Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2008 | 6:05 p.m.
College of Southern Nevada pitcher Chase Bradford has a lot on his plate for 2009.
In addition to his sophomore year with the Coyotes, where he'll be expected to be a key figure in their rotation, Bradford will spend the summer with the Gastonia Grizzlies of the Coastal Plain League before heading to Central Florida University. The wood bat summer league, based in the southeastern United States, helps college players stay in shape during the offseason.
"The main thing the Grizzlies can give me are more innings and the opportunity to face Division-I players," said Bradford, a Silverado graduate. "When I get to Central Florida I'm going to be facing guys like that every day. I want to show up ready to go and ready to pitch to anyone."
Last season with CSN, the reliever went 3-1 with two saves and a 3.68 earned run average while collecting 20 strikeouts. Coyotes coach Tim Chambers said Bradford is in consideration for a spot in the rotation this spring.
"Chase has a lot of good things going for him, but his best attribute is his ability to locate his fastball when he gets going," Chambers said. "Chase went through a structural change this past year — he grew quite a bit — so his velocity went up. Once he logs some more innings, I think he can become a go-to guy."
Bradford will have some familiar company in Gastonia, N.C., as CSN assistant coach Cooper Fouts will work with the Grizzlies as an assistant coach. Bradford said having Fouts by his side will be a benefit.
"For a guy like Chase, I think the level of competition will give him a better understanding of what they're going to expect from him at Central Florida," Fouts said.
Bradford hopes to continue his progression this spring.
"I'm excited for this coming season but it's hard not to think about what I have coming up," Bradford said. "I'm just trying to improve and keep adapting."
Jared Harmon can be reached at 990-8922 or [email protected].