A.J. Minter accomplished just about everything at Bullard Brook Hill.
He pitched in two state championship games, won two state titles and signed a baseball scholarship with Texas A&M.
Add one more to the list: Tyler Courier-Times—Telegraph All-East Texas Baseball Team’s Most Valuable Player.
“I had the time of my life at Brook Hill,” said Minter, who came to the school from Whitehouse as a sophomore. “We made it in football, we made it in baseball and I got to be a part of that and it’s something that just blows my mind and something I’ll always remember for the rest of my life.
“Not too many people get to say they were state champs. And just being at Brook Hill taught me so much about baseball and about life.”
Minter, a fireballing lefty, sported a sub-1.00 ERA on the mound while batting north of .450 with a team-leading five home runs at the plate.
What Guard coach Terry Pirtle said set Minter apart this year was his strikeout-to-walk ratio. Minter racked up 119 strikeouts while walking 19 in 59 2-3 innings (6.3 Ks per BB).
Minter said he owes much of his senior-year stats to Accelerate Performance Enhancement Center, where he and a number of Brook Hill pitchers trained.
“I started out throwing 90 (mph) at the end of my junior year and I started throwing 94-95 my senior year,” said Minter, who was drafted in the 38th round of the MLB draft. “I owe it all to APEC. They just really helped me a bunch.”
APEC has a history of success with big league pitchers Josh Tomlin and Philip Humber, who threw MLB’s 21st perfect game.
Minter and the Guard pitching staff received additional MLB experience in the form of pitching coach and former Mariners pitcher Travis Chick.
“He’s helped me out a bunch,” Minter said of Chick, also a Whitehouse native. “He’s taught me how to pitch mentally and physically.”
Next year Minter will play for pitching guru Rob Childress, another East Texan. Minter said he looks forward to learning from the Harmony native and Aggies head coach to improve his changeup and curve ball.
As for Texas A&M, Minter expects big things from his recruiting class, which includes Brook Hill teammate JB Moss, a first-team selection on the All-East Texas team. Minter added that he’s excited to compete in the SEC, which he said is the best baseball conference in America.
After accomplishing just about everything imaginable at the high school level, Minter has his eyes set on the next prize.
“Make it back to Omaha.”