Fort Worth's Brandon Finnegan remains faithful Horned Frog
Brandon Finnegan enjoyed sleeping in his own bed for a few days when the Cincinnati Reds were in town for a couple of games last week. The former Southwest High School and TCU left-hander makes his full-time home near the Mira Vista Country Club in southwest Fort Worth.
Playing for Schloss was awesome. He’s the type of coach that I am a player, I like to think. He’s really intense. He loves winning. He’s going to do anything he can to make his players succeed.
Brandon Finnegan on TCU coach Jim Schloossnagle
“This is my home. I was pumped to get to stay here the past few days,” said Finnegan who made his 16th start for the Reds on Saturday against the Padres. He was the tough-luck loser after allowing three runs on five hits and three walks over 6 2/3 innings. The loss dropped him to 3-6 despite a 3.83 ERA in 94 innings.
He just missed getting to start against the Rangers at Globe Life Park, a place he’s never pitched.
“It does suck. I definitely wanted to pitch here,” he said. “Only missed it by a day. Hopefully, some time down the road I get to pitch here.”
Few players have a deeper love for his TCU roots than Finnegan. He still wears the same James Avery TCU No. 29 charm he got while still attending Southwest. It’s the same one he was wearing when he pitched for TCU in the 2014 College World Series and again a few months later when he was pitching for the Kansas City Royals in the World Series.
He stays current with TCU baseball, watching the Frogs’ run to their fourth CWS on television and texts with friends, head coach Jim Schlossnagle and pitching coach Kirk Saarloos.
“Every time they’re playing I’m watching it. It was on in here last night,” he said of the Reds’ clubhouse. “I was able to watch the ending. If I can find the channel, it’s on.”
Former TCU players are all over the major and minor leagues, whether it’s reigning Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta or Jantzen Witte, who attended Arlington Martin before TCU and is hitting .276 with Triple A Pawtucket (Red Sox). Finnegan credits TCU and the work ethic Schlossnagle instills in his players.
“Coach Schloss and coach Saarloos kind of built the type of pitcher I am now. Without them I definitely wouldn’t be where I’m at,” he said. “It’s fun watching them do what they do. It’s special. I’m rooting for them.
“Those are a lot of guys who have a lot of heart. They work hard in everything they do. I think TCU had a lot to do with it. It made them better players.”
▪ Utility player Kyle Kubitza (Colleyville Heritage), whom the Rangers acquired in a trade with the Angels last week, went 3 for 6 with two runs, an RBI and stolen base in his first two games for Triple A Round Rock.
▪ Outfielder Tyler Collins (Northwest) went 5 for 12 in a three-game series this week for Triple A Toledo (Tigers).