after years of wondering if he was good enough for professional baseball, grant wolfram heads into his second spring training knowing he has a job.

last year, he was a member of the class-a hickory crawdads and in the starting rotation for a team that made it to the league championship series. it was the first of his four-year rookie contract.

the pitcher from hamilton is a member of the texas rangers organization and will be battling for a spot within the minor league system.

“it is nice having that comfort,” wolfram said. “i know that i will be starting. that is all i know. i don’t know if i will go back to hickory, or go up to high-a after that year of experience. getting to know the coaches and trainers in the organization and starting to build a relationship is really cool.”

wolfram was 5-3 with a 4.28 earned run average last year. he struck out 73 and allowed 30 walks. the 6-foot-7 lefty's fastball has touched 95 miles per hour, but has regularly been around 93.

“i am just getting back in that routine of every day. my arm feels great. i am excited for the season,” he said. “the biggest thing they want me to work on is trying to stay behind my fastball. i kind of get to the side of it and it doesn’t have 100 percent spin efficiency. they want me to spin it straight up and down. mine is like at 11:15 instead of 12 if it is a clock. trying to really stay in my glutes on the mound, trying to stay on that back hip. i need to use my whole body more and focus on the back-leg drive.”

after a year of minor league experience, wolfram is doing the extra things to put himself in a strong position.

“this year, i have been more prepared. i got after it a little bit more in the weight room, conditioning and from a nutritional standpoint. i cut my body fat percentage down. that is good to see that work pay off. from a recovery standpoints, you just have to not eat things you might have, but aren’t the healthiest,” he said. “being able with all the wear and tear i will be able to recover a lot better. i want to stay healthy the whole year.”

it starts with spring training, and wolfram could have an added bonus of getting to pitch against holland native mike mokma, who is in the los angeles dodgers' organization.

“the rangers facility is 20 minutes from us and we play every team in arizona during spring training, so there is a chance that we could both throw against each other. we know we will see each other once or twice for sure,” mokma said. “we follow what each other is doing. we text back and forth and are trying to hang out out there. it definitely has sunk in. it is unheard of that a small northern town has a group like this. to have three of us doing this together is pretty incredible.”

红包扫雷源码免费下载wolfram agreed and is excited to see mokma whether they pitch against each other or not.

红包扫雷源码免费下载“we could. that would be kind of crazy. two kids from the holland area playing against each other. that is pretty cool to think about,” wolfram said. "it is awesome. it is crazy. even when i was a senior in high school, i never thought i would get drafted. then it is happening. it doesn’t really sink in. now we have three guys from the same town like that. but is not a surprise looking back. we all put in the work together. it is so awesome that it paid off.”

 — contact sports editor dan d'addona at dan.d'addona@wenggw.icu or 616-546-4276. follow him on twitter @dandaddona and facebook @holland sentinel sports.