Aidan Keenan and Landon Stump started on this journey together at 9 years old, and little did they know they would be bound together in their high school years and go on to accomplish incredible things during those years. Both standouts are 2023 graduates, committed to major, powerhouse baseball programs and academic institutions in the Pac 12, and both are projected to be potential high draft picks in the 2023 draft. They each have their own path and have forged their own identities, but coupling their stories provides an incredible look at how the two are lifting a small town to new heights and they are the perfect models for what an upstart training facility is doing to change the training for youth baseball players. This is Part 1 of the Aidan and Landon story…
The Early Years
Both Aidan and Landon moved to Morgan Hill at a young age and led a typical suburban, young athlete’s life. They played many sports growing up, but both were in love with baseball at a young age. They excelled at the sport from the beginning, and made the All Star teams and were coached well by the various coaches in Morgan Hill Pony Baseball. They were encouraged by their parents to work hard and have fun, developing the love for the game that would fuel their passion in the coming years.
At 9 years old, both boys played on an elite travel team that had a lot of success on the local travel circuit. They excelled at multiple positions and often found themselves playing positions they would stay away from now… middle infield. They were some of the better athletes on the team, but also found their way to the mound to learn how to compete at a high level and give their team success. The foundation was laid for a bright future in this game.
As the two got into the double digits in age, they both sought a higher level of baseball instruction. Landon started receiving pitching lessons at age 10 and Aidan transitioned over to a new club team. By the age of 12, both had joined Dub Baseball and enjoyed great success with their teams and individual development. They received some advanced coaching at a young age, but more importantly, they were provided a high amount of structure and started to develop the support system that would lay the foundation to the journey and heights they are now experiencing. Both were chosen to the Northwest NTIS and got to experience playing for their region at the USA Baseball Complex in Cary, North Carolina.
The Middle School Years
The Dub Baseball team Aidan and Landon were on experienced great success from 12-14U. The squad enjoyed a 3rd place finish at the prestigious Cooperstown All Star Village tournament, an annual experience in Cooperstown, New York that draws teams from all over the country. As 13 and 14U teams, the group won many tournaments and the roster was star studded, with many future high school stars and Division I commits.
During these years, Aidan and Landon experienced different paths. Landon excelled as a big, strong player that had undeniable talent. He had a huge arm, displayed great athleticism, and had great power both on the mound and at the plate. It was quite clear at this age that Landon had the potential to be a star in high school and beyond. Aidan’s future was much less clear. He was the smallest player on the team and it took quite a bit more projection to think he might be a big time prospect down the road. He was a skilled player, but lacked any type of physicality. He pitched some of the non-leverage games and when it was time to win, he often got pushed to the side in favor of the bigger, stronger players.
Both experienced major challenges during their 14U Spring and Summer. As the roster progressed and achieved, Aidan was moved towards the margins of the roster and often found himself on the outside looking in with playing time. Landon had a large injury, Little Leaguers elbow, in March of that year and was shut down from throwing for the rest of the season. Both of these setbacks seemed like big deals at the time, but the unique struggles the two endured during this season laid the groundwork for a collective, incredible work ethic in the future seasons. At the end of the 14U Summer the roster broke up, with a large group leaving the program. Both Aidan and Landon, and their families, had a decision to make as the boys entered high school… leave Dub with part of the roster, or stay and see things through with the program. Both decided to stay with Dub, and set the shared path they are now on and built the foundation of their incredible story.
The High School Years
Both Aidan and Landon decided to attend their hometown public high school, Live Oak. The decision has set the course for the two as they continue to develop together, and has jump started the Live Oak Baseball program to powerhouse status. The story of their first 2 years in high school has some parallels, but both have taken their own path to achieve their individual and collective success.
Their first year in high school was very interesting for a variety of reasons. Landon recovered from his arm injury and starred as the Quarterback for the Live Oak JV Football team. Aidan took the Fall off of competitive sports his freshman year and focused on training. They both played JV Basketball that Winter for Live Oak, while also training and doing their arm care program in preparation for their baseball seasons. They went out to baseball late from basketball, with Landon being slotted to be a relief pitcher on Varsity, his first competitive pitching since early in his 14 year old Spring season, and Aidan was placed on JV. Aidan had one appearance and Landon had 2 before the world shutdown in March of that year and Covid took over this part of their process.
The Covid months were hard on everyone, but it had to be most damaging to high school athletes, as their entire social system and sense of identity was stripped from them as the world sat in their homes and tried to adjust to the new reality. While many, if not most, high school athletes took this time to “rest,” Aidan and Landon approached it much differently. Going into the Covid shutdown, Aidan had a Personal Record (PR) of 77mph and Landon’s was 86mph. Both went into full training mode during the Covid shutdown, and looking back, it was the best thing to ever happen to both of them. They were able to not worry about competing and dive all the way into training for the entire Spring. This set the path for the next 1.5 years of their life and propelled them to their current status.
As their freshman season ended, both Aidan and Landon transitioned into a disjointed Summer ball experience due to the lingering Covid craziness. Landon was placed on the 2023 Alpha Prime team, the best travel ball team in Northern California and topped out at 89mph at the beginning of the Summer. He immediately started his recruiting process, taking phone calls from pretty much every major university on the West Coast and some select colleges around the nation. Aidan remained with Dub and was starting to get into the low 80’s. He ended the Summer playing for the Alpha Power team in a Utah tournament, and impressed enough to earn a spot on their roster for the Fall. Both trained full time in the Summer and prioritized it despite their crazy Summer schedules.
The Fall of their sophomore year served as a transition point for both athletes. Both decided to forego other sports and train full time for baseball. At an early Fall tournament Landon joined the 90mph club for the first time, while Aidan slowly but surely continued to increase his velocity. In the middle of the Fall Landon ended his recruiting process and committed to a major Pac 12 power, while Aidan did the same in November. Both Aidan and Landon prioritized their training and participated in a logical and structured pitching schedule with Alpha. They shutdown their throwing and transitioned into the Winter training season as commits at major Pac 12 programs.
During the Winter of 2020/2021 there was still a lot of indecision around and if high school sports were going to happen that school year. Once a start date of March 17th came out, Aidan and Landon were placed into an elongated Winter training program that included an on-ramp, pitch design & command phase, and a long velocity phase that helped them increase their velocity, but also prepared their arms and body’s for the Spring season. After the Winter training, both pitchers had established themselves as 90mph arms going into their sophomore playing seasons. The results that Spring at Live Oak could not have been more desirable. The dynamic duo made every start on the mound and they led the Acorns to a Blossom Valley Athletic League Championship and a top-ranking in the Central Coast Section. At the end of the season Landon was named the BVAL Pitcher of the Year and Aidan was named the Sophomore of the Year.
The Summer saw the duo participate in an aggressive travel ball schedule for Alpha Prime 2023, pitching in tournaments across the nation. They both still trained full time and their workloads stayed under the watchful eyes of the KPI training staff. Every outing they pitched cemented their place as two of the most talented pitchers in the nation. At the end of the Summer both were selected to the prestigious Area Code Games in Los Angeles, where professional scouts from around the country select regional teams and compete over 4 days. The two dazzled in their Area Code outings, combining to pitch 6 innings with 0 runs, and 11 strikeouts. Both are recognized as either the top 2 or in the top 5 pitchers in California in the 2023 class.
Part 2 of the Aidan and Landon story will be written over the next 5-8 years. Both of them head into their Junior seasons at the pinnacle of their class, but both are being pushed by their support system to stay humble, grounded, and rooted in hard work. With this collective approach, the future is extremely bright for Aidan and Landon. Both are already experiencing a buzz about being potential high draft picks in the Summer of 2023, while also knowing they are committed to incredible baseball programs and universities. Both are on a mission to bring another CCS Championship to Live Oak HS. And both continue to outwork their competition and are fully prepared to attack their developmental process even more. With this hungry approach, Part 2 of this story will take them to amazing places and we look forward to telling the next phase of their story in the coming years.