Former Prairie Baseball Academy (PBA) and Lethbridge Bulls product, Andrew Case, is back in Lethbridge this week for a PBA fundraising banquet.
The talented pitcher was honing his skills Wednesday afternoon at a training session with former coach Todd Hubka. The Saint John, N.B. native is putting in the work to get to his ultimate goal.
“Short A, low A, high A, Double AA, I’ve been as far as Triple A,” Case said. “There’s one more to continue to get the dream that I’ve always had and I’ve just got to continue to pursue it.”
That dream is to be a major league pitcher.
Case was signed by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2013 and has been steadily working his way through the club’s farm system. He’s done so well, he even made his way to the prestigious Arizona Fall League last season.
“His ERA through 12 innings was a zero, so he had a great Arizona Fall League,” PBA Head Coach Todd Hubka said.
Case’s time playing with other high-level prospects was an important step in his development.
“We happened to win the whole thing and it was a pretty cool experience,” Case said. “I just want to build off that and bring it into spring training this year and see what happens.”
After a successful 2017, Case has been invited to Blue Jays spring training in February. His impressive ascent has even surprised one of the scouts who helped bring him to the Jays organization.
“He’s gotten farther than anyone expected and that’s a testament to the work he’s put in and how he’s performed,” Toronto Blue Jays West-Coast Regional Crosschecker Jamie Lehman said. “If he continues to do that we may see him at Rogers Centre one day.”
Lehman scouted Case once while at the PBA and again at the Blue Jays national showcase tournament in 2013. He believes what gives Case a chance to play in the majors is his approach to the game and self-belief.
“What’s really carried his success is he’s an incredible competitor on the mound,” Lehman said. “He’s very confident in his abilities and he’ll attack any hitter, whether it’s Giancarlo Stanton, or the nine-hole hitter in Double AA.”
He doesn’t throw 100 mph, but he does have impressive accuracy.
His old coach Hubka says his former pitcher can: “Throw it through a Cheerio.”
Case is improving every year and feels he’s closing in on playing for his favourite childhood team.
“Maybe, maybe, maybe there’s a shot I get up there this year,” Case said. “But if not, I’m still going to work hard because it’s in the near future. I can see it.”
Case is speaking at the Prairie Baseball Academy’s annual banquet on Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Lethbridge Lodge. The prestigious academy is looking to raise funds for athletic scholarships at the event.