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Colin Ruddy on His Growth as a Pitcher

Wed, 07/03/2024 - 11:21
East Hampton’s own Colin Ruddy on the mound for the Monmouth University Hawks.
Monmouth Athletics

East Hampton’s Colin Ruddy is coming off his sophomore year pitching for Monmouth University in New Jersey, where over 14 games he threw 24.2 innings, with 23 strikeouts, recording two wins and a save. Now he’s hard at work getting ready for next season.

Ruddy spent his freshman year at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., but transferred to Monmouth. The 2022 East Hampton High School graduate was a starter here, but has been a relief pitcher for Monmouth, and was even brought in to close a couple of games.

“This season I closed against Elon,” he said. “It was like the 13th inning, and it was stressful. Next time I went in, it wasn’t the same.”

That experience, and his college experience in general, has allowed him to grow. “I’ve been able to find a new identity of myself as a pitcher.” 

Ruddy is spending the summer in Charlotte, N.C., working with Tread Athletics, a state-of-the-art baseball facility focused on helping pitchers, and he is loving it.

“It’s super sick being here,” he said. “I’m surrounded by guys who played in the bigs, or are still trying to play in the bigs, with very diverse pitching backgrounds.” He works with them every afternoon from 1 to 5 on techniques ranging from throwing mobility to conditioning and recovery.

Ruddy has a diverse repertoire of pitches on the mound. In high school he threw four: fastball, changeup, slider, and a knuckle-drop pitch. “This year,” he said, “I evolved into just kinda focusing on a fastball, changeup, and a slider.” His fastball is now 89 miles per hour, “on the brink of 90.”

He plans to hone his skills further with Tread Athletics over the summer. “I’m in Charlotte to fine-tune these pitches and add some velocity,” he said, “and maybe bring the knuckleball back.”

Keeping in touch with the mental side, Ruddy knows that there is more to the game than just throwing hard. “I’m not throwing 100, blowing by guys,” he said. “I try to get as many competitive advantages as I can get.”

This involves meditating every night and using several techniques he learned in high school to prepare, from breathing work to visualization. “My experience in high school helped me on and off the field in college, with athletics and academics.”

Ruddy is majoring in exercise science and has been able to find a balance with athletics, thanks to help from school staff, especially during his first year at George Washington. “I have to give credit to their academic staff. They provided resources to keep you on track and teach you how to keep yourself on track.”

In the fall his team has workouts four times a week and practices twice a week. During the season, he’ll get individualized training as a pitcher, and the in-season schedule is intense: traveling on Thursday, playing on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, then back in time for an 8:30 class Monday morning.

Looking to get drafted by a major league team, Ruddy is intent on staying focused, keeping a cool head, and remembering his support system. “I’m very thankful for my family — my parents and siblings,” he said. “I want to say thanks to my family for allowing me to come here and for always supporting me.”

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