Oregon State Coach Mitch Canham Joins Baseball America College Podcast
On this edition of the Baseball America College Podcast, Teddy Cahill and Joe Healy are joined by Oregon State coach Mitch Canham.
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Recently, Canham celebrated one year at the helm of his alma mater. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, it was a unique year to be a first-year head coach. In the episode, Canham talks about his first season as head coach and what it meant to him to return to Corvallis in this role.
The Beavers were still a work in progress on the field and ended the season 5-9, but one early bright spot was diminutive lefthander Christian Chamberlain, who quickly emerged as a staff ace they could count on. Chamberlain parlayed that success into being drafted in the fourth round by the Royals last month. In the audio, Canham is effusive in his praise for Chamberlain and describes the type of player that the Royals are getting.
One of the biggest reasons for optimism about Oregon State heading into the 2021 season is the healthy return of righthander Kevin Abel, who hasn't pitched in an OSU uniform since early in the 2019 season and is most remembered for leading the Beavers to a national title in 2018 with a standout start against Arkansas in game 3 of the College World Series finals.
Under normal circumstances, even amidst a comeback from injury, Abel would have been drafted and his time in Corvallis would have come to an end. But these have been anything but normal circumstances, and a five-round draft coupled with Abel being unable to throw in front of evaluators torpedoed his chances of being selected.
The upshot of that is that Abel will be back in an Oregon State uniform in 2021, ready to take over for Chamberlain at the front of the rotation. In the episode, Canham talks about Abel's return and what makes the righthander a special player.