It was getting late in the recruiting process and Tyler Pina still didn’t have anything he was “super excited about.”
The soon to be Sobrato High graduate’s goal of playing for a four-year baseball program straight out of high school seemed to be waning.
“I knew something would work out for me, I just didn’t know what,” he said. “So when the offer came to me, I was stoked.”
Things certainly ended up working out for Pina, who in late April signed his letter of intent to play for Division II program Colorado School of Mines. The 6-foot, 190-pound catcher took a visit to the campus April 20-21 and was blown away with the opportunities he would have not just athletically but academically as well.
Colorado School of Mines is tops among public universities in Colorado and known for having strong mechanical engineering and computer science programs.
“I loved what I saw there and knew that was where I wanted to go,” said Pina, who carried a 4.5 GPA and took a total of nine Advanced Placement classes from his sophomore through senior year. “It was definitely a relief for sure having that offer and when they offered. Just knowing I could go to a place I would be pretty happy with was important. I’m a pretty high academic guy and also wanted to major in computer science. It’s a top-tier school for that and a super good engineering school.”
Pina credited college baseball consultant Joe Oliveira—who has a vast resource of contacts—for putting in a good word for Pina to Colorado’s coaching staff and passing along Pina’s highlight videos.
“They’ve never seen me play in person, but they liked what they saw on film,” Pina said. “They liked my offensive game a lot and how my swing looked and the numbers I was able to put up in high school and different showcases. Once I was able to send them additional videos on the defensive part of my game, they liked that as well. But my swing is what drew them initially.”
A four-year varsity player, Pina is close friends with teammate Shane Callison. The two have been tremendous stalwarts in the Sobrato program and depart as some of the best players in program history.
“I’ve played with Shane pretty much my entire baseball career,” Pina said. “We’ve always been hitting the field or gym together, so it’s definitely a good feeling to know all the hard work we put in paid off in the end and that we’ll be able to pursue our dreams of playing college baseball at the same time.”
According to Prep Baseball Report, Pina’s popup time is 2.08-2.22, a 73 velo, 7.63 60 time, 95.4 exit velo, 24.2 hand speed, and 76 bat speed. Those are all above average to excellent marks as he enters the college game.
Sobrato coaches have commended Pina’s defense, presence behind the dish and ability to handle pitchers well. Pina said it took tremendous support from many people in his life to get to this point.
“My parents (Lynne Mobilio and John Pina), without them none of this would be possible,” he said. “They were taking me to tournaments and putting in the work to help me succeed. All the coaches and teams I’ve played for were great, especially coach Pozas who pushed me and worked for us players so we can succeed on the field. It’s something I don’t take for granted.”
Sports editor Emanuel Lee can be reached at [email protected]