By Jacob McDonnell
Ever since Scott Gracey was little, he has been involved with the game of baseball.
Growing up and still residing in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Gracey played and studied baseball. His father was a high school coach and instilled both the fundamentals of the game and a work ethic into Gracey’s head. Gracey is thankful for what his dad taught him growing up, and considers his father to be his baseball role-model.
Not only did these early lessons make Gracey a better baseball player, they got him ready for a very successful playing career, starting in high school. Gracey’s high school team would go on to win two state championships in New Mexico, and set a national record in wins.
The talent on Gracey’s high school team was so high that almost every player went on to play college baseball, and four players were drafted to Major League organizations. One of them was Gracey.
“The success prepared me for the next level,” Gracey said. “It taught me to expect to win every time you step on the field.”
Gracey was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 15th round of the 2008 MLB Draft out of the University of New Mexico-Albuquerque. He was drafted as a pitcher after playing as a position player in his high school years. Gracey considers this to be the biggest challenge he has faced in his baseball career.
“It took me about three years and a lot of failures to feel comfortable on the mound as a pitcher,” Gracey said.
Gracey would go on spend seven seasons in the Blue Jays organization, making Triple A twice. He left the organization after the 2014 season, and is in his second season with the Barnstormers.
2015 was a season to remember for Gracey. He did not allow a home run in his first 38 appearances of the season, and would end the season with a 1.93 ERA in 53 relief appearances. He only allowed two home runs last year, a feat that has been a long accomplishment for Gracey. He was named the 2015 Lancaster Barnstormers player of the year with his 5-0 record and an ERA below 2.
Prior to the 2016 season, Gracey has only allowed 30 home runs in 464 career innings.
Gracey has been able to carry that success into 2016. In 18.2 innings of relief work this season, he has not allowed a home run and his ERA is 1.93, with only four earned runs charged to him.
With the 2016 regular season still not at the half-way mark, Gracey knows that his work is still not done. He knows about the success he has had with the Barnstormers so far, and wants to do everything he can to help the team win.
When asked on what the biggest lesson he has learned in life, Gracey said; “Work hard for the things you want.”
That message is translating onto the field for Gracey, both on and off the field.
“Lancaster is a great place to play,” Gracey said. “The fan’s baseball IQ is high and they appreciate good baseball.”