Brad Bournival

With all due respect to Ohio State fans, the secret to Grant Sides success is part determination, part Alabama Crimson Tide.

The RubberDucks right-hander has been almost untouchable the last two-plus months, and he owes much of it to the philosophy of Nick Saban.

Its definitely part of the process, Sides said. I go back to my favorite college program growing up in Alabama. What Nick Saban is doing there is awesome. He preaches about sticking to the process.

That can be applied in Minor League Baseball or baseball in general. Its such a long season. You have to do what you have to do to keep your body ready physically and mentally. As long as you can do that when you get out there to perform, its just going out there and picking a spot, executing a pitch and trusting in all the work youve put in.

Its why Sides trains tirelessly every day even though as a reliever he might pitch two to three times a week, and its usually two innings at most.

Whether its long toss before games, getting the most out of resistance bands, putting in work in the bullpen or just throwing in an extra workout, Sides is there making sure hes ready at a moments notice.

Hes one of my favorite guys to catch, Daniel Salters said. Im impressed with the hard work he puts in every single day.

Hes always working on his command, working on his off-speed [pitches]. Hes impressive to watch work. I think it has played out into the game with how dominant he has been.

Sides isnt just dominant the 12th-round pick in the 2011 draft has been virtually untouchable.

On June 5, Sides had a 5.04 earned run average with 24 strikeouts. Those numbers now sit at 2.98 and 62, respectively.

A large part of that is because hes been unbelievable in his last 23 outings. In those appearances, Sides has allowed two home runs and struck out 38. Opponents are batting .161 against him and he has a 0.77 WHIP.

Whats more impressive is the fact hes given up only eight runs five earned in 32? innings.

I havent seen that too much, RubberDucks manager Dave Wallace said. It has been incredible. What makes it special is seeing the failures and successes in the past hes had and how he has persevered.

He has kept a level head with his feet on the ground through all of it. He has put himself in a great position to do what he has been doing this year. I cant wait to see how it ends this year and what it means for him moving forward.