MANDAN, N.D. - "It's been flipped upside down to say the least," those were the first words from Jay Flaa in our recent conversation.
Flaa is from Mandan and last year, he made it all the way to Triple-A in the Baltimore Orioles organization.
Flaa was drafted in the 6th-round in 2015 following a college career that began at U-Mary and ended with big success at NDSU.
"I'm almost a fossil in regard to minor league baseball so it's kind of one of those things where time in certainly against me so I have to try and do what I can to be that guy at the top of the ladder where if they get an injury up top of whatever the case may be that I can be the guy to fill that spot and get up to the big leagues," said Flaa.
Flaa is 27-years old and he graduated from Mandan in 2010. Jay is in Fort Lauderdale, Florida right now which is where the Orioles hold spring training.
"I've just been throwing everyday trying to to do my best to work out," said Flaa. "It's tough because everything is closed down so we've had to get creative with throwing since all of the parks have been closed down as well so right now we have a portable mound set up in by buddies backyard and we have kind of been making do with that."
Flaa adds, "It doesn't matter if you're in high school or pro ball we're all in the same boat as far as we can't really do anything it's been put on hold. Everything kind of in the sports world has been pulled out from under us so it's one of those things where everyone has a million questions but it seems like since nobody has ever been in this situation nobody really has the answers."
Flaa says his development as a professional pitcher is more mental than physical.
"Whether that's being able to clear out the last pitch and really focus on the next one for me it's really bearing down and being able to clear my brain whatever that may be good or bad. If it's a good pitch being able to use that confidence to move on. If it's a bad one being to completely erase it from my mind. For me obviously there is always physical stuff to do, mechanical tweaks and what not but for me it's always being able stay in that same mindset always," said Flaa.
Flaa is trying be become just the 18th athlete born in North Dakota to play in the Major Leagues, according to Baseball Almanac.