PLAYER SPOTLIGHTS

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We will be spotlighting players at all levels and learn about their journeys.

If you know of a deserving player that would like to be featured, click here


(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

I would like to thank Drew on giving his insight on what it takes to get to the professional level. I was thrilled when Drew agreed to answer some questions for the benefit of young players and parents.

Drew plays in The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim organization spending time with the AA Arkansas Travelers and AAA Salt Lake Bees in 2014. In his minor league career, he has 1514 at bats with a .289 average. He was selected by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the ninth round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of Gonzaga University. He was rated Best Strike Zone Discipline in the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim system after the 2012 season.

I had Lefty sit down and read Drew’s answers and then I asked him for his thoughts. Lefty said the part that made him think the most is when Drew said he always believes he’s the best player on the field. Lefty said maybe he should also give himself permission to believe he’s the best player on the field. But he also read that humility is important. So he said I guess telling everyone else how great you are wouldn’t be cool because that’s not being humble. But believing it inside yourself is what’s really important.

Huge! From the mouth of a MiLB player to the ears of an eleven year old. Thanks Drew!

TheRustyArm: When did you start playing baseball?

Drew: I started playing on a team when I was 4 years old. It was a tee ball/coach pitch league.

TheRustyArm: Did you play travel baseball growing up in WA?

Drew: I want to say the only team I played with, similar to a travel ball team was the Walla Walla Bears.

TheRustyArm: Did you play other sports besides baseball?

Drew: Yes, I played soccer, basketball, and football to go along with baseball.

TheRustyArm: Did you have private instruction or lessons growing up?

Drew: I attended a couple of camps. One geared towards pitching. The other was towards hitting and fielding. No private lessons

TheRustyArm: What quality or trait do you believe got you this far?

Drew: The quality of people I had to face and learn from helped me to develop the traits I needed to succeed. They inspired me to have great humility and excitement for sports. Learning from them has gotten me as far as I have gotten.

TheRustyArm: What’s the best piece of advice you ever got with respect to baseball?

Drew: Always believe that you are the best player on the field. My dad told me that when I was young.

TheRustyArm: When did you know you had the ability to play at a high level? And what made you think so?

Drew: I believed I could play at a high level when I was a junior in college. I believed it because I had coaches and other people who had played at those higher levels show they believed I could play at a high level. I always believed I was a great player but came from a small place where I thought I would never be noticed.

TheRustyArm: Can you name a coach or mentor that was instrumental in your development and how?

Drew: Well when I was young and beginning it was my father, cause he taught me the basics for everything. My freshman year in college, my assistant coach, Dave Meliah, was the one who helped me go to that next level in my hitting ability by creating a rhythm for my hitting.

TheRustyArm: If you could go back to your days of youth baseball would you do anything different?

Drew: No, not at all. Youth baseball was the reason I fell in love with baseball.

TheRustyArm: If you could go back and tell your 12-year-old self something, what would it be?

Drew: Don’t miss any chances to play baseball. And eat as healthy as you can.

TheRustyArm: What is one thing your parent(s) did or said that supported you in baseball?

Drew: Dad, just teaching me how to play with my heart and tell me never to give up. My mother always made sure I never gave up. She would help make sure I could play all day long if I wanted to. She told me never to worry about anyone else but me.

TheRustyArm: What is one piece of advice you would give to young players today?

Drew: Same as my dad said, play with your heart. Cause that is how you will find out what you truly love in baseball or life.

Follow Drew’s journey and become a fan.  Lefty and I will be rooting for him.  Can’t wait for Spring Training in AZ!

ARKANSAS TRAVELERS

ARKANSAS TRAVELERS

Drew Heid  4 RF

  • Full Name: Andrew K. Heid
  • Born: December 14, 1987
  • Age: 26
  • Birthplace: Yakima, WA
  • Bats: L
  • Throws: R
  • Height: 5′ 10″
  • Weight: 175
  • Draft: Round 9 (2010, LAA)
  • School: Gonzaga

Bentson_Brandon_r620x349

Brandon Bentson

I met Brandon Bentson last month while interviewing Coach Hause at Cal State San Marcos.  I asked Brandon a few questions that day and knew right away he would be a great candidate for the player spotlight.  I wish every young player could read his answer to my question on “when did you know you had the ability to play at the college level”.  I can’t wait for Lefty to read Brandon’s inspiring words.  I know you will enjoy them too.

Brandon is a 20-year-old junior at Cal State San Marcos where he hit .339 last year. He graduated from Ranch Bernardo High School in 2012 where he batted .430.

 TheRustyArm: What position(s) do you play?

Brandon: First base

TheRustyArm: When did you start playing baseball?

Brandon: I started playing baseball when I was about three years old in a recreational tee ball league in Rancho Bernardo.

TheRustyArm: When did you start playing travel baseball?

Brandon: I started playing travel baseball when I was thirteen years old for the California Lookouts and then played with the Encinitas Gamers in high school.

TheRustyArm: Did you or do you play any sports in addition to baseball?

Brandon: I did play football, basketball, and roller hockey along with playing baseball as a kid. I stopped playing them when I picked up travel baseball at age thirteen when baseball began to take up all of my time.

TheRustyArm: Do you or did you have private instruction or lessons?

Brandon: I used to take lessons for pitching but I never really had any other private instruction other than that. When I was usually in a slump I would work with one of my coaches or my mom would take me to the local batting cage.

TheRustyArm: What quality or trait do you believe got you this far?

Brandon: I believe the trait that has gotten me this far is my competitiveness. When I was a kid I always wanted to win. No matter if it were a video game or baseball game I always would give it my best effort for my team to win the game. Another trait I think that really helps to have is remaining positive. Just taking something positive out of everything that you do on the field everyday, whether it be good or bad.

TheRustyArm: What’s the best piece of advice you ever got with respect to baseball?

Brandon: The best advice that I’ve ever got with respect to baseball was a quote from a Dr Seuss book actually. The quote is, “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive that is truer than you.” My coach in high school, Sam Blalock, gave us this quote at our final practice before our C.I.F. championship game in 2011. This quote basically means that the best person and player that you can be is yourself. This piece of advice helped me realize what I was capable of on the field and to stay within myself when playing the game of baseball and in life as well.

TheRustyArm: When did you know you had the ability to play at the college level? And what made you think so?

Brandon: During my Sophomore and Junior year in high school I really struggled playing and got really down on myself and didn’t think that I had a chance to play college baseball. So by my senior year I just completely forgot about college baseball and told myself to have fun playing my final year of baseball. It turned out to me my most productive year I have ever had. My coach ended up calling coach Pugh at Cal State San Marcos and got me a spot on the fall roster which didn’t guarantee a spot on the spring roster. But when I really knew I had the ability to play college baseball was when I received a call from the University at Albany (a NCAA division 1 school in New York) the summer after my senior year. They were very interested and offered me a scholarship. I ended up turning it down to come to Cal State San Marcos when coach Pugh guaranteed me a spot to play. I am very fortunate to be playing still.

TheRustyArm: Can you name a coach or mentor that has been instrumental in your development and how?

Brandon: My coach from Freshman baseball, Dan Kelly, taught me almost everything about the physical part of baseball and how to play the game fundamentally sound. And my varsity head coach Sam Blalock really helped with my development in the mental game of baseball.

TheRustyArm: What is one piece of advice you would give to young players today?

Brandon: The advice I would give is to just go out and have some fun playing the game of baseball. That’s about the only thing you can control in this game. As long as you are having fun playing the game the rest will take care of itself.

TheRustyArm: If you could go back to your days of youth baseball would you do anything different?

Brandon: I’m not really sure I would do anything different to be honest. Everything that has happened from youth baseball has really helped form my identity as a person and a baseball player.

TheRustyArm: If you could go back and tell your 12-year-old self something, what would it be?

Brandon: I think I would tell my 12-year old self to have confidence in yourself. The one thing that I have realized over the years is that if you do not believe in yourself then why would anyone else believe in you? When I became confident in who I was it made me a better player and person.

TheRustyArm: What is one thing your parent(s) have done or said that supported you in baseball?

Brandon: My parents have been here to support me since day one and I know that they will be here with me until my career is over to support me. They’ve pushed me to work hard and give it my all and helped me through all the slumps and bad times I have went through in this sport. I wouldn’t be playing baseball today if it weren’t for the love and the support by not only my parents but my entire family.

TheRustyArm: What do you hope to accomplish in your baseball career?

Brandon: I hope to continue playing baseball after college. I don’t think there would be anything cooler than getting a call from a Major League Baseball team saying that they have selected me in the draft. It would be a very surreal feeling for not only me but my family as well. I am still very far from that being a reality. But until then I am just going to continue to work hard and have fun and let the rest take care of itself.

TheRustyArm: If you could do anything else besides play baseball, what would it be?

Brandon: If I were to do anything besides play baseball I would probably either coach or be a sports journalist. I love talking any type of sport and helping people learn the game. I don’t think I could have a job that did not involve sports. (I can relate, Brandon)

Great stuff, right?!

Go see Brandon and the CSUSM Cougars. Lefty and I will see you there!

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Jimmy1 (1)

Jimmy Monahan

Jimmy Monahan is 13 years old and lives in Orange County, CA.  From the sound of it, he has a great understanding of the game. Read about what he believes got him this far and his advice to younger players…I am sure every coach would love to have a player with this type of attitude and work ethic. Good luck Jimmy!!

TheRustyArm: Where do you currently play baseball?

Jimmy: Currently I play for Baseball West Coast in Irvine, CA.

TheRustyArm: What position(s) do you play?

Jimmy: The positions I play are Pitcher and Outfield.

TheRustyArm: When did you start playing baseball?

Jimmy: I started playing baseball when I was 4 years old.

TheRustyArm: When did you start playing travel baseball?

Jimmy: I started playing travel ball when I was 10 years old.

TheRustyArm: Do you play any sports besides baseball?

Jimmy: I also play soccer along with baseball.

TheRustyArm: Do you have private instructions or lessons?

Jimmy: I take private instruction for pitching with Tom Saenz and hitting with Mike Rouse.

TheRustyArm: What quality or trait do you believe got you this far?

Jimmy: The trait that I think got me this far in sports is the fact that I can listen really well and then apply it to the matter at hand.

TheRustyArm: Can you name a coach/parent/mentor that has been instrumental in your development and how?

Jimmy: The one coach that has always stood out to me is my pitching coach Tom Saenz. The reason I would chose him is not just the fact that he has made me a better pitcher, but he also talks to me about the mental part of the game.

TheRustyArm: What is one piece of advice you would give to younger players today?

Jimmy: One piece of advice that I would tell younger players is that you can’t just put in work during practice and games, but also at home, like hitting off the tee or finding a friend and going to the park to throw long toss.

TheRustyArm: What is one thing your parent(s) have done or said that supported you in baseball?

Jimmy: The thing that I appreciate about my parents is the fact that my parents take the time out of their day to drive me to practices and lessons.

TheRustyArm: What do you hope to accomplish in your baseball career?

Jimmy: In my baseball career, I just hope I can have a career I can be proud of later in life.

TheRustyArm: What are your future goals?

Jimmy: My future goals in life are to not only have a good career in baseball, but also have a job that I can enjoy.

Catch a game and support Jimmy at Baseball West Coast, Irvine.

#FieldTheFun

baseball west coast

 

 


 

Tyler_Holmes

Tyler Holmes is beginning his sophomore year in high school.  When I received his answers to my questions, I was more than pleased to Spotlight him.  Check out his answer to the question on advice to young players.  I made sure I showed that along with all of Tyler’s answers to Lefty.

It is my pleasure to spotlight Tyler Holmes.

TheRustyArm: Where do you currently play?

Tyler:  I play for San Marcos High School and, in the summer, for the Gorillas BBC.

TheRustyArm: What position(s) do you play?

Tyler:​ I play middle infield, pitch, and play a little outfield​.

TheRustyArm: When did you start playing baseball?

Tyler:​ I started playing baseball at the age of 5​

TheRustyArm: When did you start playing travel baseball?

Tyler:​ I started playing travel baseball when I turned 10​.

TheRustyArm: Did you play multiple sports growing up?

Tyler:​ I also played football, basketball and soccer​.

TheRustyArm: Did you have private instruction?

Tyler: ​ Yes, I have received instruction from Jim and DJ Dixon, Derric Waller, and Carlos Fletes.​

TheRustyArm: What quality or trait do you believe got you this far?

Tyler:​ Determination, hard work, and hustle.​

TheRustyArm: Can you name a coach, parent or mentor that has been instrumental in your development?

Tyler: Carlos Fletes has been the most instrumental in my development. He has pushed me throughout the years to try and excel not only in baseball, but also in school, and in life.​

TheRustyArm: What is one piece of advice you would give to young players today?​ ​

Tyler: Academics come first. Always hustle because you never know who’s watching!

TheRustyArm: What do you hope to accomplish in your baseball career? What are your future goals? ​

Tyler: I would like to make it as far as I can in baseball. My goal is to be admitted to the U.S. Naval Academy, and I would love to play baseball while attending the academy.


What an admirable and lofty goal.  But sounds like if anyone could do it, I would say Tyler can.  Good luck Tyler.

Support Tyler and his team the San Marcos Knights in the upcoming 2015 season.

For more SMHS Knigts baseball information and game schedules, go here.

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If you know of a deserving player to spotlight, ping me here.

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