Carlos Rodon is in New York with the other two Golden Spikes Award finalists. The winner of that award (which is the Heisman of college baseball) will be announced on Friday. He's also been named Baseball America's freshman of the year. He's had a pretty good year.
Thanks to a rigorous strength and conditioning regimen, Rodon's fastball velocity jumped from 88-92 mph in high school to hitting 96-97 during intrasquad scrimmages. This spring, he regularly sat between 92-95 and even hit 99 a handful of times.
"A few weeks ago, I looked at some pictures of me from high school and couldn't believe how big of a difference (the strength and conditioning program) made," Rodon said. "I give it all the credit in the world (for the jump in velocity)."
That BA article offers a good explanation of how someone with Rodon's talents ends up in college rather than the pros. He dropped to the 16th round despite being pegged with fourth round talent because teams knew he was really interested in going to college, plus he was hampered by injuries toward the end of his high school career. This is only slightly less miraculous than Brett Austin passing up sandwich round money to go to school. Whatever Elliott Avent used as a good luck charm last year...it worked.