PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Hunter Schryver enjoyed a fine career as the ace of the staff at Villanova University.
His junior and senior season were his best as he fashioned a 2.55 ERA while striking out more than a batter an inning. In 73 2/3 innings as a senior, Schryver did not allow a home run. He was a first-team All-Big East selection in each of his last two seasons with the Wildcats.
The Tampa Bay Rays took notice of his success and back in June they drafted the left-hander in the 7th round. Schryver, a native of Mechanicsburg, is spending his first pro season with the Single-A Short Season Hudson Valley Renegades.
“Honestly, right now, it doesn’t feel too different,” Schryver tells KYW Newsradio about his transition to pro ball. “It kind of just feels like a college summer ball league. I’m with a host family in New York, kind of close to home, playing with all new people. I think it’s really going to set in after the season when I’m not going back to Villanova for classes and I’m just a normal working adult.”
While the 22-year-old Schryver was a starter in college, so far with Hudson Valley he has worked out of the bullpen and as of late he has been the closer for the Renegades. In nine appearances with Hudson Valley, he has a 4.50 ERA and two saves. In 16 innings of work, he has struck out 15 batters while walking just one. He talks about adjusting to life as a reliever.
“At Villanova, I was a starter, so I would throw once a week and then have a full routine those other six days,” he says. “Being in the bullpen, I throw (in a game) maybe two, three times a week and then I’m just throwing every day in between. So that’s a little adjustment knowing that I have to be ready to go into a game multiple times a week for shorter stints. But I’m enjoying it and I’m getting my innings in, which is all I can ask for. Then the adrenalin rush you get as the closer is pretty cool.”
Schryver says his time on the Main Line really prepared him for life as a pro.
“Being a starter for most of my four years there,” Schryver says, “I saw a lot of good competition every single weekend. These guys here are definitely better hitters all-around, they’re here for a reason. I just trust my stuff when I get out there and just go right after them and attack them.”
Schryver and Hudson Valley visit Staten Island on Monday night.