Every kid growing up playing baseball dreams of one day being a professional baseball player.T.J. Weir was no different.
But the majority of youngsters never see their dream come to fruition. For a long time, Weir believed he was in that group.
After a standout career at Kokomo High School, Weir headed to Ball State to play on scholarship for the Cardinals and get a degree in Financial Planning and Investments.“To be honest with you when I went to school I really didn’t expect to play in the pros, it’s not what I had in mind,” Weir said.
But as his college career progressed, Ball State coaches – including head coach Rich Maloney – began to tell Weir that he had pro potential as a pitcher.
“It was mainly in my junior year they started telling me it could happen,” Weir said. “I was a two-way guy at Ball State at the time and they told me if I focused more on pitching that’s how I would get to the next level.”
Weir played infield as well as being a pitcher through most of his four-year career with the Cardinals. But in his final two years of college he began to focus more and more on his game from the mound.
As a senior, Weir went 8-2 with a 3.61 ERA as a starter for the Cardinals. He had 117 strikeouts against 39 walks and was named all-MAC.
The San Diego Padres liked what they saw out of the player who once believed a pro career was unlikely, making him their 17th round pick in last year’s MLB Amateur Draft.
After an impressive performance in the Arizona Fall League, Weir begins this season with the Fort Wayne TinCaps.
“It’s great to be back in Indiana,” Weir said “I am back in the cold but it is OK.”
Weir is a versatile piece for manager Francisco Morales with his ability to be a starter or reliever. It is unseen what his role will be to begin the season, but the seasoned pitcher – the second-oldest on staff to begin the year – is set to be a valuable asset.
In the Arizona Fall League, Weir pitched in 12 games, including six starts, and accumulated a 2-0 record with a microscopic 0.42 ERA.
Weir hopes his college career helps him continue to adjust to the pro game.
“Being around the game and seeing what can happen in baseball hopefully nothing can surprise me at this point,” Weir said.
Perhaps the only astonishment for Weir will be that he has fulfilled that childhood dream.
“I had a good senior year and it just kind of happened,” Weir said.