Mov­ing on from GPA to ERA

HAR­VARD’S HAV­I­LAND: Late-round find trained with Jeter, Howard

The Province - - Baseball Sports - BY STEVE EWEN SPORTS RE­PORTER

Van­cou­ver Cana­di­ans hurler Shawn Hav­i­land some­times runs with the rich and fa­mous. He’ll lift weights and stretch with them, too. Dur­ing his three-week exam break at Har­vard last win­ter, Hav­i­land went to Florida to work out. He even­tu­ally ca­joled renowned per­sonal trainer Ja­son Ri­ley into adding him to a group.

Hav­i­land’s bench press bud­dies there? Big­time big lea­guers like Derek Jeter, Ryan Howard, Car­los Quentin and Ryan Zim­mer­man.

“My dad and I fi­na­gled my way in there, and it was awe­some,” says Hav­i­land, 22, a righthander from Farm­ing­ton, Conn. “I had break­fast, lunch and din­ner with them, and hung out with them some in be­tween [work­outs]. They were all awe­some guys.

“The coolest part is that Jeter came up to me on the first day and said, ‘Hi, my name is Derek.’ I had to laugh, be­cause he’s been my favourite player since I was 10 years old.”

Hav­i­land had taken part in the Cape Cod League, a sum­mer cir­cuit for the best univer­sity play­ers.

He had helped Har­vard qual­ify for the Col­lege World Se­ries in 2005.

Th­ese work­outs were a whole new strato­sphere, though.

Jeter’s one of the best short­stops of this gen­er­a­tion, and, go­ing into Wed­nes­day, Howard and Quentin topped the Na­tional and Amer­i­can Leagues in home runs.

“That was the best part of it — those guys were go­ing real hard ev­ery sin­gle day,” says Hav­i­land, who checks in at 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds.

“You re­al­ized that they didn’t just get there on tal­ent, but they worked hard, too. To see Derek Jeter run­ning un­til he al­most throws up is some­thing.

“To see them go as hard as they did six days a week shows the ded­i­ca­tion and how much they love the game.”

Hav­i­land is ob­vi­ously smit­ten with di­a­mond life him­self. His de­gree in gov­ern­ment from Har­vard could make him more cash than he’s pulling in af­ter go­ing in the 33rd round of this year’s ma­jor league draft to the Oak­land Ath­let­ics, the C’s par­ent club.

He was an honourable men­tion All-Ivy al­ls­tar af­ter putting up a 7-1 record and a 3.10 earned run av­er­age in 14 games in 2005. In part be­cause of in­juries, his num­bers tailed off his fi­nal three sea­sons, in­clud­ing a 2-6 record with a 5.46 ERA in 13 games this year.

Oak­land, whose as­sis­tant gen­eral man­ager, David Forst, is a Har­vard grad, wasn’t de­terred. And, early on at least, it looks like they have a find. Hav­i­land has used a fast­ball in the 90mile-per-hour range with a curve­ball and a split­ter to go 1-1, with a 1.78 ERA, through 11 ap­pear­ances.

Keep in mind that Oak­land’s fi­nal pick was in the 50th round and, right now at least, Hav­i­land is the latest player se­lected this year they signed to a con­tract.

“There’s maybe more pres­sure, be­cause you have to per­form right away since they haven’t in­vested all this money into you,” says Hav­i­land, whose sign­ing bonus has never been an­nounced. “On the other hand, there’smay­be­less­pres­sure­be­causeyou’renot go­ing to get thrown out there over your head, like they might if they had all this money com­mit­ted to you.”


Van­cou­ver Cana­di­ans pitcher Shawn Hav­i­land shows the stuff that’s baf­fled North­west League hit­ters this sea­son. He’s sport­ing a mi­nus­cule 1.78 earned run av­er­age in 11 ap­pear­ances.

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