After a Twitter endorsement and a shutout season in the Frontier League, the St. Louis Cardinals signed Logan Sawyer to a minor league deal.
Sitting in his hotel room last season as he prepared to take on the Gateway Grizzlies, Logan Sawyer cast his gaze toward the St. Louis Cardinals’ family home. “Wouldn’t it be funny,” he said to himself, “if I’m sitting here playing independent baseball this year, and then next year, I’ll be there?” The now 29-year-old didn’t know how funny it could be.
Born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, Logan Sawyer attended the local DII School in Lincoln. Memorial University. After three years at LMU, Sawyer was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in 2014 in the 29th round of the draft.
What followed, however, was the difficult road that many minor league players have faced. After several seasons in the Colorado system, Sawyer was released. With no path to a major league team, Sawyer turned away in pursuit of professional baseball. Sawyer explained, “I didn’t know about independent baseball at the time, I didn’t have an agent or anything. I didn’t really know what was next.”
Faced with an uncertain path in baseball, Sawyer went back to school and earned his degree. Working out at Cressey Sports Performance in Florida became Sawyer’s way back to the diamond. The workout led to a job as a strength and conditioning coach and, after prompting some from others at the facility, a return to training as a pitcher. “I worked and trained at the same time which was a little stressful. But I knew it would be worth it in the long run,” says Sawyer.
It wasn’t long before Logan Sawyer soon ran into a massive obstacle. During a protracted run for some scouts, Sawyer heard a popping sound – he needed Tommy John surgery. “It was a bit of a shattered dream at the time,” admits Sawyer. However, Sawyer underwent surgery and began his rehabilitation, this time working in his hometown of BC Athletics in Knoxville.
It’s been a long road to recovery. But fast forward to 2019, and Sawyer is back on the mound. “If you look at my numbers, it looks like I didn’t care about it — it wasn’t a very good year,” says Sawyer. “One walk I gave up like five runs and then I had to hit right field because they didn’t have any pitching left.” Sawyer explains that the goal, however, was simply to keep him healthy and enjoy his return to play.
Despite showing some promise, Sawyer’s journey seemed to be drawing to a close—he was cut short during tryouts with the independent Chicago Dogs in 2020. On the eight-hour drive home to Knoxville, Sawyer took some to pray and reflect on what came next. “I thought I was going to let myself have a pity party until I got home. Only two hours into that flight I was already tired of myself.” It was clear to Sawyer that he was not quite done with baseball.
Finally, the tide has begun to turn. For the first time in his career, Sawyer was encouraged to do a featured segment on social media. “They won’t just walk in here and score you!” One of his trainers told Sawyer, “I’m not a huge social media guy — really, I try to stay away from that. But he can be your best friend.”
To assemble a reel, Sawyer had to score a volley. Even with all of Sawyer’s training over the past few years, he was shocked to see the results. Averaging around 90 mph most of his career, Sawyer was suddenly nearing 95. It was a drastic improvement, and organized baseball was taking care.
With a renewed passion for the game and an improved training regimen, Sawyer’s video earned him a place with the Evansville Otters in the Frontier League. Not only did Evansville have a place for him, but Sawyer was given a chance to try something new – the team being closer. “I finished a game when I was with the Rockies,” Sawyer explains. [the general manager of the Otters] Put me down as we get closer. He said I should earn it, which I loved. And I got the job out of spring training.”
After a successful season in 2021, Sawyer returned to the Otters in 2022. But Sawyer knew he wouldn’t take anything for granted “Going into the 2022 season, I had the same mindset. I’m not guaranteeing I’ll get that role back — I had to earn it.” . He didn’t know what would happen next.
In 2022, Logan Sawyer pitched 30 innings, against 104 batters. Of those 104 batters, only 15 have reached base! On his way to 22 saves and a 2-1 record, Sawyer posted an ERA of 0.00. That’s right – he didn’t allow a single earned run all season. On top of it all, he hit 39 while walking only three.
Sawyer admits: “I honestly didn’t know my numbers until All-Star break, because if you’re chasing numbers instead of out, you’re kind of working backwards. If you just out, the numbers take care of themselves.” Recognized as a Frontier League All-Star Team, his path back to the majors is possible once again.
After the season ended, Sawyer and Waters came to an understanding: Sawyer would be released from the team, in order to make it easier for the MLB organization to acquire him. However, despite interest from some teams, no one made an offer to the 29-year-old Sawyer. So Sawyer returns to Knoxville to prepare for what comes next – his wedding was scheduled for early October.
For those who don’t know Pitching Ninja, Just take a look at his Twitter bio– Distinguishes his credentials as a PeacockTV Analyst, MLB Analyst, NESN and CEO of the Flatground App an astounding 421.2k followers. In other words, Rob Friedman — the man behind the account — knows all about promotion.
In addition to in-depth interviews on the art of shooting and breaking down the best pitches in the game, one of the things you’ll find on the Pitching Ninja account is retweets of unknown ballplayers trying to get attention. Basically, Friedman uses his platform to help others achieve their goals. In today’s world of social media, really positive accounts like Pitching Ninja are often found.
But this brings us back to another positive, hard-working person. After his wedding and the conclusion of the World Series, Logan Sawyer resumed his quest to return to the major leagues. It was Sawyer’s wife who urged him to tweet a new highlight reel. “Recently, I had only used Twitter to follow Tennessee football, but I listened to my wife like a good husband, and I put a feature clip together. Then I tag Rob in Pitching Ninja,” Sawyer explained with a laugh. Fortunately, Pitching Ninja has taken notice.
A few days after the Pitching Ninja endorsement, the Evansville Otters closer Evansville Otters had hundreds of thousands of views for his video. “He has a great passion for the game, especially for people who aren’t in the spotlight,” Sawyer explains of Friedman. “He has done so much for me, but for others as well.”
With the endorsement of Pitching Ninja, Sawyer’s life quickly changes. While working an HVAC job in Knoxville, Sawyer began receiving phone calls from MLB teams. “There was a lot of loud noise in the background, and they go ‘Where are you’ and I said, ‘I’m doing HVAC, I’m on the roof right now!'” Sawyer says. The interest grew to more than 20 MLB organizations, 10 independents, and multiple international teams — and it was all largely the result of Sawyer’s Twitter post just a few days earlier.
One of the teams that Sawyer came into contact with was the St. Louis Cardinals. Ultimately, the Cardinals offered Sawyer a minor league deal. After ten minutes of some taking the chance, a decision was reached: Logan Sawyer was a Cardinal.
“They were so excited and energetic about wanting to get to know me first and foremost, and that really stood out,” Sawyer says. “It’s an organization with a high reputation for not only great player development and winning history, but they treat their players like family.”
The Cardinals also seemed more committed to Sawyer than some other teams. “Where I’m at in my career, I want an honest opportunity. I want to be able to go into spring training and maybe not have anything guaranteed, but real people get to see it. It was all about the Cardinals… I don’t know if I’m just giving them what they want to hear.” , but that’s really what I meant… I’m glad I was sitting, because I was impressed [when I got the offer]. ”
Logan Sawyer gets his chance, and the Cardinals get a chance to add to their already strong roster. But the question remained – what prompted Pitching Ninja to upgrade Logan in the first place? How this insane recruitment began, The Pitching Ninja explained was fairly straightforward:
“Logan stuff stood out to me because of its combination of velo, dirty minor tones and drive. Usually one of those is missing but with him I researched everything there. I checked his stats to make sure everything was legit. The stats backed up everything I was seeing. We chatted through Direct messages and I walked out of there thinking the only thing holding him back was his age. I love his hard work and his attitude. It made me even more motivated to help him because I hate it when someone who deserves it doesn’t get their shot. So I made sure to work harder so he could be seen.”
Sometimes, that’s all it takes. It can be hard to keep your business going the right way when times are tough. After many years of effort and training, Logan Sawyer’s hard work and passion has been recognized, and it has paid off in the best way possible.
Sawyer realizes he didn’t get to this position alone: ”My wife is the crux of it all, and you have to remember my dad and my family — they kept me on the straight and narrow. But there are so many people I have to thank, I feel so bad I won’t get everyone there.”
And when I asked Sawyer what advice he might give others, he kept it simple—”You have to be subject to change,” he explained, “because that’s what changed my career.”
Six years after being dumped by the Rockies, Logan Sawyer has returned to Major League Baseball. He’s passed a Tommy John, been cut from auditions, and taken calls on the HVAC rooftop. But a year after staring out his hotel room window as a member of the Evansville Otters, Sawyer rightfully earned a spot as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals organization.
Sawyer’s story is one we can all draw inspiration from – hard work, support from loved ones, and a little self-promotion can make all the difference in making our dreams come true. Oh, and it never hurts to get a ninja endorsement.