007 : The Player Experience - Chandler Casey

On this episode of The Player Experience, we are excited to bring on Chandler Casey, a RHP for the Houston Astros. Chandler made his way to the Astros from Lubbock Christian University, and prior to that, Odessa Junior College. In short order, he has captured incredible value for athletes of all ages: “This game is about failures, but it is also how you handle those failures that can make an average player great. Most importantly, have fun because you never know when it might all end.”

Tell us about yourself, your background, and what you currently do.

My name is Chandler Casey, I am from Lubbock, Texas. I went to Frenship High School, then Odessa JUCO for 2 years and then Lubbock Christian University for 2 years before getting drafted by the Houston Astros.

What do you play, where are you currently, and what has that experience been like?

I am a right-handed pitcher in the Houston Astros Organization. This being my first spring training I barely got to have an experience because of COVID19. However, the 3 weeks at Spring Training, was everything I dreamed of and more. Walking the same hallway as my idol, Future Hall of Famer, Justin Verlander, feels nothing less than a dream, I truly wake up everyday loving what I do.

Where have you played, what were those experiences like?

My 2 years at Odessa College is where I was humbled by baseball and I realized I wasn’t as good as I thought I was. JUCO turned me into a “dawg” by making me work harder and becoming a student of the game. Lubbock Christian University taught me to have a stronger mental game which is one of the most important tools I have learned in my career.

Tell us what a typical day in the life looks like during the season?

During Rookie Ball my typical day began at 6am and would end around 5pm and would mostly consist of running, lifting, throwing and playing games, with a couple of meetings on the side.

What does your training look like right now?

Due to COVID19 my workouts are all home-based mostly free weights and conditioning on top of that I stay on a throwing program making sure to keep my arm in shape and healthy.

What are your sports related goals going forward?

My goals have always been the same; to pitch in the MLB.

What are the major hurdles to making those goals reality?

Staying driven, staying healthy and never loosing faith.

What is the best thing about playing baseball for the Houston Astros?

The best thing about playing for the Houston Astros is playing for the Houston Astros, it doesn’t get much better than that.

Over your career, who are some teammates you really enjoyed playing with?

I have been fortunate enough to play with amazing teammates from high school until now. Some have had fantastic careers and got drafted and others who should have. I have friendships that will last forever because of this game and I feel truly blessed for that.

Who or what has inspired you to keep working hard and playing?

I think what inspires me the most is my love for the game. When I pick up that baseball and step on the mound I feel at peace. I work hard everyday so I don’t have to lose that feeling.

Any Classic or funny stories you’d like to share about your player experience?

I will never forget the JUCO days when you would be playing a 20 inning fall game in the middle of no where with a bunch of great dudes and a couple of sack nasties waiting for you on the yellow dog back home. I thought I hated those days but if I could go back right now, there isn’t one thing that I would change.

How can you describe the recruiting process for college?

I can’t describe much. I had one offer to Odessa College when I graduated high school. The head coach of OC, Coach Lay took me out for dinner and i signed that night.

What about the draft process?

The draft process is one of the most stressful things I have been involved in. Most players know that they are going to get drafted and know what round they will be going in. For others like me you haven’t a clue who is going to take you or if you will even get drafted. I sat and watched name after name come on the board until eventually I saw my name. Then 30 minutes later I got a phone call congratulating and welcoming me to the Houston Astros.

What tools or resources do you lean on to further your success?

I lean on the tools and coaching of the Astros to further my success. It is one of the best organizations in all of baseball they know what they are doing and I'm all in to learn.

What is a piece of advice you’d want to pass on to young players coming through the ranks?

That it doesn’t matter where you start only where you finish. Work hard every day for your goals and don’t let anything get in the way, including yourself. Stay humble, because if not, this game will make you. Always stay positive even in the worst of times; you have heard that before, but it is so true. This game is about failures, but it is also how you handle those failures that can make an average player great. Most importantly, have fun because you never know when it might all end.