six, an ERA you could hardly find at 0.83 and 145 strikeouts.
Mosser matured as a pitcher in college, learning how to keep hitters off balance with an assortment of nasty pitches, he says, which include a fast ball, curve, slider and change up. He is a student of his craft, understanding the art of changing speeds and using his fastball to set up his out pitch, which can be his slider or change. Mosser does not mess around when he’s the mound, preferring to come right at the hitter.
“It’s mostly about throwing strikes,” he says.
It’s not easy to be a superior pitcher, Gabe Mosser has just made it look like it is.
Mosser was assigned the Class A Tri City Dust Devils in Pasco, Washington. He’s appeared in four games through Monday and has a 1-0 record with 7.2 innings pitched. He’s given up six hits, struck out 11 and has not allowed a run, while walking two batters (one intentionally). Opponents are hitting .200 of Mosser and he’s got a WHIP of .91.
The Dust Devils play in the Short Season Northwest League, which begins annually in mid-June after the draft.