Old Dominion baseball may have found its next Justin Verlander in the form of new commit Henry Hersum from Rhode Island.
Hersum, a pitcher who sits between 92-94 MPH on his fastball, reports to post-grad on Aug. 16 and will have three years available at ODU after his post-grad year. Had this been a normal season, with a normal draft though, Hersum may not have found his way to Norfolk.
“I had two teams contacting my head coach,” Hersum said.
He has no estimate of where he would have gone, but guessed it would be around the last three rounds.
“I also played in my area code tryout for the Yankees a few weeks ago,” he continued. “The top 25 pitchers from the Northeast were invited.”
Hersum currently sits at 6-foot-6 and 210 pounds, sturdy on the mound with a great arm. He will only get better as he grows.
While Hersum could be the next Verlander, living up to that isn’t in the forefront for him.
“I don’t really compare myself to anyone,” the big-armed right-hander said. “I watch a lot of baseball videos on pitchers and stuff like that, I am Henry Hersum, and I’m trying to be my own thing, not necessarily copy someone else.”
Visits, while hard during this time, are still possible — just in a different way.
“The coaches were able to bring me around on a FaceTime tour,” Hersum said. “Coaches (Mike) Marron, (Logan) Robbins, and head coach (Chris) Finwood were great. I just had an instant feeling they were the right coaches for me. I want to come in my freshman year sitting 95 with my fastball. You gotta set big goals if you wanna achieve big goals. If you set low goals, you’ll get low results.”