Madden eyes big leagues (Baseball)
With spring training right around the corner, it’s almost time for the boys of summer to get to work.
And Corey Madden of Anchorage couldn’t be happier.
The 26-year-old right-handed closer is ready to get back on the field for his sixth professional season when he reports for camp in early March with the Jupiter Hammerheads, a Class A+ affiliate of the Florida Marlins.
“Going back to spring training is kind of like going back to school,” he told me. “You get to a certain point where you feel like you’ve had enough time off and you just want to see your buddies and play again.”
Madden, of East High fame, is coming off a career-best 6-save season for Jupiter despite playing for a sixth-place team that won just 46 games in the Florida State League.
He finished with a 3.86 ERA and struck out 62 batters in 49 innings, giving him an 11.39 ratio of K’s per 9 innings, the best of his career.
Given that his rocket right arm is his bread and butter, the 6-foot-2, 195-pounder takes every precaution in his preparation for the season.
“Right now I’m pretty much in throwing mode. And since I’m working at an indoor baseball facility I have all I need to play long toss, throw bullpens, and workout,” he said. “I did most of my offseason weight training this month. Now the focus has turned to strengthening my arm and throwing bullpens.
“I have plans to leave for Florida right after Valentine’s Day. I typically try to get down about two weeks before the pitchers report date so I can acclimate myself to the thicker and warmer air.”
With five pro seasons under his belt, Madden is ready to take the next step. For his career, he is 14-6 with 12 saves and a 3.10 ERA in 209 innings (260 Ks).
“I’m excited for this season,” he said. “If things go well, I could see myself breaking into the big leagues for the first time.”