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Jared Dettmann's rookie season in Atlanta Braves' system a success

Jared Dettmann is shown delivering a pitch for the Danville Braves this summer. Danville is a farm team of the Atlanta Braves.

It didn't take long for Jared Dettmann to prove himself in professional baseball.

Dettmann ranked among the top pitchers in the Appalachian League in several categories while pitching in his first season of pro ball this summer. The Somerset native returned home recently after spending the summer pitching for the Danville Braves, an A-level farm team of the Atlanta Braves.

Dettmann's 2.09 earned run average ranked in the top five in the league. His WHIP (walks/hits per inning) ranked in the league's top 10.

The Danville management informed the players right away that winning and losing wasn't the focus at the rookie ball level. It was player development. They brought pitchers along gradually, building up their workload to gauge their arm strength while not risking injury. Dettmann pitched 47 innings during the season, similar to what the other starting pitchers on the staff were allowed to work.

"It was all about developing yourself mentally to attack hitters and make pitches where you want them to be," Dettmann said about pitching in rookie ball.

Dettmann quickly found that pro ball is a big step from college ball. He said the pro coaches expect you to know all facets of the game. The coaches studied the players for the first half of the season before trying to make any changes. Dettmann said the biggest change pitching coach Gabe Luckert made with him was slowing down the speed of his curveball to give it a larger break. It also gave the pitch more of a speed differentiation from his fastball and his slider.

One of the trademarks Dettmann established with the Braves was consistency. He did not allow more than two earned runs in any of his 12 appearances.

Dettmann earned his first professional win on July 14, when he pitched 3.1 innings of scoreless two-hit relief in a 4-0 Danville win over the Princeton Rays.

Dettmann made his professional debut on June 29 against the Bluefield Blue Jays. He allowed one hit and one run in that game.

"My adrenaline was pumping pretty good that day," the low-key Dettmann said.

Dettmann's love for the game is quite evident. He said he enjoyed the days when he sat in the stands running the radar gun and charting pitches, seeing the speeds the hard-throwing pitchers could reach.

Most of Dettmann's pitches were in the 89-92 miles-per-hour range, peaking at 95. He said he'd like to bring up his speed a bit next season.

The Braves told Dettmann to take off several weeks from working out to let his body rest after the season. He's scheduled to receive a workout regimen in early October that will give him fully detailed workout plans for the rest of the off-season. Dettmann hasn't been informed on where he'll be pitching next season. He said those assignments are announced just before spring training in February.

One of the factors that helped Dettmann make a smooth transition at each level was the coaching he received at the lower levels. He credits Somerset High School pitching coach Mike Tetzlaff with teaching him many key points of pitching, like working the inside half of the plate.

"Once I got to college, it was fine tuning what Tetz taught me," Dettmann said. "I'd always been able to throw pretty hard. He was the first one who taught me to pitch."

Dettmann was drafted two years ago by the Minnesota Twins. Instead of going immediately into pro ball, he went the college route, spending a year at the University of Connecticut before attending Century College last year.

"I'm really glad I chose to get some college experience in, not only for the baseball but for the school," he said.

Dettmann isn't just sitting around enjoying his success. In the off-season he's continuing his education. With two years of college already completed, he's now taking classes at UW-River Falls. With his interest in a business career, he's taking classes like accounting, economics, computer science and business writing.

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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