Baseball Freshman Feature: Dylan Kirton
For the next four years, students, fans, parents, and maybe even MLB scouts will sit in the stands of Hoy Field. They will see a first baseman roll the ball to the second baseman only to get it right back. He’ll do the same for the shortstop, and then the third baseman. They’ll watch the sun bounce off of Gates Hall. They’ll see the on-deck batter clap his hands together in between weighted practice swings.
One day, in between innings, they’ll get to see a 6’4, 175-pound righty take the mound. That righty will go to war with power pitches. They will watch him pound the corners and climb the ladder with a four-seamer. They will see him jam right-handed batters with two-seamer in on the hands. And finally, he will finish the batter with a sweeping slider.
Until that day, Dylan Kirton will work. He will wait. He will be ready. Dylan Kirton’s career is in its early stages. To learn more about the man behind the process, I spoke with one of Cornell Baseball’s newest faces.
How were you first introduced to baseball?
I was first introduced to baseball by my father, Dan Kirton, who played at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Can you describe the recruiting process and the challenges of getting exposure as a high school player?
Typically, the recruiting process for baseball doesn’t officially start until your junior year of high school. After a certain date coaches are then able to contact you and set up visits/offers. The process for baseball is heavily reliant on participation in college showcases and school teams. A major challenge high school player may face is travel flexibility and the costs of showcases. While most showcases happen during the summer, there can be a few fall and spring ones. So not only are players paying to attend these showcases, but they now also have to balance school on top of travel schedules.
Why/how did Cornell become your home for the next four years?
While I always knew I wanted to play baseball at the next level, I was not originally recruited to play at Cornell. I had received a lot of small D3 offers, however when I visited Cornell’s campus I knew I would want to go to school here (baseball or not). So, in November I applied ED, as a non-student athlete, and decided that once I received my admissions decision I would figure out baseball and college. After my acceptance and my second visit, I decided that I wanted to try out for the Cornell baseball team, and now looking back I am glad I decided to come here.
What team and individual goals have you set for yourself?
Our team goal for the next four years is to win an Ivy League Championship and play in the NCAA Baseball Tournament. As an individual, I want to be the best teammate I can be while also becoming one of the top closer/relief pitchers not only in the Ivy League but in the country.
What are you most excited about playing for Cornell?
I’m excited to be a part of Cornell’s athletic culture. All the guys on the team are very close and play the game of baseball for each other (not just stats or accolades). We’ve developed a great team chemistry, and so I’m excited about having the opportunity to advance Cornell’s already great baseball program.
One of the most fascinating parts of pitching is the chance to develop new pitches. What pitches will we get to see from you this season? Are there any new one’s you’re working on?
This season I will most likely be working with a four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, and a slider. This summer, I hope to work on and develop a changeup for the next season.
What is your go-to pump up song?
My go-to pump up song is any song by Lil Uzi Vert or Meek Mill
What player do you model your game after, if any?
Originally, I modeled my game after Chris Archer and Tim Lincecum. However, after my coach and I decided to switch my pitching style, I now model my game after Adam Silver and Kent Tekulve.
If you could play any position other than pitcher, what would it be?
I would be an outfielder. When I was little, this was the position I spent hours practicing in the backyard with my father.