With former Northeastern University ace Aaron Civale currently being penciled in to the Cleveland Indians starting rotation for 2020, it's easy to forget a time when he seemed more likely to pursue a career in mechanical engineering after college.
But that engineering degree was more than a fall-back plan for Civale in 2014 after a freshman season in which he posted an 0-4 record and 3.19 ERA in just 36.2 innings. Civale, who went undrafted out of Loomis Chaffee High School in 2013, seemed destined to eventually earn his living working with other mechanical engineers.
"At the start of my sophomore year, I had a little setback with weakness in my shoulder," Civale said. "Up to that point, I might have filled out one (pro scouting) questionnaire in high school, and that was only because I attended a specific showcase. As far as being scouted, no, I can't say that was happening."
Civale's rehab that fall (2014) helped forge a prolonged commitment to arm care and conditioning. That spring, his fastball velocity increased about 5 mph in his first appearance -- to 93 mph -- and the the 6-foot-5 righthander has shined on every stage ever since. Civale was selected in the third round (92nd overall) of the 2016 MLB Draft by the Cleveland Indians, earning a $625,000 signing bonus.