By STEVE KRAH
Peter Lannoo has long embraced a love for learning.
The son of Michael Lannoo (Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the Indiana University School of Medicine-Terre Haute on the campus of Indiana State University) and (biology researcher) Susan Lannoo, Peter entered math contests and studied Classic Greek and Latin while at Terre Haute South Vigo High School.
After graduating from South Vigo in 2013, Lannoo went to an Ivy League school — Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. — and began his path as a biology major with a concentration on Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and a business minor.
He has gained credentials in research and been part of published findings.
“My four years at Cornell definitely benefitted me,” says Lannoo. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
Michael and Susan Lannoo’s only child went to college for academics. But he did not leave baseball behind.
After playing informal club ball his first year at Cornell (2013-14), Lannoo made the Big Red varsity as a pitcher, playing for coaches Bill Walkenbach, Tom Ford and Dan Pepicelli.
The 6-foot-6 right-hander appeared in 33 games (26 in relief) in 2015, 2016 and 2017, juggling his studies and baseball.
“It’s an exercise in time management,” says Lannoo. “It helps in baseball and life in general.
“Time is precious and has to be managed.”
After Lannoo earned all-Ivy League first-team honors with eight saves and a 3.86 ERA in 17 appearances as a senior, the San Francisco Giants were impressed enough to select Lannoo out of Cornell in the 28th round of the 2017 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
The big righty made 14 appearances (nine in relief) at Short-Season Class-A Salem-Keizer in 2017 with a 1-3 record and one save, a 4.28 earned run average, 26 strikeouts and 12 walks in 40 innings.
After breaking spring training camp in 2018 with Low Class-A Augusta, spending one game at Double-A Richmond and returning to Augusta, Lannoo is now in the bullpen at High-A San Jose. He has combined for 14 appearances (all in relief) with a 2-3 record, 2.76 ERA, 29 strikeouts and seven walks in 28 innings.
“It’s quite a journey,” says Lannoo, 23. “I haven’t gotten to look back on it much. I keep prepping for what’s next.
“Everyday I need to do something above and beyond to get me to the next level.”
Lannoo does all the off-field things he needs to hone his craft and then goes onto the field with the idea of having fun.
“The actual work comes in weight room, eating right and in the bullpen,” says Lannoo. “You can’t worry too much about what happens in the game.”
He also puts an emphasis on mental toughness.
“The mental game really helps when I’m in a jam,” says Lannoo, who has studied how other pro athletes, including Tom Brady, have prepared themselves. “It helps me slow things down and take it one pitch at a time. It’s easy to get overwhelmed.”
“It’s that next pitch mentality. My college coaches really helped develop that in me.”
As far as developing his pitches, Lannoo is trying to strike a balance between his four-seam fastball, slider and change-up
“I’m working on throwing my off-speed pitches for strikes early in the count,” says Lannoo. “It’s about pitch mix and not being predictable. If you fall into patterns here, you get punished for it.”
And he’s always learning. During long bus rides or quiet time in the morning before he heads to the ballpark, Lannoo can often be found reading.
“It’s fun to learn stuff,” says Lannoo. “I read books and expand what I know.”
Lannoo was born in Muncie and moved with his parents to Terre Haute after his elementary school years.
Before the move, Michael Lannoo was a professor in the IU School of Medicine-Muncie on the Ball State University campus.
Peter played travel baseball with Muncie-based Indiana Longhorns then Babe Ruth baseball before spending the summers after his junior and senior years of high school with Terre Haute American Legion Post 346.
His head coach at Terre Haute South Vigo was Kyle Kraemer — a mentor he maintains contact with to this day.
“He was a great coach,” says Lannoo of Kraemer. “He taught me how to win. We had some really good seasons under him. We were (Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference) champions my senior year.
“He was really competitive. He brings out the best in his players.”
While at Cornell, Lannoo pitched in the summer for the Victor (N.Y.) RailRiders of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League in 2015 and North Adams (Mass.) Steeple Cats of the New England Collegiate Baseball League in 2016.
Peter Lannoo, a graduate of Terre Haute South Vigo High School and Cornell University, is in his second season in the San Francisco Giants organization. (Augusta GreenJackets Photo)