Steamboat Springs Agnasty. The word comes from Alan Capistron’s nickname, “The Big Agnes,” and defines his split-finger fastball.
While the people at Webster’s try to catch up, Capistron has been using the pitch, along with others in his arsenal, to put together two successful years at Paradise Valley Community College.
That’s not to say his transition to college baseball was smooth. He faced players for whom getting on the diamond was a daily routine — a sharp change for Capistron, who came from a Steamboat Springs High School team that saw a diamond about as much as a man with a phobia of jewelry stores.
Capistron said he was “definitely a little wide eyed” after arriving at the college and said things at Paradise Valley were “a lot different than Colorado baseball. ... A lot better players and just a whole other level.”
Thanks to learning to appreciate his field time and squeeze every ounce of productivity out of indoor workouts, it was a level in which the 20-year-old right-hander excelled.
Capistron credits his focus as key to his success playing college ball.
“My understanding of the mental part of the game ... if you can control your thoughts, you’ll play better,” he said about what separates him from other players.
After his two impressive years in one of the top junior college conferences in the nation, Capistron had to decide which school would benefit from his 89 mph heat for his junior and senior seasons. He received offers from the University of North Dakota, Indiana University-Purdue, University Fort Wayne, Colorado Mesa University and the University of Northern Colorado.
In the end, Capistron decided to take his talents to Bemidji State University in Minneapolis. The Division II baseball team tied the mark for second-most wins in program history last season at 25-22 and graduates seven pitchers in their rotation this year.
“I’m excited to have a clean slate, a change of scenery and get some new motivation,” Capistron said.
It’s motivation he’s going to need, especially to fulfill his goal of continuing to play baseball after college.
Coming out of high school, Capistron had contact with the Houston Astros, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, Seattle Mariners and Atlanta Braves. He said he still is talking with the Cubs and Braves.
“Wherever I go, my goal is to play as long as I can,” Capistron said.
Jake Miller, a 2012 graduate of Steamboat Springs High School, is working as a summer intern for the Steamboat Pilot & Today. He recently completed his freshman year at Nebraska Wesleyan University.