The Week That Was
The season has ended and we are left with two teams tied for the second half title. The Reds and the Angels will play this Thursday for the second half crown. If the Reds win these two teams will play again for the overall title on a date to be determined if the Angels win they will be crowned the 2015 regular season champions.
I had the pleasure of watching Easton Dillard pitch this past Saturday versus the Cubs. Dillard finished with a no-hitter throwing some beautiful breaking balls as well as a few change-ups to keep the mighty Cubs bats silent. This wasn’t a weak team Dillard beat, this was a legitimate threat and he made it look easy. The Reds took care of business on their end as Kaleb Gupton flirted with a perfect game until a slow-roller to short ended the bid. Both pitchers are in fine form heading into the much anticipated matchup. The only guess is will either team pitch their stars in the game or hold them for a possible if-necessary game? Come to the park this Thursday and find out. So exciting!!!
We are entering the final week of the season in the major league division and we now have a pretty clear picture of how the second half will end. The Dodgers are leading the pack with a two-game lead over the Royals and the Red Sox with two to go. I find it pretty hard to believe the Dodgers will lose consecutive games with the way they have played all season long so I am going to crown them the second half champs. There will be a regular season championship game played between the Royals and the Dodgers after the regular season ends this weekend. My guess is they will square off on Wednesday night. This one is way too close to call. The Dodgers have won the last two matchups but the Royals in my opinion were a bit snake bit in the last game. Expect to see the championship game come down to the final at bat because neither team has much of an advantage over the other. It’s going to be a heck of a game!
Player of the Week
Our final player of the week is here and for the first time we have a champion who wasn’t perfect for the week. That doesn’t lessen the feat as the champ was an impressive 4-5 .800. With that said here are your finalists.
Ryan Oden: As I have said about other players over the past few weeks, what else can I say about Ryan Oden? The kid can do it all and has done so all year. It has been a pleasure to watch this kid play all season. Great season Ryan!
Levi Lemay: The Braves put up some impressive offensive numbers this season and the man behind the plate for the Braves was one of those reasons why. Levi Lemay had a solid eleven year old campaign for the Braves making the list several times while doing a great job catching. I see some great things on the horizon for LeMay and the Braves next season.
MJ Trotter: The best left handed arm in the league has put together two good weeks in the batter’s box for the Brewers. Trotter has power and speed from the left side of the plate helping the Brewers finish .500 for the week.
Nathan Frontz: Another Brewers player to make the list this week is Nathan Frontz. Frontz has provided a little of everything for the Brewers giving the team innings on the mound while also handling duties at first. The Brewers had a tough season to date but look like they are primed to finish the final week strong.
Preston Driver: The Dodgers leadoff batter has helped the big blue claim top honors in the league this season. Driver not only provides solid offensive numbers for the Dodgers but is a shutdown fielder in center field. The Royals know this fact all too well as Driver has been a thorn in their proverbial side in the second half.
Luke Fleming: The Lucapotomus has been steady all season long. A thorn in the side of every team when he steps on the mound, Fleming is just as deadly in the batter’s box. A clutch hit late in the game versus the Royals gave the Dodgers the edge they needed to maintain control of the second half. Fleming is legit.
Bradley Wheeler: What else can I say about beast mode? Take my word that this kid is legit in all phases of the game. The Padres second half record is proof positive.
Walker Sipe: Pocket Rocket mania is here! Walker Sipe has really turned it on in the second half for the Red Sox and their second place standing in the second half proves how much the Red Sox benefit from his play. The kid is crazy fast and has some pop in the bat to boot. Here is another player you can put anywhere on the field which is huge for any team.
Tanner Jones: Tanner Jones reached base six out of his seven plate appearances this week which helped the Red Sox claim two wins for the week. When players reach base good things usually follow and good things followed the Red Sox all week long.
Ethan Choate: Ethan Choate graces the final standings with a .500 average for the Red Sox. Choate was one more reason the Red Sox had such a great week. He also flashed some great glove work at first this week. Nice job Ethan!
Cordell Griggs: The Reds were led on offense this week by Cordell Griggs. Cordell has been up and down this season. If this week is an indication, Cordell may be on his way to finishing strong for the Red Machine. Nice job Cordell.
Kanon Lewis: Mr. Lewis finishes off the final player of the week list with a nice .500 average. Lewis has been a regular on the list all season and has been the top dog on the mound this year. The Royals are where they are this season in large part because of the exploits of Mr. Lewis. I’m going to miss this kid next year. Great season Kanon!
Eric Mitchell: The Red Sox have been blessed to have this kid on their team for two years. Eric Mitchell has pretty much done it all playing anywhere the team needed him without a single complaint. That’s all a coach can ask, 100% effort with 0% complaints. If there ever was a player that deserves to make the final list it is Eric Mitchell. Great job Eric!
Ethan Jackson: The Braves have really been awesome on offense this season. In order for that to happen you have to have production from your eleven year old players and Jackson has been one of those eleven-year old players that have put up great numbers week after week. This team will be a handful next season. Mark it down!
Zach McWilliams: Zach McWilliams keeps on putting up great numbers for the Red Sox. The Red Sox top eleven year old has been a terror on offense all year and is now beginning to make some noise on the mound. I can only imagine how good he will be next season. I can’t wait to find out!
Jarrett Webb: His brother has been selling cars like candy bars. This week Jarrett hit baseballs near and far. Good enough for a .750 average which was tied for second in the league. It hasn’t been a stellar year as far as Webb’s standards are concerned but the year has been solid none the less. This is one player coaches treat with respect when he walks to the plate due to his ability to knock the ball into orbit with every swing. Players like this can change a game in a hurry which is why he is treated with respect. Good job Jarrett!
Cody Craig: The Royals Cody Craig falls into the “lack of speed” category but that didn’t stop him from ripping a triple into the right center field gap earlier this week. Cody also added a double and a single this week. Nice stuff for a player that doesn’t get any cheap hits. Everything is a no doubter. Great job Cody!
Player of the Week
Our final player of the week wasn’t perfect but he was pretty darn close. In my eyes this kid has had one heck of a season on offense and defense so without further ado here is our final player of the Week.
Peyton Oliphant: Peyton Oliphant has been a rock for the Mariners all season. I have seen this kid do it all, from making incredibly difficult plays at short look routine, ripping ball after ball off the fence while also providing some needed innings on the mound for a Mariners team that has had to do without ace pitcher Bryce Miller most of the season. I can only imagine how good this team would have been if they had been completely healthy. Oliphant definitely made them a better team and he did it week after week. Nice season Peyton!
That’s all I have for this season. I am out of town this week so it would be impossible for me to do a final week posting. Next up we have a winner take all playoff between the Royals and the Dodgers and then we move on to the post season.
Best of luck to both teams! Both are deserving champions!
The Week That Was…..
As we enter the final week of the season for the minor league division we now have a log jam at the top. The Reds entered Saturday on top undefeated but ran into a road block in the form of the Angels falling 5-4. The loss puts the Angels in a tie for the second half crown with the Reds and the Red Sox who defeated a good Cubs team with ace pitcher RJ Moore on the mound. Looking at the remaining schedule for all three my guess is one loss will be the mark to attain by next Saturday. All three are capable of winning out but the Reds have the easiest road. I expect to see RJ Moore on the mound Thursday for the Red Sox versus the Rangers and the Angels should go with Easton Dillard against the Cubs next Saturday. I have a feeling it will be the Reds and the Red Sox playing a playoff game for the second half championship with the Angels playing the winner for all the marbles. I have a sneaky feeling the Cubs will take the Angels down in their season ending matchup eliminating them from the second half race. As far as who will emerge as the season champion, it is as even as it can possibly be as all three have the ability to win it all.
Entering this week it was a certainty the Dodgers would take the second half championship. That was until they walked on the field Thursday night against the Reds. The Dodgers struggled on the mound and at the plate falling to the Reds who were more than happy to take advantage of the Dodgers troubles. The loss made the weekend games more important as the Reds and the Dodgers were even with one loss and the Royals, Padres and the Red Sox were a game back with two. The Dodgers got back on the winning track defeating the Red Sox while the Padres stayed in the hunt after defeating the Braves. The Royals faced the Reds in the final game of the day and came away a winner staying a game back of the Dodgers with two weeks remaining. The second half should come down to one game in my opinion and that will be this Tuesday when the Royals and the Dodgers meet for their final regular season meeting. A Dodgers win gives them a two game lead on the Royals virtually eliminating the Royals from the second half race but a Royals win could mean we will head to a season ending playoff between the two for the second half title. I don’t see any more Dodgers losses on the horizon after this game so this is THE game for both teams.
The Padres have been surging in the second half but the toughest portion of their schedule begins this week and I’m not sure if they can maintain the momentum through the final four games. The Reds are without ace pitcher Caleb Dyer so their chances are diminished leaving the Royals and the Dodgers to fight it out the rest of the way. Three losses at this point is elimination from the race.
Player of the Week
Once again it will take perfection to claim the title and again we have two players that accomplished the feat. It will come down to total hits and total plate appearances to determine who the champion is and this time it will be the closest finish thus far! I had a hard time deciding how to decide this one as I will explain later.
Nick Moss: The Braves have been one of the more dangerous teams this season pummeling opposing pitching with abandon. Nick Moss has been one of the of Braves assassins punishing opposing pitching week in and out. This week he was a little bit easier on the opposition posting a pedestrian .500 average. I can only imagine what he’ll do this week. Pitchers beware.
Braden Kelly: Our week 2 player of the Week is back for more posting a .500 average for the Brewers this week. Kelly went through a cold spell the past few weeks but looks to be gaining form once again as we head down the final stretch of the season. Nice job Braden!
MJ Trotter: MJ Trotter had a great week for the Brewers posting a .500 average adding an inside the park homerun for good measure. Trotter has power and speed and has the top left handed arm in the league. Let’s hope we see more strong games from Mr. Trotter in the final games of the season.
Jarrett Frasier: Ok every once in a while I come across a name that I am not familiar with and such is the case with Jarrett Frasier. This week the Dodgers hitter helped his team stay in the race for the second half crown by posting a .500 average while going 1-3 versus the Red Sox when the team was shorthanded. Great stuff! When players in the second half of the lineup contribute like this the results are always positive for the team and Frasier did his part to help his team stay in the championship race. Nice job Jarrett!
Cooper Pennington: A regular on the list, Cooper Pennington keeps posting solid numbers each and every week. Pennington has been a bright spot for the Reds all season doing whatever his team needs to secure a win. This week he gave the Reds a huge win over the unbeaten Dodgers shutting out the boys in blue on the mound. Nice job Coop! Keep on keeping on!
Jonathan Mooney: Jonathan Mooney makes the list this week with a .500 clip for the Reds. Mooney has been a mainstay at third and now is getting some work on the mound after Caleb Dyer went down with an injury. Mooney is another all-around player that handles himself well on offense and defense. Nice job Jonathan!
Jackson Garrett: Here is a player that has gotten red hot over the last week or so for the Red Sox. I mentioned last week that because of Jackson’s blazing speed, NOT; he has to get no doubt hits every at bat. There aren’t any slow rollers on this kid’s resume which makes his continued roll pretty impressive. Stay hot Jackson!
Jackson Brown: The Brewers placed three players on the list this week with Jackson Brown getting top honors with his hefty .667 average over two games. Jackson’s hot bat helped provide the Brewers with some positive results this week. More positive outcomes could be on the horizon. Nice job Jackson!
John Henry Knotts: Talking about positive results! John Henry and the Padres have been rolling lately winning four in a row. With three players posting .667 averages this week it isn’t hard to see why. John Henry is another utility player that can play anywhere you need him which makes him a valuable part of the Padres success this season.
Bradley Wheeler: Beast mode is back again! What else can I say about Bradley Wheeler that I haven’t already mentioned. The Padres have benefitted from his outstanding play and should continue to benefit in the final four games. You go beast mode!
Zach Lalomundier: If I spelled your last name incorrectly, I tried my best. The names get cut off when the book gets scanned so I am winging it. Anyway, here is another player that isn’t going to win any 50 yard dashes during field day so when he makes the list you know every hit was legit. Zach doesn’t possess speed but he does possess great hand-eye coordination which he uses to make contact almost every time he walks to the plate. It’s always nice to see kids like Zach make the list because you know there weren’t any “seeing eye” singles or flares or slow rollers on the plate, just true meat and potatoes base hits. 4-6 ain’t bad! Great job Zach!
Tyler Jones: The second half of the “Jones Twins” had a great week for the Red Sox on the mound and in the batter’s box. This kid is as dangerous as any eleven year old in the league when he’s in the box and his hefty .667 average this week is proof positive. I only see great things ahead for this kid! Nice job!
Carsen Rucker: Mr. Rucker is beginning to make this list with regularity. The youngest player in the league has made himself at home in the second half of the season, hitting for the cycle a few games ago and placing runner-up in the player of the week posting last week. This week he was just as impressive going 2-3 while pitching in a big game on Saturday versus the Reds; the skies the limit for this immensely talented player.
Carter Flatt: The Mariners Carter Flatt had a great week posting a .750 average over the two-game stretch leading his team on offense. Flatt has also been called upon to pitch needed innings on the mound which he has provided with flying colors. Flatt has had a great season to date and I don’t think anything will change in the final four games. Keep up the good work Carter!
Kanon Lewis: As I said about Bradley Wheeler, what more can I say about Kanon Lewis. The kid can do it all and is a joy to have on your team if you have been fortunate enough to have had him over the years. The Royals are in position to win the league championship because of Lewis and in my opinion are not in the position they are in without his services. Great job Kanon!
Player of the Week
As I mentioned in the opening sentence, this week’s battle was the closest we have had all season and it was hard to not put both players as co-champs. I decided to have a runner-up due to the fact that both players had the same amount of plate appearances but one had one extra hit in his six appearances. With that said, here are your runner-up and player of the week.
Devvan Darden: Devvan was an eleven year old all-star last season and provided some clutch hits during the teams run to the Southeast Regional in Greenville, NC. He has only gotten better this season as he has been a rock for the Braves all season. The strategy now is to pitch around Devvan instead of letting him kill you with a triple off the fence which is why I struggled with my decision for a runner-up instead of a co-champ this week. Teams are afraid to pitch to the kid which isn’t his fault. He takes his walk when it comes and pounds hits when the opposing pitcher makes a mistake. All I can say Devvan is you are being given the greatest compliment a player can receive when you take those pitches and walk to first. Jay Rhoten and Parker Campbell faced the same dilemma when they terrorized teams in their day. Nice job!
Player of the Week
Chandler Crowley: The Royals are first half champs because they have a great team with the best pitching in the league. Part of that great team is Chandler Crowley who week in and out provides the Royals with solid play on offense and defense. This week Chandler shined on offense leading his team and the league (except for Mr. Darden) in hitting. With production from Crowley and company, the Royals will be a tough out when “championship day” arrives.
Player from the Past
I decided to talk about this player because he came to the park yesterday to see his coaches from years past as well as see what was going on since he left the park in 2009. His mother was actually a key reason why I write these articles today. Back when her son was playing on the 2009 World Series Runner-up team she was my proof reader/editor/idea maker. Without her help, I don’t think I’d be writing these today. Enough about Ms. Phyllis, it’s time to talk about her son, Alex Junior.
Alex Junior: Alex played in Goodlettsville during the later days of the leagues Dixie Youth participation. He was a beneficiary of the old “age change” back in the day and got the privilege of playing for Coach Bo Boguskie’s awesome Cubs teams for three years. When he left Coach Bo he was more than ready to make the jump to the 11-12 Rangers and Coach Joe Keef. Alex was as fast a player as this league has seen and if he got the bunt signal you might as well hold the ball because you had no chance of getting him out. He also led the league in batting and homeruns during his twelve year old season. He was a lefty but was a good enough fielder that he played short when he wasn’t patrolling centerfield or dominating on the mound. He peaked at 78 MPH as a 12 year old and is one of two players to throw a perfect game in the Dixie Youth World Series. His feat came against Mississippi, a team which defeated Louisiana 25-9 the day before. Nobody thought Goodlettsville had a chance against them. They were legit and Alex and the rest of the Goodlettsville all-stars made them look ordinary defeating the state champs from Mississippi 10-0 in four innings, almost setting two records in one game. The first being the perfect game by Alex and the second was shortest game which is 43 minutes. Goodlettsville defeated Mississippi in 45. Alex was a two year all-star in the 11-12 division finishing third in the 2008 World Series to go with his runner-up finish a year later. Alex is now a member of the Tennessee Tech baseball program after graduating from Goodpasture last year.
That’s all I have for this week. Next week will be the last player of the week for the season with the final week hopefully a recap of the major league and possibly minor league championship games.
The Week That Was…..
Sorry for such a late post but our league golf scramble was yesterday so everyone, including me, had to get a few swings in at Country Hills Golf Course. All I can say about how our team did was we had fun and we stayed dry. I don’t think Mike Kelly and company can say the same.
Second Half Race
We are one week deeper in the season and we have a little clarity in both the minor league second half race and the major league race. The Minor League division has seen the Reds take control this week defeating a solid Cubs team and I am assuming defeating another solid team in the Red Sox. I didn’t get any information on the Saturday game so I may be incorrect on that one as the web site hasn’t been updated. It is now looking like the Reds (or Red Sox if they won Saturday) may be the team to beat in the second half as they (the Reds) are now fully healthy for the first time in the season and the results are positive. The Angels still hold the keys to the title with the first half championship belt in tow and are drafting closely behind our second half leader with one loss. A Reds (or Red Sox) slip the rest of the way could make things very interesting with the Angels looming large in the rear view mirror. I have to say this season has been the most competitive I have seen in many years in this division.
The Major league has seen the Dodgers take command in the second half cruising to an impressive 4-0 record thus far. The Reds stumbled this weekend to the surging Braves to fall a game back with the first half champion Royals two games back after suffering a tough loss to the Braves earlier in the week. There is still much work left for the Dodgers before they can claim the second half title as a second game versus the Royals is around the corner as well as a date versus a dangerous Reds team. We should know more after next week’s games. My bet is with the Dodgers at this point and a rematch with the Royals for all the marbles.
Player of the Week
I have to say this week was the most competitive to date as we had many players posting great averages for the week. The benchmark to make the list is to post a minimum .500 average and this week we only had five with the rest posting a .600 or better mark. Impressive stuff!
Peyton Oliphant: I’ve already mentioned Peyton has made the adjustment to the league quite nicely after a slow first few weeks and now seems locked and loaded every game. This week was no different as he put forth a two game total of 2-4. Oliphant continues to impress not only with his bat but on the defensive side as well. My man can play the game there is no question about it. Nice play at short this weekend as well. That ball was a rocket!
Steven Simerka: Here is another player I really don’t know much about except he was a new player last season and has had a very solid 2015 campaign for the Reds thus far. Situated in the five spot in the lineup, Simerka has been a consistent offensive contributor for the Reds keeping them in the second half race with the Dodgers. This kid can play the game!
Cordell Griggs: Here is a player that I am more than happy to write about. Cordell is another player that won’t wow you with blazing speed or mammoth moon shots over the fence but what he will do is give you consistent play game in and out. The kid puts in the work at practice and at home and the work shows on the field as he has steadily improved every year I have watched him play. I expect big things from Mr. Griggs as time goes on.
Will Sansom: Will is a first timer to the list this season. It’s always nice to see some fresh names on the list and it couldn’t have happened to a better kid. Sansom is one of those players that coaches like to have on their team. You always get 100% no matter how big the role. This week he led his team with a .500 average collecting two hits in four official at-bats. Nice job Will! Keep that bat hot!
Ryan Oden: Ok, I have run out of things to say about Ryan Oden since he has been on the list virtually every week. I continue to be impressed with Oden and can only imagine how good he is going to be next season. Keep working hard Ryan! It is paying off big time!
Isaiah Page: The boogie man has arrived! Isaiah “Boogie” Page is one heck of a player. This week his Padres team led the league in most players making the list with five and Page has the honor of being the first to grace the pages. Page is an all-around player that can hit for power and average as well as play a mean game on defense. The Padres have a winner in Page and I think the wins may follow if he continues to post big numbers. Nice job Isaiah!
Chandler Crowley: We now know that Chandler Crowley can do more than play a mean centerfield for the first half champion Royals. He also does a fine job batting in the five spot as his .600 average proves. I am glad we don’t have to play Crowley and company the rest of the season as he is one less headache I have to worry about. Keep up the good work Chandler.
Kayden Angel: Here is a kid that can play pretty much anywhere you need him. I have seen him spend time at second and behind the plate for the Royals and no matter which position he is called on to play, he does it with ease. Aside from the nice defensive skills, my man also swings a good bat and has speed to burn which is a nice weapon to have at your disposal if you are a coach. Teams win championships and Kayden is one major component of the Royals first half championship “team.”
Jackson Garrett: Jax makes his debut for the Red Sox in impressive fashion posting a .600 average for the week. Garrett mans the left side of the infield for the Red Sox and holds down the number seven position in the lineup. Jackson will not wow you with speed which makes his accomplishment even more impressive as he won’t get any infield hits by beating a throw to first. Every hit was a shot to the outfield. It looks like Garrett is beginning to warm up in the box which is a positive sign for the Red Sox moving forward.
Matthew Sykes: The second Padres player to make this list is Matthew Sykes. When Sykes was playing in the 9-10 division you could almost bet the house he would attempt a bunt when he stepped in the box. I haven’t seen much of that this season as he has belted some nice hits all season long while sprinkling in a few of those patented bunts when necessary. Sykes is an all-around player on defense and a tough out in the lead-off position for the Padres and is one of many reasons the team is surging in the second half.
Bradley Wheeler: Beast mode is back for more player of the week praise! Wheeler is one heck of a player and as nice as they come. Here is another player I will miss next season when he makes the jump to the big field. He has had a nice growth spurt this year and the added height and power fits him well. I expect nothing but excellence from this kid and that’s what he produces week in and out. Keep it up Bradley.
Harrison Cline: Last season Cline played for the 9-10 Yankees if I remember correctly and I remember thinking this kid is going to be a good player when he moves up to the major division. So far my feelings have been correct as Cline has steadily made the jump improving week after week. Cline is the fourth player from the Padres to grace the list this week which is why this team has been surging of late. Don’t think you have an easy win when you see Cline and company next on your schedule or you will be paying the price with a big L on your sheet. Nice job Harrison!
Tyler Robertson: Last week’s player of the week continues to wield a hot bat for the Reds posting a strong .667 clip in week two. Known for some nasty defensive play behind the plate, Robertson is now making noise with the bat. Good news for the Reds as they battle for the second half crown.
Owen El-Shishini: Francesco is back in the building after a one week hiatus. Will Ferrell would be pleased! El-Shishini has been a pleasant surprise this season as I have to admit I didn’t think he would be much of a factor for the Dodgers. I am pleased to see I was wrong as Francesco has been a mainstay on this list all season. The kid has played some steady defense as well. The Dodgers are fortunate to have his services this season. Keep it up Owen!
Walker Sipe: I have to admit I had Walker posting a perfect average this week but my book doesn’t count the same as every other team’s book in the league. Only the book in the press-box matters and it has Walker coming one hit shy of perfection going 3-4. Hey, .750 is one heck of a week if you ask me! Walker has been on the list every week but one thus far with this week being his best to date which is a bad thing for Red Sox opponents because it means the Pocket Rocket is heating up at the right time of the season. I expect the Red Sox to be a tough out from here on out with Sipe leading the charge from the lead-off position.
Jacob Smith: Another regular on the list. It is only a matter of time before Jacob Smith posts a perfect week. Here you have the total package in power, speed and defense. Smith and the Dodgers are surging at the right time and I’m not sure if anyone can slow down the train. A championship may be in the cards for the defending champs!
Mason Standefer: Talk about a kid who has had a great season. Mason Standefer is one such kid and the last of the five Padres players to make this week’s list. Standefer outshined them all with a stellar .833 average to go with some nice pitching on the mound. Standefer has grown a ton since last season and is an intimidating force on the mound with his size and velocity. You won’t find a nicer kid in the league and it’s a joy to see him have success in his twelve year old season. Great job Mason!
Nick Moss: Nick Moss came to the league last season as a new eleven year old. He helped the Braves post a solid record as the Braves won the second half crown before falling to the Dodgers in the overall championship game. This season he has become even more of a factor and the Braves are once again a thorn in the side of every team in the league. With kids like Moss in the Braves lineup wins will keep coming and coming. Keep it the good work Nick!
PLAYER of the WEEK
Once again we have two players that posted perfect averages this week so we have to go to the proverbial scorecard to determine a winner. This week was really close and it actually came down to one at bat. The runner-up only played one game this week which is grounds for disqualification as you have to play two games each week but after hitting for the cycle in game one before becoming ill before the second game on Saturday I decided to make a one-time exception. Anyone who hits for the cycle (1B, 2B, 3B and HR in one game) has to be on the list in my opinion especially when the player in question is the youngest in the league at ten years of age. Y’all know who I’m talking about.
Carsen “The Cannon” Rucker: Again sorry Jake but little brother is NASTY! The Mariners totally agree after the carnage he laid on them earlier this week. Rucker was a total beast against the Mariners leading off the game with a double to right center field. He followed his double with a triple to the same spot on the field and then added a single in his third at-bat. The final at-bat was the icing on the cake as he collected his HR the hard way by racing around the bases off a smash to the right center field gap crossing home with ease due to his lightning speed. He wasn’t able to add to his incredible week as he became ill during batting practice on Saturday but after a display like that a spot on the list was a certainty. Nice job Carsen and get well!
Player of the Week
Our player of the week had five official at-bats over his two games of work collecting five consecutive singles. This kid is another top flight talent and as was mentioned about Walker Sipe, is beginning to hit his stride at the right time of the season.
Zach McWilliams: Zach McWilliams is beginning to make some noise for the Red Sox. A strong batter and an improving commodity on the mound with a 66mph fastball and a developing breaking ball, this eleven year old is a hand full when he is on his game. With his size and power, McWilliams gives the Red Sox a fighting chance in every game. Keep on making noise Zach!
We’ve heard about the great Jay Rhoten and World Series batting champ, Parker Campbell. Now I am going to go back and write about a player that played during the early 70’s.
Steve English: I do not remember Steve, but my father as well as Bill King, remember him well. When I asked my father about Steve he said he faced him in 1973 during his first year coaching at rival league Parkwood. They met in the sub district that season and Steve was the starting pitcher for Goodlettsville while he countered with Dewey Armstrong. Both players were as good as any today but on this day Steve was better as he shut out Parkwood 1-0. Steve was a big left hander who threw in the upper 70’s if not close to 80. What made him even more intimidating was that in those days the pitching mound was 44 feet instead of 46 feet like we have today. Imagine Kitaro Kiyomiya from the 2012 Little League World Series Japanese team all 6’0” of him throwing his 80mph fastball from 44 feet and you’ll get an idea of how difficult it was to hit English in those days. He was a virtually untouchable. I don’t have any other information about Steve other than how dominating hew was on the mound but as far as I’m concerned that’s all you need to know. He was a stud!
Goodlettsville has had many players since then that have made a lasting impression on the league giving Goodlettsville the strong reputation we enjoy today. It is impressive to have a league sustain such a high level of excellence for so many years. To me it is totally amazing! Be proud to have your kids involved in a league that has such a rich tradition of excellence and strive to add to that tradition in the short time you are here.
Until next week…………………………….
The Week That Was…………
First of all I want to wish our league mothers a happy mother’s day. Today was a beautiful day and I hope everyone spent some quality time with loved ones on such a special day.
We are now in the second half of the season and the bats are beginning to take over versus the pitcher’s which is par for the course. We did have one exception this week as the 9-10 Red Sox RJ Moore threw a no-hitter on Friday night. If you’ve seen Moore pitch, reading that he threw a no-hitter wasn’t a surprise. The kid has skills!
Great Defensive Play of the Week
I almost missed this one because it happened so quickly but the 11-12 Dodgers had a great play turned in by their shortstop Jacob Smith. All I saw was Smith leaping to his left towards second base a snagging a bullet out of the air to end the game. I think I would have thrown my back out of place if I had attempted that catch. It was pretty amazing. Nice job Jacob!
I took me all this time to check the web site and realize that we have standings posted for the minor leagues; Proverbial hand to forehead. Looking at the standings and completing what I know happened this week I have what I think is a pretty up to date second half standings list. My prediction for Rangers domination is quickly falling by the wayside as my team to beat has lost two tough games to start the second half. I still have faith in the Rangers as I really like their team but it will be a hard road the rest of the way and I’m not sure 2 losses can get them in the game.
After three games we have three undefeated teams left. The Reds, Red Sox and the Cubs are neck and neck at the top with the Angels drafting silently waiting for the right time to make their move with one loss. I have had a chance to watch all of these teams and they are all talented. I love the Reds but I also love what the Red Sox bring to the table and let’s not forget big Drew Paige and company on the Cubs. Man this is a tough one to call but if my Rangers can’t win the second half I have to go with the……. Reds. The Reds may have a little more than the rest of the undefeated teams and as I said last week about the Rangers vs Angels, the same can be said if the Reds and Angels hook up. A Gupton vs Dillard showdown would be epic! Sign me up!
The first half championship game was played last Sunday and unfortunately I was working so I only have a result but it was what I expected as the Royals emerged on top in a less than well-played game from the coaches perspective. The Royals are now in position to sit and wait to see who their championship opponent will be or try to take matters in their own hands and complete a season sweep by winning the second half.
After two games we have two teams undefeated with four teams a game back with one loss. The Dodgers and the Reds are leading the pack completing the week with perfect 2-0 records while the Royals, Braves, Red Sox and the Mariners are a game back at 1-1. After witnessing a few games this week I saw some things that I expected and I saw some things that I didn’t. It all adds up to some exciting games in the coming weeks to see who emerges on top. The Royals are still my favorite to sweep the season as I feel they have the best 1-2 combination in the league and now have an emerging Blake Brown in the mix which gives them an even bigger leg up on the field. If it isn’t the Royals it will have to be the Dodgers. They have too much twelve year old talent to not be in the conversation at the end.
Player of the Week
Once again we have a new player to be named but this week we have two to choose from but only one can win and it will come down to the number of at-bats each player received as the tie breaker but we’ll get to that later. On to the list!
Nick Moss: The Braves as a team had one heck of a week going .500 placing six players on this week’s list with Nick Moss being one of the six. Moss spends his time in the three spot in the Braves order and made his coach a smart man after posting a .500 average for the week. Moss was 2-2 on Saturday helping his team put a surprising loss on the Royals. If these guys keep up this pace the rest of the league may be in trouble. Nice job Nick!
Ethan Jackson: Another Braves player making noise this week was Ethan Jackson. Jackson matched his teammate’s exploits posting a .500 average. Jackson has some pop in his bat and it looks like there’s more “pop” to come in the weeks ahead. And his sister is going to UTC next year! Nice choice! You’ll love it!
Colton Cutrell: The Mariners have been flying under the radar this season without much fanfare but I think people are beginning to realize this team has some talent. One player of note is Colton Cutrell. Cutrell is a hard-nosed player that doesn’t wow you with any flare but what he does do is provide steady consistent play which is what you need to get the win. Cutrell posted a nice .500 average for the Mariners keeping his team in the hunt for the second half crown.
John Henry Knotts: John Henry is what I like to call a utility player meaning he can play pretty much anywhere you need him. That’s a nice feeling when you have a player of that caliber on your team and when the player can hit you are double pleased. The Padres have this in Knotts as his bat speaks volumes during games. This team was put behind the eight ball at the start of the season but has painted a nice canvas despite the handicap. It helps to have a John Henry Knotts on your team to lessen the blow. Nice week JH!
Kaleb Powell: Have you ever seen this kid without a smile on his face? I don’t think I have and I am trying to remember as I type. Nope, can’t do it! Kaleb will kill you with kindness on the field and sometimes you don’t even feel bad when you lose to his team because he is so dog gone nice! Anyway, aside from a bright smile this kid has some serious tools at his disposal. Speed, power, huge arm and a great defender, the kid has it all. I have to say I am going to miss seeing him on the field next season as he moves on to the “big field.” Nice job this week Kaleb!
Ryan Oden: Oh we have a Braves player on the list. Imagine that! I mentioned in an earlier post that Oden put in some serious work over the winter to ready himself for the upcoming season and I immediately took notice with improved velocity on the mound. The kid hasn’t slowed down since. The hard off-season work has paid dividends as Oden has continued to be a solid contributor for the Braves and one of the top eleven year olds in the league. You go Ryan!
Justin Brown: Hmm another Braves player. This kid has the nickname “I ain’t scared of nobody” because I never see him smile or show emotion when he is on the field. He is the terminator in a 4’ 8” body. I believe the ball would agree with my description as he has hit one or two silly this season. This past Saturday he continued his torrid batting by blistering not one but two of the league’s best pitchers. I really believe he ain’t scared of nobody. Nice Job Justin! I know the Godfather is proud!
Cooper Pennington: It is becoming a habit for me to see this name on the list every week. I mentioned I got to see him firsthand during the eleven year old all-star season last year when he hung out with the team and good buddy Kanon Lewis through the State Tournament. I knew he would be a great addition to the league and my opinion has been confirmed with multiple listings on the player of the week list. Pennington is another utility player that can play anywhere you need him and can hit for average. The Reds are walking around with wide smiles with Mr. Pennington on their team.
Kanon Lewis: Speaking of Mr. Lewis. Pennington’s buddy makes the list in the same .600 slot. Lewis is a pure hitter and arguably the top pitcher in the league. He can play pretty much anywhere on the field and has some serious power in the bat. Another kid you love to pull for no matter if he is on your team or against, Lewis will grace these pages many more times before the season ends.
Devvan Darden: Don’t make me say it, darn it ok. We have ANOTHER Braves player on the list and this one is another regular. Devvan Darden has put together one heck of a season for the Braves making the list probably every time this year. The way he is going I believe he may make the list every week as the bat has been white-hot. I’m glad we only play them once in the second half.
Mitchell Church: I am so happy to see Mitch Church on the list this week even though he plays for the, yep you called it, the Braves. Church was a monster on Saturday hitting three mega blasts off two of the top pitchers in the league. A .600 average isn’t too shabby either which shows he wasn’t a one game wonder. He has staying power!
Preston Driver: There wasn’t a shoe tying incident this week for Mr. Driver. Instead he used that energy to bang out some hits posting a .667 average. Driver won’t kill you with the long ball but he will kill you with consistent hits game in and out which adds up to wins for the Dodgers. The most important thing a lead-off batter can do for his team is get on base and Driver does that with regularity.
Bryce Miller: Another off-season workout warrior, Bryce Miller is enjoying one heck of a season in the batter’s box for the Mariners. Similar to Kaleb Powell in that Miller possesses blistering speed; Miller also shares a liking to the long ball. Miller can hit for average and also rip them out of the park. You got to tread lightly when you pitch to this kid. Expect to see this name on the list all season long.
Jacob Smith: The first ten year old to make the leap to the 11-12 division, Smith is now a fearsome twelve year old that plays a mean shortstop when he isn’t terrorizing the oppositions pitching staff. Another week on the list is ho hum for this talented twelve year old.
Peyton Oliphant: Peyton has arrived and no Omaha! When you post a .833 average for the week you have been doing some serious batting. I mentioned in an earlier post it took a little while for Oliphant to adjust to the differences between travel pitchers and Goodlettsville pitchers. It looks like the adjustment has been made and he is thriving nicely. Oliphant is a solid all-around player with power in the bat. Teams have to hold their breath when he steps in the box. Keep up the good work Peyton!
Bradley Wheeler: My man Bradley put on a show this week in the batter’s box posting a .833 average coming one hit short of perfection. When he isn’t giving his dad concussions in the batting cage you can see him lighting up the field for the Padres. I have a feeling we will see a little of him this Tuesday on the mound. Happy days……Not
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
As I mentioned at the beginning we have two players that tied for the player of the week honor but we can only crown one and the tie breaker is the number of at-bats for the week. More at-bats means more chances to not get a hit. With that here we go with the final two. Both are worthy winners and should be applauded for their work this week.
Fisher Donovan: I really wanted this kid in the draft this year and the Brewers snatched him before I had a chance to put my laptop on the table. I thought it was a great pick and I think so even more after seeing him post a perfect 1.000 batting average this week going 3-3 in three total plate appearances. The Brewers have a gem in Donovan and I expect more of this type of hitting as the season continues. Nice job Fisher!
Player of the Week
Tyler Robertson: Tyler Robertson achieved perfection this week for the Reds posting an impressive 5-5 stat line on 6 total plate appearances. The sixth at-bat was a walk. Robertson has been a rock behind the plate for the Reds not allowing many teams to take advantage of advancing to third on a few passed balls making the opponent have to earn each run by collecting multiple hits which isn’t as easy as it sounds during the regular season. Now Robertson has put in a solid week in the batter’s box and is one reason why the Reds are sitting atop the leaderboard with the Dodgers in the second half race. Nice job Tyler!
That’s all I have for now. I am going to try to add a former player each week to give everyone a little bit of history of the players that paved the way to make the Goodlettsville league what it is today. When I get more information on those players I will add at least one each week. Names such as Steve English (1972-73) and Jeff Martin (82-83?) have been mentioned and I am sure there will be more to come as this league has produced some serious talent over the years. We can’t lose our past so we have to honor those that came before.
Until next week…………………………………………
The Week That Was……..
We’ve now reached the halfway point in the season. The Yankees led the field in the minor league for much of the season but fell on hard times losing two games down the stretch to fall one game short of the champion Angels who finished with one loss. The second half is now under way and my gut tells me the Rangers will be the team to beat. They have a solid pitching staff and pretty good depth on offense and with Logan Harrell anchoring the team, I really like their chances. An end of season showdown against the Angels will be must see TV.
1st half showdown
The first half will come to an end today when the Dodgers and the Royals square off at 4pm for all the marbles. Both teams finished the first half with one loss with both equally capable of taking the title. The edge has to go to the Royals who have arguably the top pitcher in the league in Kanon Lewis ready to go. The Dodgers will counter with Luke Fleming who will move the ball around the strike zone with precision. I believe it will be a close game but in the end the Royals will emerge on top. Good luck to both teams.
Save of the Day
I didn’t get a chance to see any games during the week but I did catch the Braves and the Reds this Saturday. This game went the Braves way all game long as it seemed every bounce was a fortunate one until the final inning when the Reds finally turned the momentum in their favor with a last inning rally. My gut told me the Reds were going to pull out a win until Devvan Darden snatched the momentum away with a game saving play at third. With runners on first and second and one out, Darden knocked down a hard hit ball down the third base line, snatched it off the ground, stepped on third and promptly threw a strike to second for a game ending and game saving double play. Darden also finished the game 2-3. Nice job Devvan!
Player of the Week
Blake Brown: The Royals have been waiting on Blake Brown to take his talents from practice to the field and if this week is any indication he may be ready to do so as he finished the week at .500. Brown is one of the tallest players in the league and has a top three arm on the mound. If he maintains this level in the second half the Royals may be due an even better second half than the first.
Cooper Pennington: This is becoming commonplace seeing Cooper Pennington on the player of the week list. Pennington is a solid all-around player who is as tough an out as any in the league. The Reds have a solid core group with Pennington, Reeves, Urquhart and Dyer providing twelve year old leadership and I expect them to contend in the second half with this group leading the way.
Preston Driver: When he isn’t tying his shoes late in the game, Preston Driver displays some nice baseball skills on offense and defense for the Dodgers. Driver had another steady week at the plate keeping his team in a tie for first with the Royals. His Dodgers team placed a league leading five players on the list this week. Driver and company are a major threat.
Brown Norton: Brown Norton has been coming alive in the box lately and none too soon for the Dodgers as they battle the Royals for league supremacy. Norton holds down the middle of the order for the Dodgers and has provided some big hits to keep the big blue on the winning path. Nice job Brown. Keep the hits coming!
Jon Luke Simmons: The big lefty is the top eleven year old for the Dodgers and one of the reasons they are where they are at this point in the season. Simmons has proved steady on the mound and even more so on offense. I can only imagine how good he will be in year two. The Dodgers are in good hands.
Devvan Darden: Devvan Darden has been a regular on this list all season providing spark to a potent Braves lineup. The Braves have proven to be one of the top offensive teams in the league and Darden has been a catalyst on offense all season. Add a nice game saving double play yesterday to his ever expanding list of greatness this season.
Justin Brown: Justin “I ain’t scared of nobody” Brown is another Brave that has knocked the ball silly all year. I haven’t seen a pitcher that Brown hasn’t been able to handle and at this point I don’t think I will. I really love how this kid attacks the ball in the box. Keep it up Justin.
Tyler Jones: Tyler has been quiet on the offensive side of the ball up to this week but has started to show signs of finding his groove of late. To this point he has done his damage on the mound with great accuracy from the left handed side and a wicked breaking ball. It’s nice to see his ever dangerous bat coming to life as well. Nice job Tyler.
Jarrett Webb: Big nasty has entered the building! Jarrett started off the season not quite 100% and thus started off slow but has begun to come to life as the season has progressed. Webb is another homerun waiting to happen and I believe we may see a few dingers in the weeks to come. Welcome to the party Jarrett!
Bryce Miller: Mr. Clutch has been a regular on the list all season and is showing no signs of slowing down. He hasn’t been able to pitch in some time due to an arm injury but his bat is just fine thank you. Miller finishes off this week at .500 and the Mariners have benefitted nicely.
Sam Wisner: I have to admit I do not know a thing about Sam Wisner. What I do know is that the Mariners lead-off batter had one heck of a week batting .500 while helping the Mariners finish undefeated in the process. Stay hot Sam!
Carsen Rucker: Carsen “the cannon” Rucker is picking up steam. Rucker hasn’t pitched much this season but he has more than made up for it in the number-two slot on offense for the Royals. I mentioned last week that he may be better at this stage than older brother Jake and I haven’t seen anything to change my opinion. Keep on banging out the hits Carsen.
Jacob Smith: Jacob Smith is one dangerous batter! He was a terror last season and is even more so this year. The Dodgers shortstop has given every team nightmares this year when he steps in the box and is a major reason why the Dodgers are playing in the first half championship against the Royals this afternoon. Keep it up Jacob!
Peyton Carney: I mentioned last week that you could argue that Carney has been the best hitter on the Royals team so far this season. Another appearance on the player of the week list definitely doesn’t change my opinion on the subject. With Lewis, Powell, Rucker and Carney in the lineup, the Royals are as dangerous as any in the league.
Owen El-Shishini: Ah! My Will Ferrell moment has arrived! El-Shishini!!! Or as Will likes to say Fran-ches-co. Fran, umm, I mean El-Shishini had another great week at the plate for the Dodgers posting an impressive .750 clip keeping the Dodgers in a tie with the Royals. This team has more offensive weapons at their disposal than any team and at the moment El-Shishini is leading the way. Nice job!
Walker Sipe: The pocket rocket is still flying high for the Red Sox. Sipe started off slowly this season but has recently found his stride and the Red Sox have followed suit climbing up the leaderboard. Sipe was a one man wrecking crew on Thursday with an inside-the-park homerun and followed it up by going 1-2 on Saturday to finish at .750 for the week. Not bad my man. Not bad.
Player of the Week
For three weeks now we have had a surprise at the top of the heap with Tanner Jones taking week one and Braden Kelly ascending the top in week two. This week we have another surprise entry and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer kid.
Kody Rabon: Kody Rabon has worked hard on his swing this season and has had many frustrating days as he worked on changing things for the better. This week things came together for Kody as he reached base safely in every attempt posting a perfect score of 1.000. It is fulfilling to see a kid put in the work and get rewarded with positive results. Let’s hope this is only the beginning. Great job Kody!
In my greats of the past section, I talked about the great Jay Rhoten, this week I will talk about the expolits of one Parker Campbell. Parker Campbell was a member of the Dixie Youth World Series teams in 2008 (3rd place) and 2009 (co-runner-up). In 2009 Parker had one heck of a season. He was the #3 hitter on the Red Sox regular season team and maintained the same spot on the all-star team that summer. During the season he faced the top pitcher in the league, Alex Junior, who was a hard throwing lefty who was clocked at 78mph during the state tournament that season. Parker hit back-to-back-to-back homeruns off Junior to lead his team to an incredible 10-9 victory in that game. Afterwards the strategy was to pitch around the 5'8" 170lb right hander and let the rest of the team beat them. When the all-star season began Campbell got a new lease on life and was once again pitched to during the games. He promptly went back to work. He finished off the state tournament with two homeruns in the final two games and then hit five more homeruns in the five games the team played in the World Series for a seven game homerun streak. The record for the World Series is seven and Parker came oh so close to equaling that feat. He finished the tournament as the batting champion with an incredible .667 batting average to go with a tournament leading five homeruns. Parker was a wall behind the plate as the teams catcher and a monster in the box. He will be graduating from Beech in a few days.
That’s all I have for now. Keep the great plays coming! Good luck to all in the second half.
Until next week……………………………….
The Week That Was……..
One more week has passed without any canoes floating down the street thank you very much. We are now fully caught up in the major division and hopefully the minors after today’s Sunday matchups.
The 9-10 Yankees have been the talk of the league up to this point as they have run the table undefeated but this past Saturday they experienced their first hiccup against a very tough Rangers team. With the loss the Angels are now even with the Yankees with the Rangers a game back entering the final week of the first half. I am expecting a win on Friday by the Rangers but the Angels and the Yankees have a little work left against the Reds and the Cubs respectively. Both of those teams are dangerous so it is not a given either will win their final first half game. If so we will have a playoff and if both lose we could have a three-way tie with a draw to determine who advances to the title game with the other two battling it out for the right to play the team with the bye. Good stuff!
With two games remaining in the first half we are down to two survivors in the race for the title. The mighty Royals and the defending champion Dodgers. Both teams have looked strong with solid pitching and enough offense to carry them to victories and with one week left it is anyone’s guess as to who will emerge with the belt. As is the case in the minor league we may be headed to a one game playoff to determine the first-half champ. Some more good stuff! As a fan I am hoping to see some playoff games. The league leaders are hoping for none of the above. Playoffs are a headache for those handling the scheduling for the league. I don’t wish that job on anyone but a playoff will be a nice ending to the first half.
Unfortunately I did not see any great defensive plays this week but I am sure there were a few. Well coach Adam Wheeler did catch a ball from Bradley “the Beast” Wheeler in the forehead during batting practice. I guess that counts as a great defensive play. His reward was a concussion. Use a glove next time Adam.
Player of the Week
This will be some kind of Player of the Week as we had three games for every team due to the previous weeks rain-a-thon which means the players got more at bats which will make it even more difficult to make the list. As usual we had several on the list with only one reaching the plateau as the week’s top dog. With no further delay here are your players!
Ty Reeves: Mr. Reeves is one dangerous hitter and every coach in the league knows it which is why he gets special attention when he is in the box. The attention is designed to get the big Reds batter out but as was the case this week the strategy wasn’t as successful as he finished the three-game stretch with a .500 clip. Ty Reeves has been one of the reasons the Reds have had the season they’ve had to date and will continue to have as long as he is in the lineup. Keep up the good work Ty!
Peyton Carney: Peyton Carney had a strong finish to the season last year and with the serious growth he experienced over the winter, has taken his offensive exploits to another level. You can argue that Peyton has been the best and most consistent hitter for the first place Royals so far this season. I don’t think you would get many objections with that observation. Carney has power and a good eye in the box; two good traits that should serve him well as the season continues. Keep up the good work Peyton!
Owen El-Shishini: Don’t you love saying that last name? El-ShiShini! I love typing it to tell you the truth. I feel like Will Ferrell in ELF “FRAN-CHES-CO” “FRAN-CHES-CO.” EL-SHI-SHI-NI! I like it! Anyway Owen had a great week for the Dodgers collecting four hits in eight tries for a steady .500 average keeping the boys in blue in the chase for the first half crown. El-Shishini (I just had to) won’t jump of the screen so to speak but he gets the job done game in and out which is all a coach can ask. Keep on making Coach Fleming proud Owen!
Luke Fleming: The Lucapotamus is back on the Player of the Week list! Luke Fleming is as versatile a player the league has at its disposal as he handles the majority of the Dodgers big game pitching duties and when he’s not on the mound he plays wherever the team needs him. This week he provided his Dodgers team with some pop in the bat collecting three hits in six tries. Luke is a regular on the list and because of that I have run out of things to say about him without becoming repetitive. Just keep doing you thing Luke!
Jake Bell: A first timer on the list and I bet he will be shocked when he gets the news. Mr. Bell went 1-2 in a limited role for the Red Sox but that one-for-two stat sheet helped the Red Sox claim two victories in three tries against the Dodgers, Reds and the Royals. Jake is a pleasure to be around and a joy to coach. No problems just hustle and determination. Congratulations Jake!
Dylan Suter: Dylan Suter is getting back into baseball after a three-year absence. The time off has been a challenge as he has struggled in the batter’s box but he made strides this week batting .500 for the Red Sox. This kid has all the ability in the world and is starting to make some headway in the confidence department. I think there are some good days ahead for Suter as the season progresses. Nice job Dylan!
Cam McClanahan: What in Cam-Nation is Cam doing on this list? Cam missed the first two games of the season for the Red Sox which put him behind the rest of the league from a batter’s perspective but lately he has been making up for lost time with some impressive stats for the Red Sox. He came oh so close to singlehandedly leading the Sox to a Sunday victory over the Dodgers smashing a three-run homerun over the right field fence but Jacob Smith had other plans equaling the feat a few innings later to seal the win. Nevertheless the Red Sox are excited to see his strong bat come to life as they prepare for a second half run. Cam is coming, pitcher’s run for cover!
Bryson Merrill: I have watched this kid for three years now first as a member of the 9-10 Braves and now the 11-12 Royals. Merrill isn’t going to win any races anytime soon but what he does do well is put the ball in play with consistency. He did it for the Braves and now is picking up with the Royals a trait that every coach wants on his team. Keep it up Bryson.
Titus Suggs: Here is another player I have watched for three years now. Two years ago Titus had a great season with the bat but fell on hard times as a ten year old which was surprising to me from what I saw the previous year. This season it looks like he has once again found his swing and the Padres are benefitting nicely with some wins of late. Suggs is an all-around player and it is satisfying to see him have some success in his first year in the big leagues. Congrats Titus!
Jackson Brown: Here is another former 9-10 Braves player that I have watched for a few years. Brown, a twelve year old, won’t wow you with any flash but he gets the job done for the Brewers going 3-5 this week thank you very much with one of those hits a triple to left field. Batting in the middle of the lineup can cause coaches to overlook a player but with Brown occupying that spot for the Brewers it would be wise not to sleep or suffer the consequences.
Walker Sipe: I mentioned that I had run out of things to say about the Luke-a-pota-mus Luke Fleming earlier in the article. The same can be said for the Red Sox pocket rocket, Walker Sipe. Walker may be the smallest player in the league but he is definitely one of the biggest when it comes to his game. Walker can play any position and carries a dangerous bat every game he walks to the plate. A .600 average isn’t anything to sneeze at considering every coach approaches him with extra attention each and every at-bat. Do your thang Walker!
Cooper Pennington: C-O-O-P-E-R! Here is another player I really like watching play the game. We got to face him for the first time on the field this week and he promptly punished us by collecting two of his team’s three hits. He is a smooth fielding, solid hitting machine and the Reds are lucky to have his services. Keep up the good work Cooper. I love the shades by the way!
Carsen Rucker: I knew it was just a matter of time. The cannon can’t stay off the list forever! Carsen “the cannon” Rucker made the jump to the major leagues after one season in 9-10 and hasn’t missed a beat. The kid is crazy talented and I’m afraid looks better than his older brother Jake from the 2012 United States Champion team. Sorry Jake, I love you but little brother is nasty! Last season we had Zach McWilliams making noise as a ten year old and this season it is Carsen. I see great things ahead for the cannon. Great job Carsen!
Bryce Miller: When you put in the work good things are bound to happen. This is the case for Bryce Miller. Bryce worked his tail off over the winter to get ready for his twelve year old year and the work is paying off as Bryce has been a bright spot for the Mariners all season. A side note about this kid. Last season he played for the eleven year old all-star state championship team and batted an astounding 1.000 for the tournament. Digest that for a moment; perfection for an entire tournament. The kid is clutch!
Jacob Smith: The first player to make the jump to the major division as a ten year old is now a strong sturdy twelve year old. Smith is as tough an out as you will find in the league. We found that out the hard way today as he was responsible for six of his team’s seven runs and we did try to pitch around him to no avail. Keep on keeping on Jacob!
Peyton Oliphant: The second M.A.D. Mustang in the league, Peyton couldn’t be outdone by Cooper Pennington so he graces the list at .750 for the Mariners in the second installment. Peyton has steadily improved with each passing week adjusting to the different challenges the Goodlettsville pitchers present from what he sees in travel. If this week is an indication we may have a monster on our hands from here on out. Time will tell. Nice job Peyton!
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
This is what we’ve all been waiting for; the player that lead all others in the box for the week. I mentioned in week one that this kid looked good behind the plate for the Brewers and was filling his big brother’s shoes nicely. The kid in question is……..
Braden Kelly: Braden Kelly had one heck of a week achieving perfection in six plate appearances for the Brewers. That’s not an easy feat for any player especially for an eleven year old facing twelve year old pitching on a regular basis. Braden is hitting a growth spurt in his eleven year old year and I can only imagine how he’s going to look next season. The added size and good bat will pay dividends in the days and year ahead. Congratulations Braden! Keep it up!
Well it has been a LONG day for me as I drove to UTC this morning to pick up my daughter’s dorm room things, played a great game versus the Dodgers at 545 and now finishing up another ATQ at 11pm with a date at 730am at the Goodpasture Golf Scramble at Old Hickory Country Club. It’s time to get a few hours of rest.
Until next week……………………………………….