Some say “stuff” when referring to a pitch is difficult to define. It’s one of those things you can say that you know it when you see it.
One definition is that “stuff is a pitcher’s pitches, judged by how inherently hard those pitchers are to hit.”
Another describes it like this:
“Stuff refers to how good a pitch is at being the pitch it’s supposed to be.”
Both of those will work when describing Will Hathcote. The big senior right-hander of the Bryant Hornets has good “stuff.”
And, this fall, he’ll be taking it to Three Rivers Community College in Poplar Bluff, Mo. A signing ceremony for him and teammate Aiden Adams was held at Bryant High School Field on Wednesday. He is the son of Wes and Nicole Hathcote.
“Will is a guy that, from the moment he walked into the program — he had confidence in himself,” said Hornets head coach Travis Queck. “Not necessarily that we didn’t. But he was a freshman, and you would think, as a freshman, he’d have some hiccups along the way. But even when he had hiccups, he got himself out of situations. He had a knack, being a true competitor, a guy that, after the first part of last year, was our ace last year.”
Of course, last season for the Bryant Hornets was over after five games due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“This year, he’s definitely a piece to the puzzle that we’ve got to find to reach the level we want to get to,” said Queck, who has a strong staff. “We have arms and he’s definitely one of the guys we’re counting on.”
Hathcote has a strong summer and started this season well, winning twice and allowing only two earned runs in his first nine innings.
“Will just has some nasty movement, to the point almost that it moves so much that it moves out of the zone,” Queck related. “It freezes the hitter, but it drops so much that it’s not a strike. They’re swing and miss pitches.”
In his arsenal, Hathcote throws a sinker, a cutter, a curve and a change along with his fastball.
“And every one of them have a tremendous amount of movement on it,” Queck asserted.
“Will’s out pitch in the past has been his little slider,” he noted. “He feels pretty confident in it. It has a tremendous amount of break. When he can tunnel all three pitches, he’s filthy. It’s unhittable at times.
“We always talk, as a program, just missing barrels. Get them to miss-hit barrels, get them to put it in play and let our defense work. And Will has drawn a lot of that weak contact.
“He’s worked hard for it,” the coach concluded. “His fastball’s up to 87, 88 (miles per hour) and the guy’s young and strong. The sky’s the limit for him.”