Moxham to Midland, Vauxhall reaches century mark
By: Matt Betts
Getting cut from Team Manitoba may have been just what Brady Moxham (Oakville, Man.) needed.
“After getting cut by Team Manitoba my first tryout I really started pushing my game,” Moxham said when asked about his baseball background.
The fact that Moxham first mentioned failure and how he turned it around into success should tell you exactly what you need to know about what a competitor he is. After working with pitching coach Andy Boehm, Moxham was added to the Team Manitoba prospects series roster. This is when he said everything started to come together.
“That tournament is when (Vauxhall Academy) coach Les McTavish saw me pitch,” Moxham said. “He then asked me to join the team for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons.”
Under McTavish at Vauxhall, Moxham went on to thrive and see his career start to take off. He attended the Tournament 12 at Rogers Centre twice and was recognized coming out of the 2015 offseason by Greg Hamilton (Ottawa, Ont.), Baseball Canada director of national teams.
And now that he’s off to school, he’s the 100th player McTavish, the Jets Academy and all the good folks at Vauxhall have sent to the next level.
Moxham would then travel to the Dominican Republic in the summer and performed well enough there to receive a selection to Team Canada that participated in the 18U World Championships in Japan.
Moxham describes himself as a pitcher who pitches to contact, not racking up a ton of strikeouts but rather trying to get them to hit the ball on the ground and letting his defence work behind him.
“I try to model my game after Roy Halladay,” Moxham explains. “His mound presence was second to none.”
This was clearly something that stood out to Midland College head baseball coach David Coleman as he jumped all over the chance to sign the Canadian. Coach Coleman knows a thing or two about what Canadian players bring to the table as he also coached Jeremie Fagnan (Calgary, Alta.) and Jeremy Filipek (Langley, BC).
After winning JUCO player of the year, Fagnan went on to suit up for the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs who made it to the 2015 College World Series while Filipek graduated to the University of Texas San Antonio Roadrunners. Fagnan also attended Vauxhall and received the Coach’s Award. Moxham is joined at Midland by fellow Canadian Eric Senior (Toronto, Ont.) of the Toronto Mets.
“I picked Midland because it is a great place to play baseball,” Moxham said. “The weather is always awesome (in Texas), the facilities are great and the coaches are really knowledgable. They can really help you get to the level you want to be at. I am looking forward to getting the opportunity to play the game every day and at a very high level.”
Les McTavish (Lethbridge, Alta.), head coach and director of operations for Vauxhall, says Moxham has come a long way in his two years with the program.
“Due to his commitment and dedication in paying attention to details as well as doing all the little things, Brady went from being a low 80’s pitcher with very little confidence to a high 80’s workhorse,” McTavish said. “He was a team leader and a captain.”
McTavish clearly thinks very high of this young man.
“We thank Brady’s parents, Dean and Dawn, for entrusting him to be a part of our program. It was an honour to be a part of his development.” he said.
Moxham clearly should be proud of his accomplishment, but this scholarship was a little bit different.
Not only was Vauxhall able to send another player away on scholarship but he was also No. 100 to earn a scholarship in Vauxhall Academy history. In order for such an academy to exist, it takes a lot of work by people who bring different strengths to the table. McTavish is quick to shift the praise to the work of others when the milestone is mentioned.
“It is certainly not about me personally to have the 100th player earn a scholarship,” McTavish explains. “But it really is exciting for out program as a whole. At Vauxhall we have so many moving parts that support and assist our athletes in their successes. This ranges from our coaches, strength coaches, sports psychologist, our residence manager and our academic staff.
“We can’t forget about Brady’s home province of Manitoba, there are many people there that helped him get to this point.”
Moxham points out the role coach McTavish played in getting him to this point in his career.
“Coach Mac has been one the best coaches I’ve played for. He really knows how to elevate a pitchers game and push them to be the best they can,” Moxham said. “I still keep in touch with him, asking how the team is looking and if I ever need some tips on how to correct something. It means great deal to be the 100th player to earn a scholarship as it is a great accomplishment for the academy.”
He truly enjoyed his time at Vauxhall and believes it is the place to be for players who want to develop their games.
“Vauxhall will always be home to me, living in the dorms with the guys really created strong bonds and friendships that will last a long time. The thing I miss the most about Vauxhall is the atmosphere and the people involved. Between the guys on the team, the coaches, billet families, friends, volunteers and everyone else involved it was just an amazing group of people to be surrounded by,” Moxham said. “If baseball is really something that you love to do and want to have a chance to make it to the pros or play college baseball, Vauxhall is the place to go.”
Sending 100 players on to college baseball truly is amazing for a facility which opened in 2006 and do not expect it to stop there for this growing academy.