MANDAN, N.D. - Jay Flaa is back home for a few weeks off before his job starts up again. Jay is a professional pitcher in the Baltimore Orioles organization. He graduated from Mandan in 2010, and after a stop at the University of Mary, Jay headed to North Dakota State.
The Orioles drafted Flaa in the sixth round of the 2015 draft, and this past season, the 26 year old pitched very well at the AA level in Bowie, Maryland.
"With my age, like you said, it's a short window but that's kind of the business aspect of things and last year was a big make or break year for me and this year as well but I'm looking forward to it. I enjoy the challenge, and I've put in the work, so I'm ready to see what this year holds for me," said Flaa.
The Orioles are using Flaa as a relief pitcher. In AA, Jay had 67 strikeouts in 65 innings, and the opponent’s batting average was just .155.
"The last couple of years I think I attribute a lot of my success, a lot of my numbers to a split finger that I developed. One of the coaches kind of pulled me aside and we worked on it for a couple of weeks before I threw it in a game but I started throwing that about a year ago and I had tremendous success with it and it's kind of been my out pitch. It's been a big pitch for me at money time and I've just kind of road with it."
Flaa says the biggest adjustments he’s had to make in professional baseball is on the mental side of the game, and he gets help with that from home.
Flaa said: "I still call my dad after every outing whether it's good or bad. We sit down and talk about it and he keeps me on an even keel and for me that was the biggest thing is whatever happens is have a short term memory and I think that's ultimately what I attribute it to."
Flaa leaves for Florida and his fifth pro-season in a few weeks. He’s still waiting to find out if the Orioles will put him in their minor league camp, or if he will get a non-roster invite to the big league camp.