Q&A with Miami-Ohio commit Ernie Day
January 18, 2019
It’s clear after hearing from Ernie Day that developing as a two-way player was important to him. He credits his diligent work on both sides of the ball for helping him reach this milestone, a verbal commitment to a Division-I baseball program, Miami University, to cap off his 2018.
The two-way Taft star has every intention of continuing his development as both a pitcher and a position player entering his junior season. With his two-way desires, it is not hard to see his potenital on the mound. The 6-foot-3 righty has a quick, live arm with a firm fastball that lives in the 83-87 mph range and topped 88 mph as recently as August at the PBR All-State Games. He came away from the Triton JC-hosted event ranked within the top-10 prospects overall from the showcase, too.
On offense, he has natural lift in his swing, works the middle of the field and has present bat strength. It will be interesting to see how everything shapes out in the future but Day has a good platform to work from.
Check out Day’s thoughtful insights into the recruiting process and how he came to choose Miami as the program that fit him best.
LATEST SCOUTING REPORT
Ernie Day RHP / 3B / Taft, IL / 2020
8/9/18 - 6-foot-2, 190-pound, right-handed hitting infielder, athletic frame. Projects on the mound, tall and fall delivery, compact balance point, slightly cross body, short stride, closed toe land, easy finish with rhythm. Arm plays short and loose, high front side, quick arm speed, over the top slot, easy effort. Fastball, worked straight, came out firm, played up, 83-87 mph, topped 88 mph. Curveball, 11/5 slurvy shape, around it, 68-73 mph. Changeup played 70 mph. Allowed no hits with two K’s and two walks in game. Defensively arm works across the infield, easy, long and loose arm action, winds up, high ¾ slot, steady hands, clean exchange, works through the ball, throws carried 85 mph across. At the plate, balanced, wide setup, back load, short stride. Strong hands, uphill path, line drive hitter, repeats to the middle of the field in BP, rhythm involved, exit velocity topped 93 mph from a tee. 7.48 runner in the 60.
Ernie Day (8/9/18)
PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? Was it easier or more difficult than you anticipated?
Day: I had no idea what to expect. This past year I became more proactive, reaching out to schools through emails and text messages. I shared information, knowing schools couldn't respond due to NCAA rules. I found that unless you have a crystal ball it is very difficult to determine the level of interest from schools, especially when NCAA rules limit communication before Sept. 1 of your junior year. So, I concentrated on things I could control and that was to continue to improve my physical conditioning and baseball skillsets. I also participated in as many higher profile tournaments as possible to increase my odds to be seen.
P: What were you looking for out of a college program to continue your baseball career at?
D: My dad instilled in me from a very young age to strive to be the best in all areas of the game. I take pride in having contributed offensively, defensively, and on the mound to the success of the teams I have played on. Therefore, it was very important that the college I attended was interested in having me play both as a position player and as a pitcher.
P: Did location or distance from home play a factor in your decision?
D: I liked the idea of experiencing college life away from home. That being said, most schools want to see players perform in their own backyard and visit their school.
P: When did the recruiting process really start to heat up for you? Was there a particular game or event that you feel accelerated the buzz around you?
D: Not sure when schools began to take notice. I had attended a couple PBR showcases prior to the high school spring season. My goal was to be seen at as many quality venues as possible this past year and perform to the best of my ability, showing positive progression. That was the only thing I could control. Last July, Miami University was the first to reach out to me through my club coach. However, on Sept. 1, 2018, at 12:07 a.m., the emails started to arrive from recruiting coordinators wanting to speak to me. The buzz was real.
P: Where did Miami first see you? How did your relationship develop with them?
D: I believe at the 16U WWBA National Championships in Cartersville, Ga. The recruiting coordinator reached out to my club coach and, subsequently, I called him and we spoke. He invited me to a camp in August. I was unable to attend the camp at that time, however, I shared the rest of my summer schedule and fall baseball plans with him. The recruiting coordinator later invited me to camps in October and November which would include a campus tour, I eventually was able to attend one of the camps this past November.
P: What do you like most about Miami and what were the key factors in making your decision?
D: First of all, Miami University was the first school that contacted me for a reason other than inviting me to a camp. They were the first to express interest in my ability and that meant a great deal to me. I found nothing I disliked about Miami U. Miami is considered one of the top academic schools in the nation and their campus and student life was very appealing. Miami also has a strong D1 baseball program. I like what the coaches told me about the school, baseball program, and where they perceived this program heading.
P: At what point in your career did you realize you were a college-caliber player and became serious about taking your game to the next level?
D: It was more of a gradual realization. Indicators to me started early in my playing career. Having success while playing up age levels in house leagues teams and postseason recreational tournament teams were confidence builders. Also participating in local, regional, and national major-level club tournaments over the years at my age levels and higher; having more successes than failures while competing against top players from these areas. Having this experience and having the strong desire to continue to improve, it was clear to me that I would have the ability to compete at the next level.
P: What advice would you give to young baseball players striving to get where you are at?
D: You should work on all aspects of your game. Sometimes it’s the big hit that helps your team win. Sometimes it’s your glove, sometimes it’s your arm, and sometimes it’s picking up the teammate that is down that wins games. Respect your coaches, too.
P: What is the most memorable moment in your baseball career to this point?
D: Hard to say. A lot of memorable moments, more good than bad. I’d say competing in the MLB Pitch, Hit and Run competition in 2014 and advancing to the Chicago Cubs team championships held at Wrigley Field. Then, winning that competition to become the 11 and 12-year-old Team Champion (one of 30 in nation). I was recognized with other age group winners during a Cubs game and that was really cool. Participating in the WWBA World Championship in Jupiter, Fla., this past fall was also a great experience. Playing with and against some of the best players in the country with hundreds of scouts riding on golf carts and surrounding fields to watch the games was surreal.
P: Preview your high school season for us. How do you feel Taft will be? What are your expectations and goals?
D: Taft high school will once again be competing in the CPS Jackie Robinson North. Last season, we won the regular season conference championship. This year, we lost some key players due to graduation, however, we won the high school fall league and hope for continued success this spring in our conference and city playoffs. Winning and advancing in the state playoffs is always a goal as well.