It wasn't just Jerrick Suiter's bat that had been working hard, but the Canberra Cavalry outfielder's arm as well.
Well it was. Until his childhood team, the Chicago Cubs, drafted him.
Brought to Canberra for his big bat - which has hit two home runs, driven in nine and is averaging .288 - Suiter had been practicing his pitching with the view to taking the mound for the Cavalry.
The Pittsburgh Pirates had told him they were open to using him as a "two-way player" - someone who can play as a pitcher and a positional player - before he'd left for the ACT.
But last week, in the middle of the night, the Cubs picked him in the rule five draft.
It meant he woke to "50 text messages".
It also meant he wouldn't be pitching for the Cavalry - the Cubs want him to save his arm for next year's spring training.
"I talked to a couple of guys in the [Cubs] organisation and they are going to let me do both - hit and pitch," Suiter said.
"They said they see me more as a pitcher, but they're going to give me the opportunity to show what I have at the plate as well - which is awesome."
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It's not surprising Suiter has a good arm given he's 188 centimetres tall and weighs 114 kilograms.
He's making a habit of catching ABL base runners out with his powerful throws.
But it is surprising the Cubs see him as a pitching prospect.
In his six years as a professional baseballer he's only thrown 1.2 innings across two games.
But it was enough.
"It just so happened we ran out of pitching one day and our manager was like, 'Hey are you good to throw?'," Suiter, who pitched in high school, said.
"I happened to be throwing a lot harder than I used to ... and got another outing a week later.
"The velo was still there. I threw a couple of breaking balls ... and I guess somebody at the Cubs saw that and saw something they liked."
The Cavalry face a crucial four-game series against the Brisbane Bandits - starting at Narrabundah Ballpark on Thursday night.
They're bottom of the ABL north-east conference and two wins behind the Bandits.
"I think this will be the halfway point so it's time for us to turn it on," Suiter said.
"We haven't been bad - we lead the league in batting average - we're doing some things right just not all the things right.
"That's baseball. That's part of it. You're not going to be perfect every day."
Cavalry manager Keith Ward has made just one change to the roster, with Dushan Ruzic dropping out and Steven Chambers coming into the bullpen.
Canberra product Steve Kent will take Ruzic's place in the starting rotation.
Ward said Suiter's versatility could be a massive boost to his career.
"Having that string to your bow in professional baseball, wherever it is, gives you an opportunity to stay in the game longer and the guy's got a fantastic arm," he said.
"If it's pitching I think he's got a bright future ahead of him. If it's pitching and hitting potentially an even brighter future."
AT A GLANCE
Thursday: Canberra Cavalry v Brisbane Bandits at Narrabundah Ballpark, 7pm. Game two Friday 7pm, game three Saturday 7pm and game four Sunday 1pm. Tickets available from canberracavalry.com.au