Leo’s Journey from Little League to College Baseball (Second Chance at College)

This is part 11 (Age 20-21, second chance at college) of an ongoing series following a young player’s baseball career from Little League to College Baseball. In order to get the most out of this series, be sure to start at the beginning.

It will be a long time before another part is written after this one. This is a true story, which as of the end of part 11 is up-to-date (June 2017). It will be at least a year before there is enough new material available to write out the next part.

This last post (for now) is long enough that I broke it up into sections to make it a little easier on the reader.

Leo overcame many obstacles in his long journey from little league to college baseball. What will he have to overcome next?
Image courtesy of Robert Montenegro at crookedscoreboard.com

Leo overcame many obstacles and setbacks during his years as a young baseball player, made all the harder by rarely being proactive on his own behalf, not taking his studies seriously, and sometimes simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The old adage, “if you’re good enough, they will find you” may apply to the very best few thousand high school ball players in the nation each year. But it does not apply to most players, and it certainly did not apply to Leo. Except . . .

They did find him. Well, sort of . . .

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Leo’s Journey from Little League to College Baseball (College Walk-on)

This is part 10 (Age 19, first year of Junior College) of an ongoing series following a young player’s baseball career from Little League to College Baseball. In order to get the most out of this series, be sure to start at the beginning.

Leo performed very well on the baseball field in little league, travel ball, middle school, and high school. But his grades, work ethic, and various other behaviors hampered any aspirations he may have had to attend college as a student/athlete playing baseball.

A couple months after high school, Wayne enrolled Leo in a two-year junior college located a couple hours away. He was invited onto the baseball team there, but as a walk-on, with no baseball scholarship funds available to support him during his first year as a student. Wayne helped Leo move into his apartment mid-August.

Would Leo be able to travel and play with the college baseball team?
(image courtesy Marco Bellucii)

A few days later, Leo attended his first college baseball practice. Wayne was excited to hear that Leo was finally practicing with a baseball team, but also uncertain whether Leo would ever get to play.

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Leo’s Journey from Little League to College Baseball (HS Senior): A New Hope

This is part 9 (Age 18, 12th grade) of an ongoing series following a young player’s baseball career from Little League to College Baseball. In order to get the most out of this series, be sure to start at the beginning.

Note: The only source material for prior parts was Wayne’s forum thread. This part sources some material from newspaper articles covering Leo’s well-known head coach. To help keep Leo and Wayne’s identity private, I do not name the coach or provide links to these sources.

Throughout Leo’s senior year, Wayne knew that Leo’s high school days were coming to an end. He also figured that Leo’s baseball days were coming to an end.

courtesy pixabay

Leo had enough baseball talent to continue. But Leo had repeatedly demonstrated in high school that he wasn’t willing to work hard at baseball or his studies. He preferred hanging out, partying, and sharing cool moments to his public Myspace page. Leo’s Myspace page was not a particularly great way to present himself to potential college coaches.

Wayne expected Leo would probably quit baseball before the season even started, on account of the new coach and his extremely demanding preseason routine which began in August. In Wayne’s words (post 1482):

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Leo’s Journey from Little League to College Baseball (HS Junior)

This is part 8 (Age 17, 11th grade) of an ongoing series following a young player’s baseball career from Little League to College Baseball. In order to get the most out of this series, be sure to start at the beginning.

Wayne’s feelings were conflicted as Leo entered his first year with varsity.

Even though Leo had enjoyed dominating at the JV level, Wayne was disappointed with Leo’s lack of desire to play with the varsity team as a sophomore.

On the other hand, Wayne had reasons to be guardedly optimistic this year. After coming off a stellar year playing for JV, the head coach praised Leo and signaled good things to come at a pre-season baseball banquet that took place mid-February.

high school baseball banquet, courtesy Deborah Guske Parrish

In Wayne’s words (post 1257):

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Leo’s Journey from Little League to College Baseball (HS Sophomore)

This is part 7 (Age 16, 10th grade) of an ongoing series following a young player’s baseball career from Little League to College Baseball. In order to get the most out of this series, be sure to start at the beginning.

Will Leo advance from JV to varsity?
modified pixabay image

Wayne had been looking forward to Leo’s sophomore year with great anticipation. This was the year he expected Leo would shine and move up to varsity.

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Axe Bat Review: MB50 Big Barrel in the Hands of an 11-year old

My son likes Axe bats so much that he now refuses to swing bats without an axe-like knob. Though he likes all of the Axe bats he’s tried, the MB50 is the first bat he’s truly loved. He loves the appearance and grip (designed by Mookie Betts). He loves the feel of the swing. But more than anything, he loves the performance off live pitching.

I’m not new to describing my son’s experience with Axe bats. My first review covered two 2 1/4″ 2015 models, while the second review covered the 2 1/4″ 2016 Origin.

This review is for my son’s first big barrel bat, the 2017 MB50 2 5/8″ barrel, 30″, 20 oz. (for 10% discount, use code JGOL10), which Baden Sports provided to us for testing:

MB50 Axe Bat 2 5/8″ (Courtesy Baden Sports)
Origin L144E Axe Bat 2 5/8″ (Courtesy Baden Sports)

The $129.99 MB50 differs from the $99.99 L144E Origin big barrel only in appearance and the tape used for the handle, so any experience with the MB50 applies to the L144E as well.

How did the MB50 work out for my son?

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Leo’s Journey from Little League to College Baseball (HS Freshman)

This is part 6 (Age 15, 9th grade) of an ongoing series following a young player’s baseball career from Little League to College Baseball. In order to get the most out of this series, be sure to start at the beginning.

Part 6 is long, so I broke it up into sections.

Leo entered high school a few weeks before his 15th birthday. High school is a big transition for most kids. So how was that transition for Leo, especially as it related to sports?

image courtesy pixabay

It started with Football.

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Leo’s Journey from Little League to College Baseball (Great Team)

This is part 5 (Age 14, 8th grade) of an ongoing series following a young player’s baseball career from Little League to College Baseball. In order to get the most out of this series, be sure to start at the beginning.

Leo started the season at 5′ 5″, 125 Lbs. Though still close to median height for his age (which is small for baseball), he was starting to fill out a little.

As expected, Leo made the 8th grade middle school team. He also earned a spot as a starter. His middle school was very large, playing in the largest size classification for his state.

A really good team . . .

You need to perform at a high level to be a starter on a big-school team. And this wasn’t looking to be a run-of-the-mill big-school team. It was looking like this could be a really good team, the kind of team that routinely outclasses the competition.

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Leo’s Journey from Little League to College Baseball (Middle School Tryout)

This is part 4 (Age 13, 7th grade) of an ongoing series following a young player’s baseball career from Little League to College Baseball. In order to get the most out of this series, be sure to start at the beginning.

Image courtesy Akadema

A couple months after Leo turned 13, he went to the December tryout for the middle school team, as a 7th grader. At 35 degrees, it was cold!

The middle school baseball coach ran the tryouts using a serious high school approach. Of the 26 kids who tried out for the team, 14 were immediately cut. In Wayne’s words (post 424):

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Leo’s Journey from Little League to College Baseball (Injury)

This is part 3 (Age 12, 6th grade) of an ongoing series following a young player’s baseball career from Little League to College Baseball. In order to get the most out of this series, be sure to start at the beginning.

After the fall baseball season ended, Leo again played basketball. Though Leo was excited at the start the basketball season, it was clearly not his favorite sport. That would be baseball.

Image courtesy pixabay.com

Leo also took up skateboarding. Wayne was not happy. Wayne “couldn’t stand the skateboard (post 364).”

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