Prep baseball: Trenton Griffin's confidence soars on mound for Stansbury
Stansbury pitcher Trenton Griffin has his fastball up to 84 mph. His changeup checks in at 67, and his curveball arrives at 76.
He also added a fourth pitch, a slider, which still is a work in progress.
The variety of pitches he can throw and the way he changes speeds have helped him become one of the top pitchers in Class 3A.
But perhaps the biggest change in Griffin this season isn't the bite he's getting on his curveball. It's what's going on upstairs.
Confidence can be a pitcher's best weapon.
The junior lefty, who has helped Stansbury to the top of the Region 11 standings with a 7-1 region record entering the week, said he's more mentally tough this season.
"My mental game is there, and I think that's the biggest thing," Griffin said. "I take it pitch by pitch. I know I can leave a ball hanging and my teammates will be there to catch it."
Griffin has had just one rough outing this season, and that came against Bear River. But he hasn't let that game shake his confidence.
"I got the loss against Bear River," he said. "It went pretty good for the first three innings, but then all of us made some mental errors and physical errors. I felt bad. It's not my first, but it won't be my last."
Griffin's numbers are still remarkable even after the Bear River game. He's 4-1 with a 0.86 ERA over 24 1â3 innings this season. He has 36 strikeouts.
Not bad for a guy who had an issue with his growth plates and didn't pitch during his freshman season. He used his ups and downs as a sophomore last season to help him become better prepared for this season.
"I remember my first varsity start last year was in a tournament in St. George," Griffin said. "I was so nervous. I held my own the first inning, but in the second inning they started to hit me. I tried to find out what I did wrong and what kind of preparation I needed to do to get better."
Griffin spent much of his summer last year working on his game, and he had completed a mound-presence makeover by the time the high-school season opened.
He did not allow an earned run over his first 21 innings.
"The key to any pitcher's success is throwing first-pitch strikes and making quality pitches in tight situations, and that's what he's done," Stansbury coach Ray Clinton said. "He's throwing strikes and getting people out, and that's why he's one of the reasons why we are being successful this year."