Ronan “trusts the process” and lands scholarship at Michigan State

mason22018 LHP, Mason Ronan, has accepted a scholarship to play baseball at Michigan State. Ronan admitted, it wasn’t an easy decision. In fact, Ronan, would be the the first to say that nothing came easy for the projectable southpaw. “It’s easy to read these stories about US Elite players committing to these great schools and think that it was easy for them. And maybe for some, it was. But, for me, it’s been a grind. It has not been easy”.

US Elite Director, Mark Helsel agrees. “I have the honor and privilege to be a part of most of the journeys that these players and their families are on, so I am privy to a lot of the internal stuff that goes on. In Mason’s case, I know what a tough road it’s been for both him, and his parents. His story needs to be heard. It’s all about grit, determination and managing failure. There is a process to everything we do and the Ronan’s trusted that process, even when it didn’t seem to make a lot of sense. I have so much respect for Mason, and his parents Scoot and Mandi”.

Ronan has played on Coach LaNeve’s 2018 for the last few years. Initially, he was a two way player, playing outfield and pitching. “I love playing the field, and will continue to do so in high school, but at this level it became obvious that my future was on the mound. Becoming a PO (pitcher only) was an adjustment. It took me awhile to get used to the idea, but Coach LaNeve and Coach Helsel helped me understand what a bright future I could have as a LHP if I focused on that goal. That helped me alot”.

Ronan has a loose, easy arm action that scouts love and a projectable frame (6’2”/185). He has a mid to upper 80’s fastball and a plus curve ball. At times he flashed brilliance and stuff that gets hitters out at a very high level. But, other times getting either of those pitches consistently in the strike zone was a challenge. Helsel says Mason’s outings reminded him a lot of his younger son, Zack. “I spent a fair amount of time talking to Scoot and Mandi about his rough outings. I had the same experience with my son, Zack (Liberty University). He made the same transition from a two-way player to being a PO and there were some outings along the way that were brutal. As a parent, I know how hard it is to watch your son struggle. You feel helpless and you just have to sit there and watch him fight through it. Sometimes negative thoughts creep into your head like maybe he’s just not good enough to play at the next level. It’s hard on the players, but it’s also a hard thing for parents to do”.

Ronan says despite his rough outings, there were many positives along the way. “You can’t do this alone. You have to have a support group around you, helping you through the tough times. I am so blessed to have a supportive family. My mom and dad have been there for me. Coach McCabe has been awesome. He gave me confidence through the many lessons. And, Coach LaNeve and Coach Helsel never stopped believing in me. They understood this journey because they have been through it so many times with other players”. Ronan is also grateful to have supportive teammates. “Our team is family. We all pull for each other. My teammates have been great. It’s a talented group and we have one more year together. We have some big goals”.

Helsel says Ronan is stronger because it’s not been easy for him. “We say it all the time, but the struggles are what make us better. Mason has embraced that concept. He fought through the adversity. He trusted the process. The cool thing is the college coaches saw him fight through it, too, and handle it like a pro. That impressed them alot. His makeup is special. Everyone can see his potential”. Ronan had scholarship offers from the SEC and the ACC, but chose a Big 10 school in the end. “Michigan State did a great job recruiting me. They were very clear that they thought I could be an impact arm up there. My parents and I visited the school and we just loved it. It’s a big time college experience and that is something I wanted. I am thrilled with my decision and couldn’t be happier”.