USA Baseball Tournament

This past weekend I played a tournament at the USA baseball training complex in Cary, North Carolina. My team, Purpose Driven, went 0-4 on the weekend. It’s amazing how one weekend you go 5-0, playing great baseball, and then the next weekend you play poorly and go 0-4. That’s just how the game works sometimes. I went 0 for 4 with a sacrifice bunt and a walk while playing solid defense the whole weekend.USA baseball field

Did well:

  • Sacrifice Bunt: With a runner on first in a tight game , I was able lay down a bunt down the first base line to move the runner into scoring position. You can watch it in this video here.
  • Outfield Play: I made no errors, playing a solid left and center field the whole weekend.
  • Being a good teammate: At certain points in the weekend I didn’t play as much as I would’ve liked to. I felt like I did a good job of not complaining, while making sure I was a positive influence on the bench instead of pouting and pulling the rest of the team down.

Need to improve:

  • Seeing ball deeper, using opposite field: Last weekend, I did a great job of this and as a result I got 5 hits. This weekend, I was impatient and way out in front of pitches, resulting in no hits. I think the difference in the two weekends shows me that I need to work on becoming more consistent in the way I play each and every time I step onto the field.
  • Staying relaxed and within my approach: I think this goes hand in hand with the point above. When I get to excited in the box, it causes me to pull pitches, which is not my strength at this point. You can see an example in this video. When I stay relaxed and within my approach of hitting the ball to center and left field, good things happen.
  • Learning how to play tired, not 100%: In the fourth and last game of the tournament, I was very tired. Then my coach made a good point after the game. He said that 75% of the time, major and minor leaguers play tired. Therefore I need to learn how to play well even when I am tired.

This was my last tournament of the 2015 summer. Overall, I think I have improved a lot. I can take two main lessons from this summer. Stay consistent, and let the ball travel and get deep. If I can do those things, I know I will become a more well rounded ball player. I will take a short amount of time off, and then I will transition to the fall part of my baseball season.

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Morehead City Tournament

This past weekend I played a tournament in Morehead City, North Carolina with my travel team, Purpose Driven. We went 5-0 winning the tournament while only allowing one run the whole weekend. We played fundamentally sound defense to go along with stellar pitching. I went 5 for 8 on the weekend, with a double and four singles.

Need to improve:

  • Initial setup at the plate: Usually when I setup, my left foot is a little bit in front of my right foot. With this closed off stance, it makes it very hard for me to drive an inside pitch. It didn’t affect me to much this weekend because all of my hits were on pitches down the middle or on the outside part of the plate. But as I get into higher levels of baseball, pitchers will notice this and pitch to the weakness they see. So to fix this, when I setup initially in the batter’s box my feet will be even with each other. This allows me to drive an inside pitch rather than get jammed.
  • Load: I have a leg lift in my load, and sometimes I can get rushed with it. Instead, I need to be more slow and controlled, which will allow me to see the ball better.

Did well:

  • Approach: I was hunting the fastball early in counts, making sure it was a pitch that I could drive. In the field, I was making sure I knew what I was doing with the ball if it was hit to me. I communicated with my teammates so we were on the same page.
  • Using right field: I was seeing the ball deep and driving the ball to the opposite field instead of being impatient and pulling pitches that don’t need to be pulled.

My next tournament is in Cary, North Carolina at the USA baseball complex.

 

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