by: Brandon Rebboah
With countless collegiate summer leagues nationally, players spend their summers playing with teams comprised of college players from around the country. Most of the Broncos are somewhere playing in a summer league. With players all over the country, Broncos are in the Northwoods League, Texas Collegiate Baseball League, the Hawaii Collegiate Baseball League, Alaskan Baseball League, Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League, California Collegiate League and many more. The "All Summer Long" Series follows the Broncos on their summer experiences.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Rising-junior Brock Simon is spending his summer outside of the continental United States in Alaska. The right-handed pitcher is preparing for the 2012 season while playing for the Mat-Su Miners of the Alaskan Baseball League.
Simon has pitched 8.2 innings of work over five appearances for the Miners. He is currently third on the team in opponents' batting average, allowing batters just a .194 average.
After moving to the bullpen, Simon had some good outings for the Broncos in 2011. He was able to work in long-relief and became a productive pitcher capable of starting or coming out of the pen. Simon sees himself moving back to a starting role next season and is taking his experience with the Miners as a way to further develop. He's working with Mat-Su's coaching staff on imprpving his delivery.
"My main goal for next year is to be a quality starter [that] always puts the team in a position to win," said Simon. "I am working on some secondary pitches and have [changed] my delivery from the stretch a little bit."
While baseball is his primary focus, Simon has been able to see a part of the country he had never seen before. Like many of his Santa Clara teammates, Simon has a host family that has opened him up to new experiences.
"[My host family] is awesome," added Simon. "They took me white-water rafting, four wheeling and have introduced me to some new food like deer and moose."
Aside from baseball and new experiences, Simon has had to acclimate to Alaska. He is a California native isn't used to the near-24 hours of sun of an Alaskan summer.
"Alaska itself is a very cool place that would take years to fully experience," said Simon. "What I have seen is incredible."
Simon finished the 2011 season with 19 appearances, including nine starts, for the Broncos. He has now started 16 games in two seasons, totaling 37 appearances. He was second on the 2011 squad in innings pitched (76).
To follow Simon's summer with the Mat-Su miners visit the team's official website.