The 3rd Man In

Lake Bachar adjusting to pro baseball


Lake Bachar’s journey to professional baseball is unlike most players. After spending his freshman year at Division III UW-Whitewater as a kicker on the football team, Bachar had an urge to play baseball again. Instead of giving up football, he decided to play both sports for the Warhawks.

A two-sport college athlete, Bachar instantly excelled on the baseball field during his first season as a pitcher for UW-Whitewater in 2015. He continued to perform at an elite level during the summer in the Northwoods League and then with the Warhawks in 2016.

His performance, along with his four-pitch mix featuring a mid-90s fastball and promising curveball, put Bachar on professional scouts’ radar.

Projected to get drafted in the top 10 rounds of the 2016 MLB First-Year Player Draft, the San Diego Padres selected the right-hander with the 144th overall pick (fifth round).

In his first professional season, Bachar pitched in 15 games (5 starts) between Rookie, Class A and Class A-Advanced, posting a 3.19 ERA with 41 strikeouts and just seven walks in 36 2/3 innings.

Coming from a D3 school, Bachar believes his transition to pro baseball was easier than expected, he said.

“It is kind of crazy,” Bachar said of his journey to pro baseball. “I came in, took a year off, was really raw, didn’t know what my limbs were doing, and I was all over the place. My coach at Whitewater was teaching me a bunch of things.

“Then going onto a pro level and having Mark Prior work with me on things was kind of crazy. That’s all within two years of me starting to play baseball. It was kind of crazy trying to adjust to everything.”

An Illinois native, Bachar grew up a Chicago Cubs fan. Receiving pitching advice from former Cubs hurler Mark Prior, who is now the Padres minor league pitching coordinator, has not only been helpful, but a fantastic experience.

“It is a little weird, but crazy to think about that,” Bachar said of Prior. “It is kind of cool. I love having someone who played for your team that you grew up watching and now you can just talk to them and pick their brain on something. It’s cool.”

Viewed by the Padres as a starting pitcher long-term, Bachar plans on dedicating the offseason to getting stronger in the weight room and fine-tuning his mechanics, as he follows the Padres’ throwing program.

After making it to Class A-Advanced, Bachar is hoping to have another successful season, while inching closer towards the big leagues in 2017.

“I just want to move up levels as much as I can,” Bachar said. “I really want to go out there and compete, and show that I can do a full 100-something games and still compete every single day. That is my goal – every time go out there and compete and to do my best.

“Not wrap my head around failing because it happens to everyone and it happens a lot. Staying mentally strong throughout the whole year, staying physically strong and just competing every single day.”

Read my previous feature articles on Lake Bachar here:

Read my prospect and MLB Draft coverage here.

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