I’m really excited as I have a lot of really neat opportunities coming up.
This summer I will be playing in my 3rd year with Purpose Driven. I’m super excited about it because I truthfully feel I am better than I’ve ever been, both physically and mentally. My goal is to prove myself within the organization. I feel like I’ve always been the small kid that is ok at baseball. I’m out to change that.
Also coming up this summer, I have a really cool opportunity. Through a friend, I was able to get a position in the High School Internship program at Fidelity. Most of the work I will be doing will be in the Analytics Department. My goal is to soak in as much information as I can and learn as much as I can.
My income this summer will be coming from the internship and my lawn mowing business. I have 4 lawns I am responsible for as of now.
I am very pleased with my high school baseball season. I feel like I learned a lot of valuable lessons that I can take into the summer with Purpose Driven. Here are a few of the things that stood out to me.
Confidence: I’m heading into a stage in my baseball career where I have a lot to prove and confidence is crucial. Compared to last year, I got a considerably greater amount of at-bats during the school season. I think this will help me heading into the travel season.
Physical: I learned how to use the new muscle I put on in the offseason. I could really see the immediate impact in my throwing and hitting.
Limited Load, Using Right Field: I put this approach to use later in the season and had some pretty good success. I am looking forward to using and improving on it during the travel season.
Here are a few videos of at-bats and outfield play.
As a team, we went 1-1 this past week. Although I didn’t do incredibly well in our two games, I was very happy with the adjustments I made and I’m feeling confident heading into this last half of the season. We only have 1 conference game this week, and then this weekend we will be having a tournament with teams from outside of our conference.
Adjustments: Heading into this week, I had been in a pretty big slump. I hadn’t gotten a hit in 4 or 5 games. Then my dad and I noticed something mechanically in my swing that I needed to fix. The change has really helped, and I’ll discuss if further later on.
Fielding: I haven’t had an error yet this year, and I’m looking to keep it that way. My throws have been strong and accurate.
Need to Improve:
Load: I already fixed it in these last couple of games, but I’ll tell you what I needed to improve. During my slump, I was loading downwards, causing me to miss pitches, and when I made contact they would be pop-ups. Then with the help of my dad and Drew Denson, I was able to change my load so that I was not loading as much, and staying more upright in my swing. Like Drew has been telling me, I’m not the small kid anymore. I have muscle and I need to stop swinging like I’m the small kid.
Sprinting on and off field/Attitude: These are small but very important things. I’ve noticed lately that I haven’t really had a short memory, and I’ve been jogging on and off the field. These are important because they set the tone for everything else that you do on the field.
Looking forward to next week! Here’s a video of one of my at-bats.
We have played 7 games so far this season, and we are 4-3 in those games. I am hitting .375 as of now. These first 7 games have happened over a span of 3 weeks.
Things to Improve On:
Thought Process:At the plate, I sometimes think myself into a bad swing or a missed pitch. I have seen this in the last two games especially. The key for me is to calm down, have a plan and not think too much.
Being a Good Teammate: I feel like I do a good job of this, but it’s always a good reminder. I can either be a spark/encourager to my teammates, or a discourager and bring everyone else down. Perspective is very important in a team environment.
Things Done Well:
Fielding: I have had no errors so far this season, and my throws have been strong and accurate.
Overall Hitting: Like I said earlier, these past two games I’ve been overthinking, but overall I’m happy about my improvement in hitting. I’ve been getting on base frequently, whether by walks or hits etc.
Below you can see two of my at-bats.
Here is the second one:
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At my school we have FCA, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and this past year was my first year as a leader. It has been an awesome experience. I’ve met a lot of new people and further developed relationships with people I already know. It has helped me to grow in a multitude of ways. First and foremost, I have grown closer to Jesus. Not only this, but it has helped me to develop leadership and confidence. I am looking forward to leading my junior and senior years as well!
I have also begun to serve at the Special Needs Ministry at my church. I am so happy that I have done this. I love working with these kids and helping them with whatever they need. I get to play with them for an hour while they learn about Jesus. It is awesome!
I am interested in analytics for a career, and out of that interest I’ve had some really neat opportunities come up.
Through my dad, I was able to talk to Mr. Jon Berger, the Senior Director of Football Information for the New York Giants. We talked about what this kind of job requires, what he does on a daily basis, and what I would need to do to be prepared for a job similar to this. I am very thankful to Mr. Berger for taking time out of his day to talk to me.
Also, through one of my friends at school, I was able to talk to Mr. Michael Plant, the VP of Product Mgmt- Enterprise Communications & Learning at Fidelity. I spoke to him about my interest in analytics, and he offered for me to be an intern at Fidelity to learn more about analytics. I am really excited to be offered this opportunity as a sophomore in high school.
I am very thankful to both of these men for taking an interest in me.
These experiences have been really awesome, and they have taught me a lot of things. I am beginning to understand how the business world works and how you should interact with other people. This has also taught me how to be responsible and confident in the way that I do things.
In August of 2016, I was challenged by my coach, Corey Lee, to gain weight in the offseason. The original goal we had set was to gain 12 pounds, or 2 pounds each month over the span of 6 months.
I am very proud to say that I have gained 17-18 pounds over the span of 4 months. I went from 120 pounds to 137-138 pounds. As of now I still have about 2 more months of offseason training until school ball begins.
I am very thankful for Coach Corey taking interest in me and suggesting that I do this. I am also very thankful to Drew Denson for helping me to put on this weight. Above all, I thank God for putting these men in my life.
The weekend of September 10th, 2016, I played at Appalachian State University with Purpose Driven. We also played at the Hickory Crawdads stadium. The Crawdads are a Single-A team for the Texas Rangers. I was very impressed with App. State. The mountains were beautiful and the facilities were awesome. We played great, going 4 and 0 on the weekend. I played well too, going 3 for 7 with 2 walks.
Hitting: I feel like I’m finally starting to get in a groove at the plate. I felt comfortable and just had fun swinging the bat.
Fielding: I had no errors, and was able to contribute to a nice relay to throw out a runner trying to stretch a double into a triple. He hit it into the corner in left, and I made a nice, quick, accurate throw to my cut-off man. He was able to fire it to third to get the out.
Need to Improve:
Attitude: I had a good attitude, but I’m referring to what I think after the game. I need to be careful not to be satisfied with the results and get overly arrogant. It’s good to enjoy it, but I also need to move on to the next game, at-bat, pitch, etc.
This past weekend I played at Belmont Abbey College and Wingate University with my travel team, Purpose Driven Baseball. We went 2-0 on the weekend. We played the same team for both games, and it wasn’t pretty. We won the first game 25-0 and the second one 11-0. It’s fun to win, but sometimes those kind of games aren’t the best. I went 3 for 4 with 2 walks. Ironically, we got none of my hits on video. Baseball is a game of superstitions, so I might be saying goodbye to videos for a while.
Mental Approach: I focused on a few things at the plate, but kept it simple.
Fielding: I had no errors in the field and I had good throws to my cut off men.
Getting on Base: I know how important getting on base is in today’s game, and I was very happy with getting on base 5 out of 6 plate appearances.
Need to Improve:
Recognizing Off-Speed Pitches: I haven’t been thrown that many curveballs yet, but I need to start seeing the spin right away to recognize it quickly. The video below was on a curveball. My timing and aggressiveness need some work in this at-bat.
This was my last baseball weekend of the summer. My goal for this offseason is to gain 12 pounds of muscle before the start of high school baseball, which would put me at 133 pounds.