Corry puts Utah on baseball map

Photo: Perfect Game

Blake Dowson
Published: Monday, July 25, 2016

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Newly-minted Perfect Game All-American Classic participant Seth Corry is out to change some people’s opinions on where he grew up.

The 6-2, 195-pound Corry is ranked as the No. 2 left-handed pitcher in the 2017 class and is the No. 23 overall prospect, deservingly so considering his 93 mile per hour fastball that he locates so well. But Corry isn’t from Florida or California or Texas, he’s from Utah.

As far as baseball hotbeds go, the state of Utah does not get brought up in the conversation all that often. With a population of around 2.8 million people, the Beehive State has produced 39 major leaguers. Bruce Hurst, a left-handed pitcher whose career spanned the 1980’s and part of the 1990’s with the Boston Red Sox, is the only MLB all-star to come from the state. Comparatively, the state of Kansas, with a population of 2.9 million, has produced 212 big leaguers.

Corry is only the fifth player from Utah to play in the PG All-American Classic, joining Tanner Robles (2006), Marcus Littlewood (2009), Kayden Porter (2011) and Brady Corless (2012).

Littlewood, currently a catcher in the Seattle Mariners organization, is hitting .284 at Double-A Jackson. Corless, the most recent Classic participant from Utah, is currently playing for in-state Brigham Young and will be joined in Provo by Corry if he decides to honor his commitment to the Cougars and not sign with whichever team is surely to draft him next June.

The small number of players from Utah that have made it on a big stage doesn’t really matter to Corry though, and he is determined to make a name for himself and the state he grew up in.

“Utah isn’t really known much for baseball,” Corry said. “So for me to be able to show I’m from Utah and I can play with the best of the best players in the country is really important to me and I’m really excited to show everybody what I can do.

“For me, I know that I belong playing against the best level of competition no matter where I’m from. I’m from Utah, yeah, but I can play with those guys from Florida or California and I can compete with them.”

Being selected to the PG All-American Classic is a good start if he plans on highlighting himself and his state. The Classic features the best talent the class of 2017 has to offer, and the scouting world will revolve around Petco Park in San Diego on Aug 14. When Corry toes the rubber, all eyes will be on him, and that isn’t limited to the 7,000-some fans that regularly attend the game in person — the game will also be nationally televised on the MLB Network. For Corry, though, that simply adds to the fun of the event.

“I actually really like [the pressure],” Corry said. “I like it a lot. I’ve been in two state championship games and pitched in both of those, and it’s awesome. I know that atmosphere won’t be quite the same as the Classic, but when I pitch in those pressure situations I love it.”

In almost every way, Corry loves the challenge of being the kid from Utah playing against guys from the baseball hotbeds, but he admits his progression as a baseball player has been affected by his geographical location relative to those places such as California and Florida. Scouts don’t typically flock to the northern part of Utah to see the plethora of talent from there and close regions such as southern Idaho and northeast Nevada.

His ascension to becoming one of the best pitchers in the class coincided mostly with a move his family made when he was younger. The Corry’s haven’t always lived in Highland. Growing up as an elementary and middle school kid, Cory’s family lived in the southern half of Utah. Looking back now as he gets ready for his senior year of high school, Corry said the move to Highland is what made him who he is on the mound today, and has opened up more doors for him as a player.

“I lived in southern Utah up until seventh grade, and I wasn’t the best baseball player,” he said. “I was playing against a lot of bad competition down there, and I was basically just an average player. But when I moved up to Highland, the competition is a lot better. The players are a lot better, and I stepped up my game, too. I’ve been getting better ever since we moved up here.”

Living where he does, it’s been hard for Corry in the past to get to showcases and play in front of colleges and scouts alike. He took advantage of an opportunity to travel to Fort Myers, Florida for the Perfect Game National Showcase, and his strong performance at that event was ultimately what garnered him an invitation to play in Perfect Game’s biggest event of the year, the All-American Classic.

From the National Showcase:

Seth Corry is a projectable lefthander who’s already committed to Brigham Young, though he already shows plenty at present. With a fastball that works in the low-90s and up to 93 mph Corry was able to maintain his velocity well throughout his two innings of work and developed his curveball throughout the outing saving his best ones for last.

For Corry, who helped his stock rise at the National Showcase, it’s a good thing the All-American Classic happens in August and not May or June.

A football player as well as baseball star at Lone Peak High School, Corry suffered a serious knee injury during the latter part of the football season that sidelined him for the final part of his season on the gridiron and placed him on the bench rather than on the bump for most of his junior season on the baseball team.

Sitting on the bench while not being able to make an impact on the game was the hardest thing he’s ever had to do, Corry said, but it also motivated him in his rehab process.

“It was hard. I love football, and it was hard for me to miss football, but nothing compares to not being able to go out on the diamond,” he said. “I love baseball more than anything in the world. It was really hard for me to miss games. But it also motivated me to get it back to 100 percent quicker so I could get back to playing as quickly as I could.”

He is back to 100 percent now, and ready to showcase his skills in San Diego on Aug. 14. Corry said he couldn’t pin down what he was most excited about during the Classic experience. Each year, the players in attendance head to Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego and help raise money for pediatric cancer research and treatment. For Corry, that will be a special time.

“I’m looking forward to going out [to San Diego] and having a lot of fun and getting to know the guys,” he said. “Going to the hospital is going to be awesome, I can’t wait for that experience. Beyond that, I’m just really excited to show people I belong with those best players in the country.”

Belong he does, and scouts have also determined he belongs near the top of major league draft boards. Perfect Game currently has Corry as the No. 44 overall draft prospect in the class of 2017.

Already committed to BYU, Corry did say the draft is an intriguing option after he graduates high school.

“If the draft is what ends up happening, I’d love more than anything to go play pro ball right out of high school,” Corry said. “I’ve always dreamed about playing professional baseball so it would absolutely be a dream come true.”

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