Putting the MLB on hold

“Ask members of the University of Akron’s baseball team to describe pitcher Tom Farmer and you’re likely to hear things along the lines of talented, consistent, hard working, and, surprisingly enough quiet. Farmer has had the kind of career that little leaguers dream of, but don’t let that throw you, it hasn’t been easy for this Berea native.”

Ask members of the University of Akron’s baseball team to describe pitcher Tom Farmer and you’re likely to hear things along the lines of talented, consistent, hard working, and, surprisingly enough quiet.

Farmer has had the kind of career that little leaguers dream of, but don’t let that throw you, it hasn’t been easy for this Berea native.

Farmer, who got interested in baseball because of his dad, sat out his junior year because of a medical injury. He had managed to tear his labrum, which is the padding between the ball and socket of your shoulder.

It started bothering me the end of my sophomore year, Farmer said. He proceeded to have an MRI done at the end of that year.

He then decided to hold off on the surgery to repair his shoulder because he wanted to play in Cape Cod that summer. He likened it to the movie Summer Catch; it is that big of a deal.

I wanted to really go play up there because it’s a good opportunity for me, he said. It gave me a lot of exposure and I knew that if I had the surgery then I wouldn’t be able to go play up there.

Farmer did however have the surgery once he got back from Cape Cod.

After the surgery was then the real work began for him.

I only had about five or six months of rehab but then you normally don’t get back to 100 percent until a year or year and a half later, Farmer said. Right now I am at a year and a half.

According to head coach Pat Bangtson this was an injury that could have cost Farmer his entire career.

The big thing with Tom is he came off almost a career ending injury, Bangtson said. To his credit, in a year and a half he has fought his way back and he has done a good job for us this year.

This past year Farmer was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 20th round (632 pick overall) of the 2007 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft last June.

Something that Farmer said was a highlight of his baseball career.

It felt really good, probably the highlight of my career. I felt really good about myself, not to sound selfish, he said laughingly. I was very honored, I mean it was the best moment of my baseball career. All the hard work growing up, every kids dreams about playing professional baseball and I have been given the opportunity to do it.

However, Farmer gave up his chance at getting in early on the MLB in order to finish his scholastic career at the University of Akron.

I figured I could come back this year, graduate and get a degree, he said. It’s my last year, if I had taken it then I would not have come back to school. And if baseball doesn’t work out then I would have to go and finish up my degree, so I figured I could come back and get my degree.

The soft-spoken pitcher graduates in May, in which he hopes to be drafted again but has plans in case things don’t go according to plan.

Hopefully I will drafted again, if not then I will be back to go to grad school, the international business major said. I’m going to go back to school if I don’t get drafted and finish out my one year of baseball I have left.

He choose international business as his major because he likes the business side of it.

Business is always something that has interested me, the most interesting aspect would probably be the international part, the 6-foot-2 right-handed pitcher said. I mean I love to travel a lot and I am big into numbers and business is big into numbers. It’s something I though would suit me well and so far it has, I love it.

When Farmer is not on the field striking out batters or in the classroom playing with numbers, you could find him bowling, riding bikes or playing video games, more specifically Halo 3 or Call of Duty.

His fellow teammates, Kurt Davidson and Garrett Knoll, both tried to describe their friend the best they could. Davidson said that Farmer had changed since they first met four years ago.

Tom used to be really quiet, he didn’t really come out of his shell until sophomore year, Davidson said.

Where as Knoll choose to explain his fellow pitcher in a slightly different manner.

Tom is a fantastic teammate, he is more of a leader by example, Knoll said. You know, the bulldog without the bite, you could say.

Farmer’s coach gave the best insight into the kind of person Farmer is.

Tom has an incredible amount of talent, Bangtson said of his pitcher. He loves the University of Akron, he loves pitching here. He has had some success and he has had some down time but he’s been fighting through them and he’s come back.


” #1.1361031:4177943643.jpg:TomFarmer.jpg:Tom Farmer was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 20th round of the 2007 MLB draft.:Jeff Harwell / Zips Sports Photography”