When I think about some of the greatest athletes from Paterson New Jersey, the names that come to mind are the great Tim Thomas who starred at Paterson Catholic before having a 12 year NBA career, Victor Cruz who won a Super Bowl in 2011 with the New York Giants and Kendall Holt WBO boxing champion. Just 16 years old, Nazier Mule is primed to be the next great athlete out of Paterson.
According to Youthpitching.com the average pitch velocity for a 14 year old baseball player is 70 MPH. Nazier Mule first hit 90 MPH on the speed gun two weeks after his fourteenth birthday. Currently as a 16 year old, his fastest pitch topped out at 97 MPH. The average MLB pitch is about 93 MPH. The crazy part is that he started high school a year early so technically he is playing a whole year up. Nazier is way ahead of the pack and truly is a Phenom.
I spoke with the talented prospect to get a better understanding about his journey and overall career goals.
Last month on February 7th Nazier committed to play college baseball for the University of Miami Hurricanes. He talked about what some of the factors were in his decision to choose Miami. “The coaching staff and the brotherhood… I spoke with all three coaches over at Miami and they handled themselves really well. The coaches let me know that they don’t just care about their kids as baseball players but as humans. I really like that they care more about the person then just the ability.”
Baseball is one of the few sports where high school student athletes can get drafted essentially after senior year. Nazier spoke on how locked in he is to playing college baseball. “I think college is what I want to do because something could always go wrong God forbid. You need to have a backup plan for baseball. I would like to attend college and get my degree because you can’t play baseball forever.”
“After you are done with baseball you have to have something to do, you can’t just sit at home doing nothing. I plan on getting my diploma from the University from Miami, I think that is the route I would take. I can’t ensure that’s what I’m going to do, but I think it all depends on where you get drafted and signing bonus, but that is something I will worry about when the time comes. As of now I’m just focused on getting an education.”
Nazier play’s shortstop for the Passaic County Technical Institute (PCTI) Bulldogs but of course with such a dominant arm, he also pitches. He does not prefer one over the other stating “I practice both equally, I work on both every day, and plan on doing both for as long as I can. When I committed to Miami it was as a two-way guy both short stop and as a pitcher.
Although he did not get to play high school baseball last season at PCTI due to Covid, he was able to stay game ready playing travel baseball during the summer and fall for PS2 Academy in Wayne New Jersey where he trains at. “The coaches over there [at PS2 Academy] are great, the staff is great, and they really helped develop my game and I have become a better player. A lot of my high school friends play for that team as well so we get to have that chemistry and build a better bond.”
He also played basketball as well at PCTI freshman and sophomore year, but that was “just to stay in shape and have fun.” as he put it. Later adding “Now that I’m getting closer to college and the draft, I can’t risk injury so my Junior and Senior year I won’t be playing basketball.”
Living in Paterson can be tough at times due to people getting caught up in the streets and doing the wrong thing but Nazier described it as a “blessing.”
”Growing up in Paterson was a blessing because I was thankful enough that my parents worked hard enough to put me in the nice part of Paterson. Not all of Paterson has the best people around or people with the best intentions so I was thankful for my parents to put me in the good part of Paterson… My family always taught me to stay away from the wrong crowd. I didn’t really leave the house too much unless it was for baseball because I did not want to get caught up in the wrong crowd.”
The stand out shortstop/pitcher is looking to bring the heat for this upcoming season which starts in about a month. “The only goal I have as of right now is to reach 100 MPH, but once I hit that goal I don’t want to stop, there is always a new goal to achieve,” he said.
His overall goals in his career are to be the best version of himself.
“I just want to be the best version of myself. Whatever happens happens it’s obviously a dream and a goal to make it as a professional baseball player but I just want to be the best version of myself and hopefully that will be good enough for these coaches and I’ll be able to make my dreams come true.”
Finally Nazier elaborated on what he needs to improve on in his game. “There’s always something to improve. I can always throw harder and get more hits. You should never be satisfied with where you are and you should always want to do better in every aspect as you can.”