Austin Filiere ’18 shines in Cape Cod Baseball League
For MIT students, summer is often a time for that dream internship or a chance to travel abroad. For Austin Filiere ’18 it was an opportunity to match his wits against pitchers from Division I schools in the Cape Cod Baseball League.
The Cape Cod League has grown in prominence in recent years. All-stars Jackie Bradley Jr. and Steven Wright from the current Red Sox team have played in the league recently.
So how challenging was it for the MIT third baseman?
He belted a 3-run homerun in the second pitch he saw.
Filiere graduated from Hamilton High School in Arizona, helping his team win the State Championship in his senior year. In his first year at MIT, he shattered most offensive school records for a rookie including hits, RBIs, homeruns, and runs and was named Division III rookie of the year.
However, making the jump from playing in Division III to facing Division I pitchers had to have been intimidating. So when exactly did Filiere know he fit in the clubhouse with the Harwich Mariners (the team he represented in the Cape Cod League)?
“Hanging around with guys and taking BP [batting practice] with them, I knew I could play with them,”remarked Filiere.
“There are good pitchers in Division III. I would say the difference is in the depth. In the summer you went up against strong pitchers daily,” responded Filiere when asked about the difference in levels of competition he faces during the school year as opposed to the one he faced in the summer.
As for the mentality in the clubhouse, “I think it is a little different,” Filiere said. “Here you spend so much time with schoolwork, whereas in the summer, you spent most of the day on the field. With MIT though, you live and spend so much time with your teammates that toward the end of the season, you want to win a little more,” added Filiere.
During his time with the Mariners he had to deal with defensive shifts that opposing teams would implement. He also transitioned from being a third baseman to a left-fielder and performed consistently at a high level to earn All-League honors.
“I think my biggest takeaway from this summer is that baseball is very hard to play at any level and requires constant adjustments,” observed Filiere.
One gets a very unique insight into how one of MIT’s top sluggers approaches baseball when one hears him talk about his favorite players.
“I have quite a few players that I like. I like Evan Longoria [Tampa Bay Rays 3B]. I really liked the adjustments [Blue Jays’ 3B, Josh] Donaldson made [to his swing] prior to emerging as one of the top sluggers in the American League.”
As a Course 15-2 major, Filiere likes crunching the numbers. While playing this summer he would do his homework scouring through the scouting reports of pitchers he would face. Filiere hopes to work in baseball analytics one day.
More than playing in the major leagues?
“Oh no, I would definitely like to play!” quips Filiere.
Having hit every level of pitching he has faced thus far and holding his steadfast belief in constantly adapting, MIT’s star slugger is not someone to bet against.