After four stellar years at Meiklejohn stadium, 2015 Penn graduate and left-handed pitcher Ronnie Glenn was taken in the 22nd round of the Major League Baseball draft. Since then, Glenn has been steadily working his way up the Los Angeles Angels’ minor league ladder; he currently is in his second season with the Single-A Burlington (IA) Bees.
The Daily Pennsylvanian sat down with Glenn to get his thoughts on minor league life, his player development, and the newest crop of 2017 Penn baseball draftees.
This interview has been edited for brevity.
Daily Pennsylvanian: It’s been awhile . Can you give us a quick update on what you’re up to these days?
Ronnie Glenn: I’m back in Burlington, Iowa playing for the Bees again. I’m a reliever this year — I’ve fallen into a long relief role. I really like pitching more often and getting my innings in. I’ve been working on pairing my curveball and my slider, while working those off of my fastball. I’ve also learned a cutter this year.
DP: It sounds like you’re still being stretched out — pitching multiple innings at a time. Is a return to a starter role still a possibility?
RG: I’m not sure what my future holds. I’m just trying to do my best to show that I’m versatile. I’ve been trying to be more efficient with my pitches in order to give the other guys in the bullpen an extra day of rest; I do whatever I can to throw strikes and eat innings and give the team a chance to win.
DP: It seems like when you give up runs, they — some games you’ll throw multiple shutout innings but then you’ll give up multiple runs a few days later. Has improved consistency been a focus of yours?
RG: (Laughing) I’ve kind of noticed that pattern too. The biggest thing is, I find success when I’m getting ahead of hitters. Sometimes when my stuff flattens out and I get behind in counts, I get punished a bit. Even on days when I don’t have my best stuff, I need to try and find a way to keep them off balance and get ahead.
DP: This is your third summer away from home as a professional ballplayer — does that bring difficulties with staying in touch with friends and family?
RG: My fiancee is a nurse, and we’re really blessed that she gets out to see me a couple of times a season. I know a lot of my teammates aren’t able to see their family often, so I’m really fortunate to be able to make time when we can. We try to pray every night, so even if it’s just limited to talking on the phone, we have quality time together.
DP: Have you stayed in contact with your Penn classmates, particularly [2015 graduate and Philadelphia Phillies farmhand] Austin Bossart?
RG: I really try to keep up with the guys from my own class. I know Austin and I have weddings coming up, so we’ll probably have a couple of reunions with the class. Austin and I try to do our best to check in and keep each other positive; he’s always so encouraging with the ups and downs. He’s been a really good friend to go through this with.
DP: Penn had four guys go in this year’s draft, all pitchers. Have you reached out to them with any advice?
RG: That really was phenomenal. I was really close especially with [Detroit Tigers signee] Billy Lescher and [Washington Nationals signee] Jake Cousins. I was following the draft religiously, and was so excited when I heard their names called. It really reflects upon our pitching coach Josh Schwartz and John Yurkow, being able to recruit and develop major league talent the way they do. All four [draftees] are such workhorses, and Austin Bossart and I will be here with any advice. They’ve got a great future ahead of them.
DP: You’ve been at this for three years. What’s the one biggest piece of advice — either on or off the field — that you’d give to one of those guys just starting out?
RG: Enjoy the process; enjoy where you’re at. Don’t look too far ahead — enjoy where you are, enjoy the guys around you, be a good teammate, and just trust the work you put in. You can only control the controllable.
All comments eligible for publication in Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. publications.