Purks: Durant’s Tyler Danish best Hillsborough pitcher ever
This may sound like a crazy thing to say -- considering the tremendous pitching talent to come out of Hillsborough County in the past 90 years -- but it can be said with a good deal of confidence. Here it is: Of all the great county pitchers -- including Dwight Gooden, Vance Lovelace, Rich Monteleone, Kenny Rogers, Danny Graves and Jose Fernandez -- none were better in a single high school season than Durant's Tyler Danish. For starters, Danish did something no other pitcher from Hillsborough County has ever done: He threw more than 90 innings -- 94 to be exact -- without allowing a single earned run. His ERA, in other words, was 0.00.Again: 0.00. The other aforementioned pitchers -- all of whom made it to the Major Leagues -- had extremely low ERAs in high school (Monteleone was sub 1.00), but none were 0.00. Danish is the only one. Here's more to chew on: Danish was 15-1 (he lost 1-0 on an unearned run), struck out 156 hitters and walked only 16. And he did it against great hitting teams, including Plant, Alonso, King, East Lake, Timber Creek and Hialeah American, the latter that came into the Class 8A state semifinal hitting .362 as a team. But against Danish, American was hapless in a 6-0 loss. In seven innings, Danish allowed no runs, one hit (a harmless floater), struck out nine, walked one, had only two balls get out of the infield, and had five balls ticked off full swings come back to him, whereupon he tossed the ball to the first baseman for an out. “We wondered about his 0.00 ERA, but when we saw him, well, he's the real deal,” American coach Ricky Gutierrez said. "My guys had a good idea of what to expect, but (Danish) is a freak. “Phenomenal … Unbelievable.” Moving forward, however, there are questions. Most notably, will Danish's quirky sidearm delivery lead to arm ailments? It's enough of a concern that several scouts at Friday's state semifinal said Danish could drop as low as the fourth round in the upcoming Major League draft -- despite the fact he throws 94 mph fastballs, high 80s sliders, nasty curves and knee-buckling changeups. Danish, who has signed with the University of Florida, but will most likely sign a pro contract if drafted high enough, replies with, “I'm not worrying about that. I'm just going to see what happens and go from there.” But, no matter what happens -- no matter if Danish has a Hall of Fame professional career or one that ends shorter than he anticipates -- he will forever have a county record that no one can ever improve on. That's because there is no such thing as a sub 0.00 ERA. No one will ever do better than that. Ever.