Panthers hurler hopes to make mark in MLB
In the 30th round of the MLB Draft on June 5, the Oakland Athletics selected Adelphi pitcher Ed Baram. He is now the ninth player to be drafted by or sign a contract with an MLB team in Coach Dom Scala’s tenure, the last one being Jonathan Mulford in 2016.
“I’m very happy for Ed, his dad and the program,” Scala said. “From day one, I felt as though he was someone who had a shot at professional baseball. He matured mentally, as well as physically, this year to put together one of the best pitching displays in Adelphi history and lead us to a national ranking of No. 5.”
Baram came to Adelphi from Saddle Brook, NJ, as part of the team’s 2015 recruiting class. Following his freshman season, he was selected to the Northeast 10’s All-Rookie team. As a senior, he struck out 79 batters in 75 innings to the tune of a 1.32 ERA, the best mark of any pitcher in Division II baseball.
Baram credits a lot of his success to Scala himself. Not only has he been able to help out with his mechanics, but the 16-year coach was able to give him a mental edge.
“There’s a lot of places mechanically where he helped me, but a lot of the success I had this year, last year and my whole career has been with coach Scala helping me mentally,” Baram said. “Making sure that I’m not really thinking about mechanics on the mound and I’m just competing out there and throwing strikes and that was a game-changer this year especially.”
One of the biggest aspects of his game that he feels will help down the road is his fastball. Before coming to Adelphi, Baram didn’t think it was nearly enough to make it at the professional level. However, he would go on to add 25 pounds of muscle, which increased his fastball from topping out at 85 mph to 92 mph.
“All the drill work on the field and in the weight room has prepared me immensely for pro ball,” Baram said “We do similar things here with the Athletics that we did at Adelphi, so that was a huge help in getting adequate to professional ball.”
Scala believes such a skill set will not only help him to reach the big leagues, but also to make it as a quality relief pitcher.
“A hard sinker and slider along with a splitter that is a wipe out pitch are the key to any reliever in the pro’s,” Scala said “He is also a very hard worker and will keep himself ready.”
The longtime coach realized Baram had a real shot at going pro not long after his sophomore season, when he joined the New England Collegiate Baseball League to play that summer. He struck out 51 batters in 40 innings to match a 1-2 record and a 1.35 ERA through throughout the course of seven regular season games, an all-star game and a playoff game.
“NECBL is a very tough league and one of the top collegiate leagues in the country,” Scala said. “He dominated there as he did this spring. That is what it takes in the East to get drafted.”
There’s a lot for a new professional ballplayer to look forward to once he’s been drafted.
But for Baram, one aspect takes precedence over all.
“Playing with some of the best ball players in the country is exciting,” Baram said. “Also having a chance at playing at the major league level is very exciting and motivating and is something I’ll be working very hard towards achieving.”