This is an interview with Stanford Pitcher, Sahil Bloom. Sahil, a Weston, MA native, is currently in his Junior year where he has compiled a 2-0 record, with a 0.55 ERA in 12 appearances. Opponents are hitting a mere .155 against him. You can click here for his Stanford statistics and follow him on twitter (@sahilbloom).
Show-Me Strength: When in your high school career did you begin to feel like you had a chance to play Division I level baseball?
Sahil Bloom: I always knew I wanted to play college baseball, but it wasn’t until after my sophomore year of HS that I felt that dream could become a reality. My high school baseball coach, Jon Beverly, told me to shoot for Stanford, Rice, etc and I kind of laughed it off. Looking back on it I think he gave me the support to shoot for that incredibly high goal.
SMS: How did you end up at Stanford university and what other schools were you considering out of high school?
SB: It basically came down to Stanford or Ivy League schools such as Princeton, Harvard, Columbia etc. I am a nerd (not afraid to say it anymore) and I wanted to attend a school with an extremely good academic reputation first and foremost. Stanford gave me the opportunity to achieve that goal as well as have a chance to compete for a National Championship year in and year out.
SMS: How has your game changed in college? What have you been focusing on in your game?
SB: I think that being around some of the best pitchers in the country has put me in an atmosphere to constantly improve. Guys like Mark Appel, Chris Reed, Jordan Pries, and Brett Mooneyham are all extremely talented pitchers but seeing how they approach their craft day in and day out has allowed me to enhance my abilities through learning from them. Also getting to face the best hitters in the country has taught me how to limit mistakes and focus more on the height of pitches rather than the in or out.
SMS: What advice would you have for high school players looking to play in college? What things do you wish you had learned earlier in your career?
SB: I think the most important thing is to work hard and realize that natural talent only takes you so far. You have to work at your craft and improve each and every day. I think that I was able to do that because I had great role models such as the guys at Cressey Performance to look up to.
SMS: How did you find out about Eric Cressey and how has training with him impacted your baseball career and level of play?
SB: I found out about Eric Cressey through a Boston Globe article highlighting the tremendous improvement of an area pitcher named Kevin Scanlan. To put it simply: without Eric and his guidance in my life, I would never have been able to achieve what I have baseball wise. He has been, other than my parents, the strongest driving force in my development and I consider him a friend and role model.
SMS: You have really seen Cressey Performance from its origins having started training with Eric as a high school sophomore in 2007 and put on 40-45 pounds since starting . How have you seen Cressey Performance grow since you started training there?
SB: I am amazed by the growth of Cressey Performance. When I started out, there were maybe 5 consistent clients. It has expanded into an amazing business with hundreds of clients, including tons of professional baseball players. It is the best training environment I could ever imagine. I get off a red eye from California at 5:30am, eat breakfast, and head straight over. That’s how much I love being there!
SMS: A famous British golfer and Cressey client, Dave Hills, was quoted as saying of you, “Who, Sahil Bloom? He was supposed to be the next wonder child but he didn’t deliver.” How would you respond to these comments?
SB: Haha! Classic CP quote book material right there! I’ll let my future results, whether on the baseball field or in the working world, decide whether or not I was able to “deliver”. P.S. I like your liberal use of the word “famous” there. Boom! Couldn’t let Dave off too easy!
SMS: Last year you made a couple appearances in the College World Series Super-Regional against the University of North Carolina. How do you feel about your team going into this season and your ability to build off of that experience?
SB: It was an amazing experience to have, both individually and as a team. My freshman year I was lucky enough to make an appearance vs. New Mexico in the NCAA Regionals. This past year, as you mentioned, I got to make an appearance vs. UNC at NCAA Super Regionals. So following that trend, I think I speak for the whole team when I say that we need to take it one step further and make a trip to Omaha! For us Juniors and Seniors, it really feels like this season is Omaha or bust.
SMS: You also had a very successful season of summer baseball playing for a newly formed team Mystic team in the NECBL with a 1.96 ERA in 23 innings of work which has drawn the attention of your Stanford coach Mark Marquees who said compared to other Stanford pitchers this summer that you’ve “done as well if not better than all of them.” How did the fall go after the successful summer? How do you hope to be used this year?
SB: It was a really fun and successful summer. I appreciated the recognition from Coach Marquess regarding my performance. The fall went well, as always, there are things that I need to work on to improve coming into the season. Winning is the only thing that matters. As long as I can help the team win games this season in some way, I will be happy.
SMS: You coined the term “curse of the great Blonde-ino” in reference to Heidi Watney’s recent departure from NESN on your always entertaining twitter feed, @sahilbloom. How has her departure impacted your fondness of the Red Sox organization?
SB: I’m flattered that you refer to my twitter as “always entertaining”. I am a huge Heidi Watney fan so that was a huge blow. I think the Sox will be able to bounce back, even if its 86 years from now. Follow me for more funny life insights!
SMS: Around the gym and Stanford locker room it appears that you have a reputation for a few pranks here and there. What prank are you most proud of?
SB: It has definitely got to be the prank we just played on our starting shortstop (and bigtime draft prospect) Kenny Diekroeger. We convinced him, with the help of our media relations guy and team administrator, that he was going to be interviewed at halftime of College Gameday (Stanford vs. Oregon) by Erin Andrews. He showed up in dress pants, shirt, and tie, only to have 20 of his teammates laughing and holding cameras in his face. Kenny is a great guy and he took it really well, but the video is still priceless!
SMS: Who do you enjoy following most on Twitter?
SB: MensHumor posts hilarious things constantly, so I love reading those. But if you really want some great stuff, you have got to check out @TonyGentilcore1, @EricCressey, and @CresseyPerf (editors note: and CP mascot @tanknasty).
SMS: Do you have a favorite quote?
SB: “The only thing that I got that’s special is that I made my mind up to be special”-Ray Lewis
SMS: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us! Best of luck this year!