On this episode of The Player Experience, we are incredibly excited to introduce Tyler Day, a former Major League Baseball draft pick and pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays. Tyler expands on what a day in the life looks like for a professional athlete and gives insight on what it takes to get there. Read up and give Tyler a follow on social media @tyler2day
Tell us about yourself and your background
I played at Blinn College from 2012-14. Went to Stephen F. Austin for the 14-15 school year and ended up transferring to Colorado Mesa University after that season. I finished up my schooling and last collegiate season in 2017. I was then drafted in the 19th round by the Tampa Bay Rays. I battled a couple injuries and was released in 2019.
Why did you choose to play baseball?
I chose baseball because I fell in love with it at a young age. I stuck with it and never wanted to play anything else really. I played golf in high school as well but baseball was my true love and passion.
What did your training look like?
My training in the off season consisted of lifting 4-5 days a week. We wouldn’t really start throwing until about a month and a half- 2 months from the start of spring training. Conditioning consisted of sprints and agility drills rather than long distance running.
Tell us what a typical day in the life looks like as a professional pitcher?
Typical day in the life when I was playing for the Rays was very similar every day. We would usually get to the field at around 1. Pitchers would go out on the field and stretch and go through their throwing progression, usually ending with hat drill (flat grounds) or possibly a side session (short bullpen). As a reliever I never really threw bullpens. After that we would go through PFP’s and then condition. About 1-2 times a week we would do team defense with everyone. And then of course end with shagging and then if you had a lift you would get that in. Then it would be game time.
How can you describe the recruiting process for college ball?
The recruiting process in college can be frustrating. Coaches will tell you everything you want to hear, regardless the level you are pursuing. You have to go with the school that wants you most, and the school and town have to be a place you are wanting to spend those next couple of years. If you don’t think you would like to live there when you visit, chances are you will hate it if you actually go there.
What about the MLB Draft process?
The process of being drafted is much different, at least in my case. They have to get to know you and make sure you are a sane person so they spend a lot of time having you answer questions that can be ridiculous and have absolutely nothing to do with baseball. That is the main part of the process and they will follow up with you through out the season. The draft is super stressful, all you can do is sit there and wait and hope that a team will way your name.
What tools and resources did you lean on while playing pro ball?
The tools and resources I used while playing professionally were other players. You are playing with some of the best players in the world and they have tons of experience, like you. Everyone is still a student of the game and an extra set of eyes and their knowledge can be just as helpful as the coaches around you.
What advice do you want to pass on to younger players in High School or College?
My piece of advice to any young player coming up right now would be to pay no attention to the people around them. If you are comparing yourself to other players in your area, you will only be setting your goals to be a good player in that area. The people who compete against themselves and try and be better than they were the day before will be great. If you push yourself to your max every day, the sky is the limit. Respect the game, take care of your body, and know struggle is a part of it. But it is very worth it in the end.
Tyler currently resides in Grand Junction, CO