Rocket lands among the stars

Adam Bleday, a former Titusville Rocket who was a multi-sport athlete during his time at THS, was selected by the Houston Astros during Wednesday’s MLB draft.

On Wednesday afternoon, Adam Bleday got the call of a lifetime, and one that will be remembered throughout Titusville sports history.

The 22-year old southpaw was selected in the 27th round of the MLB Draft, by the Houston Astros. His brother, J.J. Bleday, was selected in the 39th round, a year ago, by the San Diego Padres.

Adam Bleday, a 2013 Titusville High School graduate, was a three sport athlete during his time at THS and became the leader of the baseball program for all four years, according to Athletic Director Jim Come.

“He was the most focused athlete at Titusville. He was a phenomenal athlete and a class act. Younger athletes wanted to be like him. He deserves this,” Come said.

When asked about how Bleday represented Titusville, Come responded, “He gave 110 percent to what he was doing. He set the tone.”

The athletic director also stated that Bleday “set the bar” for student athletes going to Titusville.

Bleday understands that the Astros have a history of giving players in their 20s an opportunity to play in the big leagues.

“It takes hard work, but I know I have an opportunity to advance when I’m young,” Bleday said.

The lefty acknowledged past experiences that have helped transform him into the professional he is today.

“In college, I was bummed out when I was sent to the bullpen, but it was a positive learning experience. I closed a game this year, which I enjoyed. It was cool hearing the crowd roar,” he said.

Bleday played baseball at the University of Virginia, Gulf Coast State College, and the University of Pennsylvania. He said he got used to traveling a lot during each season, and that experience will aid him as he makes the transition into professional baseball.

“The Astros have rookie ball clubs in Florida, so I’m familiar with the area down there,” Bleday said.

Bleday is used to having a pitch count, as well.

“In college, the pitch count is normally at 100 pitches and that’s similar to starters in the minor leagues,” He said.

He also emphasized the importance of pace.

“I’m not a guy that’s going to throw 100, 96 or 97. So, location, throwing strikes, getting the ball back and not wasting time on the mound and being ready to throw the next pitch is important for me,” Bleday said.

He confirmed that he has a curveball, change-up, fastball (two-seam, four-seam), and a slider.

Bleday has kept his eye on left-handed relievers such as Jerry Blevins (Mets) and Branden Finnegan (Reds), and starters, Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers), Madison Bumgarner (Giants), and Danny Duffy (Royals). This is because the former Quaker wants to learn from the best, and he said that he wants to do whatever the ’Stros ask him to do, whether it is starting, becoming a reliever, or even a left-handed specialist.

Bleday also stressed the importance of his swim coach, Kevin Dawson.

“He helped me with fitness at a young age; he helped me learn how to cross train. He’s a great guy,” he said of the coach.

The Titusville star thought of a couple quotes that have stuck with him over the years. “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.” —Jimmy Valvano, (Arthur Ashe Courage Award winner)  “Height doesn’t measure heart.” —Marcus Stroman (2017 World Baseball Classic MVP).

When asked about his hometown, “Even though Titusville is small, I met a bunch of great people there. I thank a lot of them especially, friends and family.”

Fiuza can be reached by email, at news@titusvilleherald.com.

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