For the last three years Upper Perk High School baseball alum Tim Mayza has worked the mound for Millersville University. He's headed to Florida Tuesday to start playing in the Toronto Blue Jays farm system after being drafted.
Upper Perkiomen High School alum Tim Mayza is on the path to living the dream of every baseball player in the world, a shot at the major leagues. Mayza was selected in the 12th round of last weekend’s Major League Baseball draft by the Toronto Blue Jays, and on Tuesday he left for mini-camp in Florida.
“It’s a relief. It was a long couple of days,” said Mayza, who broke the tension by playing catch with former high school teammates on Upper Perk’s Montgomery Avenue fields a couple of times last week.
Mayza is also pleased he was selected by the Blue Jays.
“They have a good farm system, and they know how to develop young pitchers. I’m glad that I’m going there. I’m real happy with the way the draft ended up,” he said.
After the mini-camp in Florida, Mayza will be assigned to either the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays rookie team; the Bluefield Blue Jays, another rookie team; or the Vancouver Canadians, a short season A team.
“The average timetable it takes for a good player to reach (the majors) is three to four years. I’m going to have to be patient, keep working, work hard; hopefully, things turn out for the better,” Mayza said.
Mayza has gotten indications that he will be looked at as a starting pitcher but knows that could change.
“From what I’ve heard in the past from multiple scouts, they want to try and use me as a starter, but really, whatever gets you to the big leagues the fastest is the role they’re going to put you in.”
As a junior at Millersville this past season, Mayza was the ace of the staff, compiling an 11-3 record with an ERA of 1.55. He struck out 91 in 98.2 innings pitched and gave up more than three runs in only one of his starts. Mayza garnered All-America Honors (Third Team) after he helped lead his team to a 40-18 record.
He was touted as the sixth best pitcher in the small college division. Mayza’s prospectus lists him as 6’3, 205 pounds with a 91-93 mph fastball.
“The biggest improvement has been in the off-speed and in my secondary pitches,” Mayza said about his progression from high school pitching, where his fastball was in the mid-80s.
“The fastball, I kind of had a feeling it was going to jump. I had no expectations it was going to jump this much. But, I had a feeling it was going to jump based on getting stronger, gaining weight and being on an everyday throwing program.”
Mayza spent some time at Big Leagues Academy, working with the last Upper Perk player drafted, Josh Tyler. Now the general manager at Big Leagues Academy in Newtown, Tyler went from Upper Perk to the University of Pittsburgh. After his junior year, he was drafted 24th by the Milwaukee Brewers, but an injury while in Triple A ball with the Giants ended Tyler’s quest for the majors.
Tyler has played an important supportive role in Mayza’s development as a player, especially when things got a little rocky at Millersville and last summer in the prestigious Cape Cod League.
“It was probably a year ago on [a] phone call, when he was kind of talking about how his coach (at Millersville) felt like he was a little lackadaisical and not getting after it, and I said, 'The big thing you need to do now is develop a pre-game routine that you do every time that gets you set and ready, so your body is ready to go, your mind is ready to go, you do the same thing every time. I don’t care if you listen to the same music, whatever you do,’” Tyler said.
“He got that idea and applied it, and then went up to the Cape and used that to go through some of the adversity he went through up there.”
Pitching for the Cotuit Kettleers on the Cape, Mayza saw limited action, only 17 innings, and struggled with an 8-plus ERA.
Still, he struck out 20 in those 17 innings and scouts were seeing his potential. A nine-month whirlwind of private throwing sessions for scouts, including the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, and countless communications with major league front offices had to be juggled with school work and Millersville baseball.
“[Josh] gives me advice on how you’re not going to make your money based on the draft. You still have to go out there and work your way through the system and you still got to perform even after draft day. So this is only the start,” Mayza said.
A 2010 graduate of Upper Perk, Mayza excelled in both basketball and baseball. As a sophomore, he threw a no-hitter against Pottstown, and during the course of his high school career he averaged more than a strikeout an inning. Three times, he was an All-PAC-10 selection, including First Team in 2010.
Mayza also had terrific offensive numbers for Upper Perk. As a senior he hit .424 with eight doubles, a triple and a homerun, while splitting time between the mound, first base and the outfield.
He excelled for Perkiomen Post 184 in American Legion ball, and was selected for the 2009 Legion East-West game.
Mayza says he is grateful for having gone through every step of baseball in the Valley and for “being able to build, going through those stages in the Upper Perk system.”