Tim Hussin, Deseret News
Jordan High right-hander Tyson Labrum is the ace of the Beetdigger staff.

He loves the game.

He is a talented right-hander with a huge body and genes from a father who was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies out of high school.

Jordan's Tyson Labrum appears to have it all to make it big in the game he loves.

As a junior last year, he pitched in the state championship game.

Most everyone else from that team is gone, so Labrum will have ample opportunity this year to show his wares.

His father, Scott, turned down the Phillies and opted instead to play basketball at the College of Southern Idaho, which was a JC powerhouse even back then. The elder Labrum's tutelage began shortly after the birth of his son.

"He wanted me to be a southpaw," Tyson said. "He tried putting the spoon in my left hand."

Although that didn't work out, the younger Labrum proved good enough with his right arm, and he could play basketball and football, too. He said middle linebacker was his position in football until he decided to spend all his time sharpening his baseball skills. He played basketball, some high school, and in city leagues, including a high-profile team that his father coaches.

His father showed him no preferences either.

"I only played after I had proved myself," he said. "He raised me to be a hard-nosed kid. He made me work for everything."

Having two older brothers — Brad (Highland) and Jake (Brighton) — also toughened him.

"They beat the hell out of me every day," he said.

Standing 6-foot-4, the big red head also claims mental toughness.

"I want to be the best," he said. "I never give up, and I love takin' over."

His pitching arsenal includes a near-90 mph fastball and a difficult-to-throw knuckle curveball. Getting the curve over the plate is the bane of all pitchers, and on a recent cold day he was having trouble doing so.

"I have control when it is warm," he said.

Under such conditions, he resorted to the more traditional curve.

Still growing, Labrum expects to add a couple of inches to his height. His older brothers are 2 and 3 inches taller than him. Perhaps down the line, we can expect to see more of his favorite sight.

"I love," he said, "to watch 'em walk back to the dugout with the bat over their shoulder."

E-mail: wjewkes@desnews.com