Senior pitcher gains MLB attention


Madelyn Knight

Senior Avery Short pitches against Terre Haute South on April 5.

When the Terre Haute baseball team went up to bat against SHS on April 5, they were met with a challenge they had never seen before, Avery Short. With speeds eight to 10 mph above the national average and professional level delivery, Short has made himself known to colleges and professional teams across the country. When he takes the mound, he bring on the attention from MLB scouts.

In addition to Short, SHS baseball has had a complete makeover since last season. With a new head coach, Phil Webster, and his entirely new approach to offense as well as returning players coming back more focused than ever, expectations are high for SHS baseball. Despite coming out of the gate 3-5, Webster still believes the team has a chance to make a run in the state tournament after they get adjusted. He is still figuring out the game plan that can maximize the talent the team already has.

“We have all of our goals still ahead of us,” Webster said. “We are still in first place in the conference. We haven’t played the Marion County tournament. We haven’t played the Sectional tournament yet, and those are the things were building toward.”

Having a serious MLB scout on the team is a unique situation teammates have had to get used to. Junior pitcher Ryan Lezon has developed a close friendship with Short after years of playing together. He believes the team has a lot of support and respect for Short’s potential.

“Everybody loves (Short),” Lezon said. “They all respect him. They all congratulate him on every achievement. Everybody has a good relationship with him.”

For some, having professional teams watching them would be stressful. The SHS baseball team can’t let this affect them, because this is their norm. Short has gotten used to the attention and has to deal with having eyes on him every time he throws.

“I just try to focus on playing,” Short said. “I don’t really focus on who’s there.”

The attention Short brings with him has the opportunity to help the team’s work, play and exposure. Webster says seeing professionals at their games doesn’t change the way any of the guys play their game. In fact, for Lezon, the scouts bring energy to his play and he feels he is able to show off his talents.

Madelyn Knight
MLB scouts watch was senior Avery Short pitches against Terre Haute South on April 5.

“I like the big situation,” Lezon said. “I like when people come watch me and everybody else play. It’s a time where I can just play in front of people and maybe get future with it.”

Another way each teammate is affected by Short is the events they have to opportunity to play at. Their schedule has been adjusted since day one to make sure Short plays against the top teams in the state. For example, they will have the opportunity to play at Victory Field on April 26. Lezon says the team plays against renowned teams so Short can “show that he can compete with the best.” With him, he brings the rest of SHS baseball who are also able to experience what it’s like to compete at a high level.

The future for Short is undecided. As of now, he is committed to the University of Louisville, but come June, when the MLB holds their draft, Avery could be made an offer to play on a professional team and he will be able to play in the Major League in the next few years. He, of course, has the option to reject any offers and continue his education in Louisville, but Webster says he might get an offer he “cannot refuse.”

Only time will tell the future for Short as well as the SHS baseball season, but Webster has high expectations for both.