Devils Prospects: ASU baseball commit rediscovered his love for the game

Caden Vire quit baseball when he was 13 because he feared he "wasn't good enough." Now, he is a Division I baseball prospect

Without a visit to ASU's campus and despite leaving baseball entirely at the age of 13, the No. 1 left-handed pitcher in the state of Washington verbally committed to the Sun Devils on July 11, 2020.

Caden Vire said he never thought he would be good enough to continue collegiately, but with the right coaching, Vire found himself as a Division I baseball prospect.

"I quit baseball for a year because I wasn't good enough or where I wanted to be in terms of skillset," Vire said. "My current coach, Nik Lubisich, helped me get to where I needed to be and figured out what I wanted to do with the game."

Vire played for Premier Baseball Club, but after years of not having proper training and realizing he wasn't where he needed to be, he found Lubisich, president of NW Futures Baseball Academy

"The work I put in to get to where I am right now is something a lot of people don't know about me," Vire said. "My 14U year was not great, I wasn't good at all, but there were always those key components in my game that just needed to be accessed to improve to (get to) where I am now."

Growing up in Vancouver, Washington, Vire considered himself an outlier in most situations because of his size.

At 6-foot-5 and 175 pounds, Vire is not the typical size of a pitcher, but he said it allows him "to come out of nowhere and prove everyone wrong with your skill."

According to Perfect Game, Vire is ranked 363 out of 500 nationally ranked recruits. He also earned the title of Most Valuable Pitcher at the 2020 16U West Elite Championship

His best pitch is his fastball, currently throwing at a high of 89 mph, according to Perfect Game, seven mph faster than the average for the class of 2021. He is in nearly the 90 percentile for all pitchers in the class of 2021. 

Vire said his best secondary pitch is his slider. He credits his height, arm slot and the fact that he's left-handed, for allowing him to strike out hitters at a higher rate. 

"Caden has a lower arm slot that creates a tough angle for hitters to see and also gives his fastball lots of movement," NW Futures teammate and Oregon commit Tommy Brandenburg said. "He gets the most swing and misses from fastballs I've ever seen."

Teammate and catcher Wilson Weber echoed a similar sentiment regarding Vire's arm slot and his skillset on the field. 

"He has a tall frame, which allows his pitches to be thrown with (arm) whip and makes the ball harder to see upon delivery," Weber said. "He also is just a lefty who throws extremely hard every time he's on the field."

Vire was left unnoticed until he participated in the 2020 16U West Elite Tournament in Surprise, Arizona. Following his appearance at the tournament, Vire heard from around seven Pac-12 schools as well as lower Division I programs. 

"I didn't really have any D1 offers until ASU, it was a really fast-paced thing," Vire said. "I had a lot of help from my family and, when I went down to Arizona for the Perfect Game tournament last summer, I really liked (the state)."

The left-hander said he "can't wait to train" with pitching coach Jason Kelly and also hopes to inspire future baseball players to never give up during his time at ASU.

"I hope people remember me by my fierceness and as someone who never gave up, never doubted myself, and as someone who always had confidence," Vire said. "People might think that they are working as hard as you, but, in the end, competing and never giving up will get you to where you want to be."

Reach the reporters and and follow @laurenrachell_ and @o_eisenhauer on Twitter. 

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