Gabe signs with the Toronto Blue Jays at an open tryout.
You don't see many low 90s fastballs in Division III, but then again, Devin Hayes isn't your typical Division III pitcher. Devin reached out in the fall of his Junior year at Castleton University. He'd already been training furiously over the past two seasons, pushing his velocity up into the mid 80's, but had reached a hard plateau. His strength numbers were in the advanced intermediate range already, and he was fairly filled out at 6'1" 205 lbs.
Describe when you first decided your training needed a change? Was it the sense or urgency that college was coming to an end, or did something specific trigger that change?
I had been doing the same program for a couple years and at first I was seeing some good gains in strength and velocity, but after awhile I had stalled for a few months. At that point I was looking for something new and innovative to help continue my development. It wasn’t necessarily that college was coming to an end, it was pretty much the feeling that I wasn’t really satisfied with where I was at and wasn’t willing to settle.
Gabe graduated from college un-drafted and unknown...but where most players begin to move on with their lives, this is where Gabe’s inspiring story begins.
What were some of your initial metrics and where are those today?
Initially, I weighed about 205 lbs throwing 86 with my lifts numbers right around 365x3 Trap Bar Deadlift, DB Bench 80x5, Front Squat 265x3 and Back Squat 300x5. At this point I’m hovering around 225, topped at 93 over the summer and my lifts have gone up quite a bit, 500x4 Trap Bar Deadlift, DB Bench 115x5, Front Squat 325+x3 and back squat 405x4.
Obviously remote training has its pros and cons as compared to in-person training - what type of player in your opinion fits best into this type of system?
I think in order to be a remote trainee, and be successful you have to first have some trust in the person who’s programming for you and buy into what they are doing. In my first cycle using tread I didn’t take everything as seriously as I should have, skipping out on mobility before working out and not following the program entirely. You get out what you put in and in order to be successful you need to have the ability to have the drive to go through everything you need to do, even if you are feeling particularly lazy that day.
Gabe lifts weights occasionally.
Describe the reception from your team when you started doing your own throwing/training regimen.
Initially they were just confused as to why I was picking up these weird balls or why I needed an extra half hour to warm up, but after seeing the success I had with it, others joined in and by the end of it we had a progressive pitching coach that encouraged everyone to have their own type of regimen and it led to our team leading the country in ERA.
You initially started with two other teammates, can you describe how that played out and if it made the training easier to adhere to or more enjoyable?
Being able to compete with the other two guys made the experience a lot more fun as we were able to push each other. The other two were also tremendously gifted athletes which forced me to give everything I had in order to compete with them. There would be times when we had velo test days and I was throwing a good 5-7 mph slower than them and it just made me want to work harder. I think training together with more than one person has so many benefits that I would recommend it to anyone who has friends that are on the fence. Going through it together allows for another person to hold you accountable for the day's work without having to rely on yourself for motivation day in and day out which can be hard.
Footage of Gabe throwing from the 2016 season.
What was the most difficult part of the past 2 year process? What would you say to another athlete going through the same things you did?
The most difficult part of the two year process would be the down days where you don’t feel like doing anything and the arm seems to be moving in slow motion and the weights are heavier than normal. I think those are the days that everyone needs to see the good days and working through those tougher days makes the fun, easy days more enjoyable
Were there any limiting factors you uncovered during this process that you weren't even aware of before starting?
Tread Athletics does a good job of assessing the athletes and their deficiencies during the intake portion of the program and some things that I was aware of, but not to the extent that we had discovered were my mobility issues, some issues I had in my throwing patterns and inability to block my lead leg correctly.
Give us a short term and a long term goal that you're working towards.
Short term: throw 95.
Long term: get signed, play professional baseball.
Do you have any advice for other athletes who are right where you were 2 years ago?
Trust what you’re doing, buy in and go through each step even if you don’t want to. That way you don’t have to play catch up when you realize it’s more important to work on things you aren’t good at than only doing the things you like.
“It doesn’t make sense to me to not try to throw the ball as hard as you can.”
"Your training is where you get better and the game is where you display what your training has produced." -@GNoyalis
Closing thoughts from the editor:
While most naturally gifted high school players coast by on talent and compete 9 months out of the year with minimal progress year to year, Gabe took the status quo and turned it on its head. If your goal is to be the best player on your team or in your league – you better be training harder and smarter than everyone else you’re competing against. Learn from Gabe’s story. Become a monster. Pour your soul into your training. Max out your body, your mechanics your mobility and everything else that goes into being the best version of yourself.
Not sure where to start? Download our free in-season training guide for a taste, or contact us to chat about our coaching options. If you have any questions for Gabe, who plans to join TreadAthletics as a remote coach this offseason, he can be reached on Twitter: @GNoyalis.
Want to get your hands on the Plyocare balls that Gabe used to prepare for his tryout? They can be purchased directly from here, and you'll save 10% with the code "tread10athletics" on anything in the Driveline Store.