As a young man, Chris Devenski’s father showed him the value of hard work and dedication to becoming a better baseball player.
“It’s unbelievable,” he said earlier this week. “It’s motivation for me.”
Now in his fifth season in professional ball, a lot of ingredients are coming together for the right-hander, who began the Texas League All-Star break 7-1 with a 1.23 ERA, and 55 strikeouts in 66 innings for the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks. For that, he also gives credit to the Hooks pitching coach.
“The start was last year with help from Doug Brocail. Having an open mind. Studying hitters, training the mind, overcoming obstacles, and reading books,” said Devenski.
Brocail, a 15-year major league veteran, gave Devenski a much-needed boost in his development.
“He allows me to be myself,” he said of Brocail.
Devenski, 24, made the big professional jump to Double-A in 2014, and, so far, in his first full season at the level, he’s not rattled.
“The only thing that can hold me back is myself.”
Devenski, a 25th round pick by the Chicago White Sox in 2011, split 2014 between Corpus Christi and High-A Lancaster, in the California League. He finished the season with a combined 4.04 ERA in 16 starts. He also struck out 55 and allowed 16 walks.
For the second time in his career this year, Devenski threw a no-hitter. The first came in 2012 with the Lexington Legends where he threw a complete game allowing just one walk and two hits.
This season, he combined to throw a no-hitter against the Arkansas Travelers with Josh Hader.
When comparing the two experiences he said, “I struck out 16 and learned a lot about myself [in the first]”, but this year’s no-no, “ Was more special because of tougher hitters and a [at] higher level.”
Devenski is deliberate in how he approaches another aspect of his career, exhibiting a strong willingness to connect with young fans. He’s happy to pose for pictures and sign autographs.
“Focus on leaving a legacy and leaving a mark,” he said. “I want to be an inspiration for people.”
You can follow Chris on Twitter @ddddeevvoooo