“You Can’t Teach Size”
When you first meet Alex Ernestine, it’s the handshake that surprises you first. It must come from being a pitcher and being used to gripping a fastball before launching it at the plate for the Colonels. “Ernie” as he prefers it is definitely Larger than Life.
“I first realized how tall I was around 7 or 8 years old. I was a complete ball, I mean I was round, ” Ernie recalls. He remembers towering over his other classmates in the 2nd and third grade and how sometimes it worked out well for him, being able to help the teacher or not have to stand on his desks for something like other students did. “Around 8th grade I hit a growth spurt of maybe 4 or 5 inches and it really stretched me out, often I looked like I was in the wrong grade due to how tall I was.”
And Ernie is on the right side of the curve when it comes to baseball. For the longest time, there was a believe that the larger the pitcher the worse the mechanics of the pitcher has now been thrown away for the thought that size and strength allow for more power and accuracy. There are now 14 MLB teams with no pitchers under 6 feet, a record for this new generation. Bigger is better the majors are finding out.
“Ernie is a big guy, and when you are able to produce such a larger amount of power at that size than someone smaller it gives you more speed and just a better angle when pitching.” Nicholls outfielder Lee Clark noted.
“I think that just like in football and basketball now where it more focused on who is the best athlete available, it is becoming like that for baseball. Coaches want to recruit big pitchers with strong arms because they feel they can teach them the other stuff, but you can’t teach size.” – Pitcher Christian Suk
As baseball gears up for another season with off-season workouts, Ernie has been sure to use his height to his full advantage. During several of their workouts he is often paired up with or against a smaller player, and the height often makes the drill easy or even unfair to his opponents. “I love it, being able to do things other players cant really can be funny, even just joking around being able to say a person cant reach something is always good fun.”