Persistence Propels Palm to Minnesota Twins

The clock was ticking for right-handed pitcher Tyler Palm as his options for playing baseball began to run thin. It had nothing to do with his age, rather the timing of an injury and hopes to one day pitch at full health again. The West Branch, MI native, had connections that would land him on the Eastside Diamond Hoppers in the United Shore Professional Baseball League, but it would come at a cost.

Palm joined the Hoppers as a ‘developmental’ pitcher. The USPBL grants each of its four teams one developmental player, which otherwise have a few standout characteristics.

  • The player is set aside from the active roster and is the collegiate equivalent of a red-shirt.
  • A player still gets repetitions without risking failures from in-game situations.
  • The player still gets paid.
  • Once a team feels the player is ready for games, he is placed on active roster.
 
Tyler Palm warmups up during the 2017 USPBL Senior Showcase
 

Tyler Palm was placed in this position due to the shoulder impingement he endured at Oakland University, but he credits it as the reason for still being able to pick up a baseball.

“If I didn’t have this developmental spot, I don’t think I’d be playing baseball anymore. You have to look at the big picture and see OK, I’m a developmental guy I’m not going to get better in one week, I have to grind it out for at least a month to see a lot of improvements,” said Palm.

That’s where DVS came in, and the 6’8” right-hander had to step back, or in this case step-off, and become a student of the game.

DVS Founder Justin Orenduff recognized his potential immediately and was willing to help him enhance his game to the next level.

He lacked consistency on the mound and knew whatever adjustments were offered his way, he would make them. He then began to discover to trust the adjustments.

“It started out that my lower half was very slow towards the plate, I was very static and using a lot of my arm.  Whereas when I started implementing everything I was starting to move down the mound faster, almost driving or falling down the mound faster.”

He spent much of his debut season working on his lower half and had a magnitude in arm health and efficiency. His arm path began to open up and a wider range of motion allowed for an increase in velocity. He started seeing glimpses of success on the mound and more comfort but there was still the desire to get better.

He wondered what he could work in the following off-season, to which DVS appointed him to target lower body mechanics. He had a straight down and around release, but after altering his positioning on the mound and with the arm-path becoming more of a big ‘C’, he started finding consistency.

 Tyler working in the off-season to continue implement improved lower body mechanics and the big "C".

Tyler working in the off-season to continue implement improved lower body mechanics and the big "C".

Palm as a student of the game is as disciplined as they come. At times, he learned through merely watching his teammates and picking up on what Orenduff intended to establish in their motions. 

“I went out of my way a lot to pick his brain and just even listening to him talk to other kids, it may not sink in your head right away, but if you listen to him talk to someone else, you might say ‘oh it all makes sense now.’”

His observatory skills in the bullpen would simulate his performance on the mound, having success in all parts. His fastball, ranging from 86-90 m.p.h. in 2017, started reaching 90-93 that coming year. He won the attention of scouts, and with his physical build and reconditioned mechanics, it was only a matter of time.

 
 Tyler Palm USPBL velocity and strike percentage progression for every game pitched in USPBL career.

Tyler Palm USPBL velocity and strike percentage progression for every game pitched in USPBL career.

 

His road to recovery was about complete when Justin Orenduff received a phone call from the Minnesota Twins expressing their interest in Palm. Orenduff delivered him the compelling news as he came off the field one last time in the USPBL. The Twins signed Tyler Palm to the Elizabethtown Twins (Short-A affiliate) in Tennessee.

Tyler Palm’s path was not an easy one to the next level. He had to overcome probabilities, doubts all while trying to recover from an injury; most stuff people don’t see when someone is on the mound. His road to recovery was done diligently and with much patience, he trusted in a process, and it delivered.

 
 

This is an example of a success story that is possible for any who are willing to put forth the effort. The testimonies are real, and the means it takes to recover are too. It was a successful case for Palm that DVS met him where he was at in his career because what the injury and thin playing options were telling him was this testimony is finished. 

-Tyler Curran