Mason Martin - The Suns Baseball Architect
KENNEWICK - Every young athletes dreams of turning pro. For one Southridge ball player, that doesn't seem like such a long shot.
"Day before the first game. There was a ton of people here and they were all just lined up there. I tried not to focus on it too much but I was like, dang, I wasn't expecting this," Mason Martin said about seeing MLB scouts at the first baseball game of the year.
That game changed Mason's outlook and season entirely. Not only does the senior have to deal with the usual combo of school & work, now he was being called, texted, and interviewed by Major League scouts.
"I'll either have someone want me to take BP (batting practice) on the field or I'll go back to the house and meet with a representative from an organization. It does get crazy."
"Anyone can from themselves in his shoes right now and it would be a difficult thing - every swing you take, every step you take - but that's what every baseball player dreams of, so it's a double edged sword," Suns Manager, Tim Sanders said.
Sanders knows a thing or two about about dealing with top prospects - he's the only coach the Suns program has ever had - so that means the names like Mattair, Lechelt, and of course, Shawn O'Malley - Sanders helped develop.
"Each of those guys were able to see through the noise and the anxiety, able to slow all of it down. Slow their breathing down, and you know, just be in the moment - instead of trying to be something their not."
"I actually talked to Shawn (O'Malley) a while ago and he just said just keep your head focused stay on your team. if you just go out there and you want to want to win then everything will take care of itself," Mason said.
The 6'2, 205 pounder isn't just a blue chip talent on the field, but also in the classroom where he's beginning to reach his full potential with a re-commitment and focus.
"If you're not shooting for a 4.0 then why are you here? why just increase your talents on the baseball field, you can increase you mind in the classroom."
Wise word from a young man who won't turn 17 till a day before his graduation. Mason is a national finalist in an architecture/design competition, where he had to draft a dentist office from scratch. The class project has earned him 750 dollars and two titles - 1st place both locally and regional.
"He incorporated everything we talk about in architecture - we talk about change of height in a building, the change of depth. I think that's what the judges liked," architecture teacher, Ryan Helms about Mason's design.
"Your creativity is endless and you can always come up with new things, new floor plans, new ways to build to something," Martin said, "Maybe, one of these day that will happen for me."
Till then, the soon-to-be graduate has an unfinished baseball dream to take care of.