Days before starting his second season in the minor leagues, a reporter asked Great Lakes Loons' pitcher Riley Ottesen about his Mormon mission to Japan.
Not only did it allow him to rest his arm for two years, but he grew personally as well, according to mlive.com.
"It's made me a better person, more mature," Otteson told mlive.com. "It helped me a lot. You can't go to a country you've never been to, live with a companion you don't know, learn to speak a language you don't know and talk about something you aren't completely familiar with and not become a more mature, better person."
Ottesen led American Fork High School to a state championship in 2012 and was named "Mr. Baseball" by the Deseret News following his high school career.
“I think it’s well-deserved,” Jared Ingersoll, Ottesen's coach, told the Deseret News. “What Riley has done for us the last two years has been pretty remarkable. It’s really cool to have a kid in our program receive such an honor. … If you look at what he’s done offensively, on the mound and defensively, I don’t think anyone can argue (with the decision).”
After high school, Ottesen served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Fujieda, Japan. He told the Utah Daily Chronicle his mission "was the best thing that's ever happened to me."
"It’s helped shape me into a person, a man and a husband that I may want to become in the future," Ottesen told the Daily Utah Chronicle.4 comments on this story
Ottesen returned to play at the University of Utah and was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2017.
Ottesen makes his 2018 debut on the mound Friday for the Great Lakes Loons, the Dodgers' Class-A affiliate.
In the mlive.com article, Ottesen said the two years off allowed his arm to rest. When he returned, Ottesen could throw a fast ball in the range of 95 miles per hour.
"I've never had arm problems," Ottesen said. "The two years off helped me, helped my arm. I feel good."
Read the rest of the article by going to mlive.com.