A towering figure on the pitching mound of a baseball diamond can have a sizable impact on opposing batters’ approach to the game at the plate.
Interlake Saints senior ace right-handed pitcher Stevie Emanuels, who is 6-feet, 6-inches tall, signed a letter of intent to play baseball for the University of Washington Huskies on Nov. 9. Emanuels verbally committed to UW in April 2016.
Many players with imposing size have the tendency to downplay its importance, but Emanuels embraces the idea of being Interlake’s high school version of former Seattle Mariners’ 1990s star pitcher Randy Johnson.
“I get to be a lot closer to home plate so the visual velocity (on pitches) is much higher than the actual velocity. It also helps with the deception of my off-speed pitches and obviously the intimidation of seeing a 6-foot, 6-inch guy on a three-foot mound helps,” Emanuels said.
Emanuels, whose best pitches are his slider and fastball, said he’s been clocked at 92 miles per hour in the past. Being able to play baseball at the University of Washington is his dream come true.
“Both of my parents went to the University of Washington so it has always been a school I dreamed of playing at. My goal was to play at the highest level possible,” Emanuels said. “My parents were really supportive through the whole recruiting process. They were super excited when I committed. They couldn’t be more happy.”
With his final season of high school kicking off in March, Emanuels believes this will be a breakout year for the Saints baseball squad.
“Obviously I want to perform the very best for my team. I want to get deep into the game innings-wise and also want to contribute with the bat too,” he said. “Honestly I think our goal is to win the KingCo 3A (championship) and make a really good state run.”