Fear of failure almost kept Brock Maxwell from ever setting foot on a high school baseball field. Now he’s the one frightening opposing pitchers.
Forsyth County’s varsity baseball coaches voted Maxwell, a rising senior outfielder/pitcher at Lambert High, the Forsyth County Player of the Year following a season in which hit .461 with a .587 on base percentage, four home runs and 22 RBIs. He could have just as easily been chosen Pitcher of the Year, after going 10-2 with a 2.24 ERA and 78 strikeouts in his first season as a starter.
"Brock is the most dedicated athlete I have ever been around," Lambert coach Jamie Corr said.
"From the time he wakes up until he goes to sleep at night, everything he does is devoted to his academic and athletic future. He is a great role model for all of our younger players."
Maxwell has occupied the No. 3 spot in the Longhorns’ batting order since his freshman season and earned Forsyth County Co-Player of the Year honors in 2011 as a sophomore.
But Maxwell admits that, if he’d had it his way initially, he might have never known how good he could be.
After spending two years away from baseball in middle school, it took an ultimatum from his father, Lambert football coach Sid Maxwell, to get him back in the dugout.
"My freshman year I was too scared to try [out for the team] because I just didn’t think I was good enough," Brock Maxwell said. "I just didn’t have too much confidence.
"My dad said, ‘You can either get a job or play baseball.’"
Maxwell also credits his father’s training regimen for making him a faster, stronger athlete.
Though he’s hardly an imposing figure at 6 feet and 175 pounds, Maxwell can power clean as much as 295 pounds — more than most of his teammates on the Longhorns’ football team.
"I started out [power cleaning] with PVC pipes," Maxwell said.
"I started learning the form and all that. I only power cleaned like 205 as a freshman and then I started going up from there."
His baseball knowledge has come even farther.
Maxwell, the starting quarterback for the Lambert football team, focused on that sport growing up and knew next to nothing about baseball entering high school.
His success on the mound occurred in spite of the fact that his pitching repertoire still had gaping holes through much of the 2012 season, as he morphed from a short reliever into Lambert’s ace.
"Coach Corr has really taught me a lot about baseball," Maxwell said.
"Freshman year I didn’t even know the difference between right and left field and I didn’t know the numbers for the position players. I didn’t learn the [pitching] windup until my eighth start [last] year and I didn’t know how to pick off [baserunners] through the first five games I started."
Maxwell’s combination of production and raw potential has drawn him plenty of attention from premier college baseball programs.
He has already received scholarship offers from South Carolina, Florida State, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Oregon and several other schools, and he hopes to commit by the end of the month. Maxwell’s college career will likely be spent as an outfielder rather than a pitcher, though, he said at least one school has talked to him about the possibility of being a reliever as well.
In the meantime, Maxwell is spending the summer playing for Team Georgia Baseball Academy and preparing for his senior season.
His main focus is to raise his power numbers, which fell in 2012 as opposing teams gave him fewer pitches to hit and often elected to pitch around him entirely.
"I just need to work a little harder," Maxwell said, "and get in the batting cages a little sooner."