Dana Leach does not mince words when it comes to describing what effect Absolute Sports Performance has had on her son, Cameron Leach.
”If you saw him a year ago, and compared him to the way he looks now,” she said, “he looks like a completely different kid. It’s not just muscle, it’s also confidence. Everything about his game has improved.”
That newfound strength and assurance couldn’t have come at a better time for the sophomore catcher, who will join a veteran John Carroll team that features eight returning starters this spring and is an early contender to capture a MIAA A Conference title in May.
At 5-foot-8, 190 pounds, ASP hitting instructor Bill Goudy said that “Cameron looks the part” of a catcher.
”He’s thick and strong,” said Goudy, who is also an assistant coach with the Patriots. “He doesn’t say a lot, but when you watch the kid, you see the work ethic. It’s kids like him, who put in the time and effort — and it pays off.”
Leach said that he has seen great improvement under Travis Hash, the ASP director of strength and conditioning.
”Cam has been training with us for a couple of years now, and is, pound-for-pound, one of the strongest athletes in the facility,” Hash said. “He holds multiple facility strength records. Additionally, Cam is one of our most consistent trainees. He’s here every week, three or four time a week, year-round doing the work it takes to get better.”
Even during the current baseball season, Leach finds his way to the Abingdon site and sometimes doesn’t get home until 9:30 p.m. or so.Yet for Leach, ASP is the perfect environment for him.
”It’s just a great place to go,” he said. “Everything you need is there.”Goudy’s hitting tutelage is paying off as much for Leach as is the guidance he has received on his skills behind the plate from ASP catching instructor Tristan Howerton.
Goudy said that Leach’s exit velocity on batted ball has improved to between 95 and 100 miles per hour — he jacked his first home run in a scrimmage against Broadneck earlier in the week — while his ability to handle chores behind the plate are also getting better.
”Cam has a tremendous work ethic,” Goudy said. “And he has worked diligently with Travis on his catching.”
While Leach said that his blocking and throwing are strong suits, he’s still learning the important art of framing pitches.
Goudy feels certain that good things will happen for the youngster.
”He’s put in a ton of time on his receiving and blocking skills,” Goudy said. “And I expect him to put up an impressive OPS (a number reflecting a combination of on-base percentage and slugging percentage) this season. He’ll be a collegiate catcher one day.”