A Season Preview of Albany Pitcher Kyle Menaker
An in depth look at the Great Danes relief pitcher.
Redshirt freshman, Kyle Menaker, along with many collegiate players across the nation did not get the proper chance to showcase their talents this past spring but, Menaker is locked in and ready to go for the Great Danes 2021 campaign.
Last season, the Hebrew Hammer made two relief appearances, one against Arizona and one against Maryland Eastern Shore. The 2020 season was going to be a special one for Menaker because, in his senior year of high school he had hip surgery and was not able to play his senior season of baseball. Heading into his freshman year of college, Menaker had not played competitive baseball since his junior season as an Enfield Eagle.
In his two games played he pitched 2.1 innings and had a 4.5 ERA. While his numbers weren’t off the chart he, like many college athletes, fell victim to the shortened season.
For the summer season, Menaker came back to the Nutmeg State and played in Hard Hittin’ New Britain for the New Britain Bees in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League of New England. He had a solid season for the Bees posting a 1-2 record as a reliever and had a 5.3 ERA with 24 strike outs.
His biggest moment came in the Bee Hive against Brockton when he entered the game with bases loaded and retired the side to keep the game scoreless in the 8th inning. The Bees would go onto win that game 1-0 off of an Andrew Cain walk off hit. His efforts in a big time moment gave him the opportunity to show off his composure and talent.
Now, going into this season Menaker feels great about the upcoming season and playing for the Bees gave him a boost to play in his first real season since 2018. He said “Physically I am stronger than ever and am ready to take on any role that is presented to me whether that is closing games or coming in long relief. Having all the time away from the team and last season getting cut short, I am hungrier than ever to make an impact on this years team. Playing for the Bees gave me the opportunity to gain some experience in the bullpen and figure out who I am as a pitcher after not being out on the mound for 2 years due to injury, but this year I am ready to hopefully take a big step in my development.”
Being close with Menaker, I have seen his offseason development and work ethic in full force and how juiced up he is to play with his teammates at Albany. Menaker has a really great feeling about this season, not just for himself but, for the Great Danes.
When asked about how he feels about the Danes he said this, “Pitching and defense will definitely be the teams strong points. We will have some tough obstacles at the beginning of our season because our bubble came down with the snow. We will be doing all of our prep work in the rec gym including live at bats, ground balls and hitting. The team this year has a chance to do something special with our deep and young pitching, strong defense and our veteran lineup.”
I love seeing CT natives play at a high level and represent the 860 especially, Enfield High alumni. Menaker was recently ranked the 9th overall draft prospect out of the American East Conference so, this will be a pivotal season for him but, he will step up to the challenge and prove why he’s playing at the level he is.