KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Christian Academy of Knoxville alumnus Spencer Strider was named National League Rookie of the Month for July after striking out 41 batters in 2 innings pitched for the Atlanta Braves.
CAK head baseball coach Tommy Pharr sat down with Madison Hock to reflect on Strider's recent success in Major League Baseball.
"To think he would be pitching for the Braves right now, it's kind of a crazy thing," Tommy Pharr said about Strider.
Spencer Strider is not only pitching for the Braves right now, he's in the running for Major League Baseball's Rookie of the Year.
"He doesn't try to be somebody else," Pharr said about Strider. "He's not a limelight guy. He's a worker, a grinder. He just has the 'it.' Whatever 'it' is, I don't know how to describe it but he just has that 'it' factor.
That 'it' factor has the Atlanta Braves relying on Spencer Strider every five games. In his first full season in the major leagues, Strider is averaging one and a half strikeouts per inning with a 3.11 earn run average. Strider has struck out 138 batters in 89 innings pitched. On August 2, he struck out a career-high 13 batters, on the same day he was named the National League's Rookie of the Month.
Before Strider was a household name, known for this legendary mustache, he was pitching for the CAK Warriors.
He led CAK to the Class 2A state championship in 2017, finishing the season with a 13 and 0 record. The same year, Strider was named Tennessee Gatorade Player of the Year, becoming the first player from CAK to win the award.
Now as he's gained recognition on the mound with the defending world series champions, his former high school head coach, Tommy Pharr wants everyone to know, that Strider's most valuable asset is who is off the field and the way he represents the Christian Academy of Knoxville.
"That's a dream," Pharr said. "To see him get to fulfill that dream, it's pretty cool."