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Baseball, Player Profile | May 25, 2013

Baseball’s All-Time Player is up for Voting-ReSporter Wimps Out

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Baseball lives off of stats.

You can find stats for every time a player hits the ball to the right side of the infield on a full count facing a southpaw after fouling off three pitches.

In football many teams have specialist for offense or defense and don’t play on both sides of the ball…don’t even ask about those special team players. (kickers we are talking about you)

Finding the best player for baseball has to take in three aspects if not more based on leadership or how many times they stepped on the lines going onto the field. (that is bad luck)

A pitcher can have an unblemished record for your team still stands a chance of not even making the playoffs.

Having a great average involves getting a hit three out of ten times you go to the plate.

Thank you are having a great day at the plate? Try telling that to Bill Buckner who played for the Boston Red Sox and had a ball go through his legs resulting in a lost game in the World Series in the ’86 because of his defense.

There are so many variables that goes into a nine inning game that trying to find a winning team would boggle your mind.

Nine different players on defense that all have different skill sets. Speed for an outfielder to run down the baseball for an out….not to mention needing an arm that can get the ball back to the infield to get the base runner on the bases.

Get thrown out at third base after a hit? Then you still get double on your stat sheet but that out could lose the game because that next batter might have had a hit knocking in that final winning run.

Alas, that batter did not have a chance since the previous player that had the double also was the third out of that inning.

I think you understand that picking the best player in Canyon Lake’s brief history might be better spent by using a dart board.

That spotlight player? You would need to have enough spotlights for the opening of a Broadway Play to try and find a player that might have all the intangibles for a team to succeed.

The ReSporter wanted you to have an idea that this is just an opinion and being close with that spotlight player, can be as tricky as a Tasseled Woobegong in trying to catch some food.

Players for Canyon Lake that can be in the conversation as best ever, would have to begin with that Playoff team of 2010 season.

Some good players back in those days (makes it sound so long ago) and also having some Seniors that just completed their career certainly should be considered.

Ross Wagliardo comes to mind as a good all around player with a .338 batting average. (remember the bench mark for this stat is .300 or above)

Wagliardo also is the leader in innings pitched accumulating 96 during his stay in Hawk Country. Those innings had 109 strikeouts which translates into one out from the pitchers mound when the team took the field. That will always be a helpful sign for high school teams as defense can result in many runs when that snowball gets momentum down a hill.

 So a recap for Ross Wagliardo:
 Wins:                5 Ranks 2nd        Most wins in second year during playoffs.
 ERA:              4.52 Ranks 5th        Not bad in high school terms.
 Saves:               2 Ranks 2nd
 Strikeouts:        109 Ranks 1st        Getting over 1 per inning is good.
 Innings Pitched:  96.1 Ranks 1st
 At Bats:           132 Ranks 10th       Ranked low because of getting walked.
 Batting Ave:      .338 Ranks 2nd        First before Brady passed him this season
 Walks:              28 Ranks 5th
 Hits:               44 Ranks 6th        Only had two years of Varsity
 Runs:               33 Ranks 7th        Pitched games usually had courtesy runner

Yes, The ReSporter knows what you are thinking…every time we talk about a player first means that person was not picked. Not so fast, this is a Change Up from the mound and if you start swinging to fast you will be way out in front of this ball.

Drew Riccio was very instrumental during that playoff run for Canyon Lake.

The ReSporter can vouch for Riccio’s intensity, during the paper years of the Hilltop Reporter, this reporter was following Riccio out of the stadium after a loss and heard Riccio talking to himself the whole way to the locker room on why he was mad and what he was going to do about it…yes, there was some mention about Head Coach Dunavant not using him correctly in that contest.

This player was all about winning and never happy with a loss, which resulted in wanting to improve in every facet of his game. That was also evident during his football career.

Riccio is still the all-time base stealer for the Hawks and that stat has to be attained by not only his speed (which was not THAT fast), but also his baseball smarts in knowing when to take his chance on those base paths.

Baseball I.Q. was strong with this one Obi-Wan Kenobi…just sayin.

Also, that team making those playoffs only had two years to amass these stats, so many times numbers from this group of players will not rival players like Travis Walker and others that just had more at bats.

 A recap for Drew Riccio:
 At Bats:          142 Ranks 8th
 Runs:              36 Ranks 5th       Scored 22% of the time after reaching base.
 Hits:              45 Ranks 5th       Base it on just two years of games.
 RBI's:             27 Ranks 5th
 Doubles:            9 Ranks 6th       Walker had 19 with 4 yrs.
 Walks:             23 Ranks 8th       Ranked low since he did not get many at bats.
 Stolen Bases:      29 Ranks 1st       He was smarter than speed.
 Batting Ave:     .317 Ranks 4th       Have we mentioned a .300 ave is a benchmark?

Let’s go ahead and throw a soon to be graduate on this plate for some discussion.

Travis Walker will be high in most of these rankings, but also take into account that Walker was a Freshman when the Hawks made their run in 2010.

That year, Canyon Lake not only made the playoffs but were also the first Hawk playoff team to be Bi-District Champs.

Walker was in a zone during those playoffs as this ReSporter still recalls his home run and several key hits in that second game against Hidalgo in McAllen, Texas.

A double in his game with Devine drove in two important runs in that game continuing his rise as one of CL’s best baseball players.

Walker did have a long slump for his Senior campaign, but once again, understand that baseball is more than just hitting.

Walker had contributions on the mound as well as with his glove.

 Recap for Travis Walker:
 At Bats:        272 Ranks 1st          Next closest? Brady and Felch 184
 Runs:            65 Ranks 1st          Next closest? Kyler Huff with 38
 Hits:            80 Ranks 1st          Next closest? Michael Brady with 67.
 RBI's:           44 Ranks 1st          Next closest? Logan Felch with 43.
 Doubles:         19 Ranks 1st          Next closest? Logan Felch with 14.
 Home Runs:        6 Ranks 1st          Tied with Logan Felch.
 Walks:           39 Ranks 2nd          Behind Michael Brady with 48.
 Batting Ave:   .294 Ranks 9th          Was near the top before his Senior season.
 Inn Pitched:     51 Ranks 4th
 Strikeouts:      29 Ranks 8th
 Walks Allowed:   18 Ranks 4th          Stat based on 30 or more innings pitched.
 ERA:           3.98 Ranks 4th          In high school a good yr. is in this range.

A career with many games, but having an opportunity to play means very few injuries and also being good enough to force your head coach to put you out on the field. Hence starting as a freshman.

Cody Breest does deserve mention with his dominance of two years of playing primarily as a Freshman and Sophomore.

What might usually be years of development for many players was not the case for this player as he did not struggle from the pitching mound as he finished his two years with a great stat line.

name           ip   h   r  er  bb  so   W  L  S   ERA
Cody Breest  79.1  46  74  28  29  87  11  3  2   2.48

You can take that stat line to lunch and not have to leave a tip. Yes, the 74 runs is a lot, but that means opponents got on base as a result of an error which translates to having to face more batters than needed to get out of an inning.

So how many of those hits, walks, etc were a result of having to face an extra batter to get that third out?

Breest did struggle from the plate, but in that playoff game with Hidalgo, Cody also had some timely hits as well as a home run that also helped in reaching a three game series. That one win in the series with Hidalgo was with Breest pitching.

Breest had two wins during their playoff run, Wagliardo had the third victory.

Zach Jenkins was also deserves mentioned based on his end of year playoff season that was just the middle of the season for this player that was in a car accident before the season could get started.

Doctors said he had a 20% chance of playing and he was within that number as he might have been that one ingredient needed that had Canyon Lake with a must win three game winning streak during the second round of District 30-3A play that had your Hawks playing Fredericksburg for a chance in a one game playoff of finishing second in district.

Those wins were against Bandera, Wimberley, and Ingram. Wimberley game was a huge game for Jenkins has he had three hits in this game helping with that win.

 Recap for Zach Jenkins:
 Runs:           31 Ranks 8th          Good number based on his number of at bats.
 Hits:           39 Ranks 9th          Ditto from above.
 RBI's:          29 Ranks 4th          Clutch hitter for sure.
 Doubles:        12 Ranks 4th          Ditto from above.
 Walks:          26 Ranks 7th          Impressive Ditto's
 Batting Ave:  .336 Ranks 3rd          More impressive Ditto's
 Inn Pitched:  39.1 Ranks 9th          We keep repeating ourselves.
 Strikeouts:     43 Ranks 5th          More than 1 per inning.
 Walks:          16 Ranks 2nd          Based on pitching more than 30 innings.
 ERA:          3.03 Ranks 2nd          Has this started impressing anyone yet?

The ReSporter might call Zach Jenkins the stealth baseball player. He finished baseball during the dredge days of Hawk baseball so not as much attention was thrown his way.

Certainly gives you reason to think Jenkins might be the best Hawk player.

Two more and we will call this quits. The ReSporter got so carried away with this segment, that the Spotlight player will be postponed until after we have You the voters on the opinion segment below this article to cast your vote on who you think should win.

First let’s go over two more players that you will also recognize. These two are the only ones to not have a chance of playing on that playoff team.

Logan Felch was a workhorse these past three years and a car accident ended his last year quest for finishing his career in a Hawk uniform.

 Recap for Logan Fetch
 At Bats:        184 Ranks 2nd           Solid three years of playing.
 Runs:            36 Ranks 5th           You get the pitcher Ditto head.
 Hits:            40 Ranks 7th
 RBI's:           43 Ranks 2nd           Simply means a hit meant an rbi.
 Doubles:         14 Ranks 2nd           Felch had power.
 Home Runs:        6 Ranks 1st           Ditto.
 Walks:           28 Ranks 5th
 Batting Ave:     Not in Top Ten
 Inn Pitched:   93.2 Ranks 2nd           Man was a workhorse.
 Strikeouts:      64 Ranks 3rd
 Walks Allowed:   25 Ranks 5th           Based on 30 or more innings pitched.
 ERA:           5.26 Ranks 8th           A little on the high side.
 Wins:             4 Ranks 3rd

Many of those records could of easily been more, but Felch missed about six games.

Michael Brady another senior going out with style. Brady finished his senior year as the best hitter in Canyon Lake’s history average wise.

This young man was on fire for the whole season and continued to have opposing coaches walking him intentionally without batting an eye. Because any batting at all from Brady would of closed those eyes in a nano second.

Playing catcher and contributing this well from the plate is one of the hardest chores for players because of high demands of handling the pitchers and being active with every pitch of a game.

Don’t know the stat, but Brady had to be number one in District 27-3A the last two seasons in throwing out base runners trying to steal.

If opposing teams did not know of his accuracy before the game, then it would not take long for them to deduce that running was not going to be a luxury in games against these Hawks.

That one variable helped save countless runs during a season by not allowing base runners getting in scoring position. (second base)

 Recap for Michael Brady:
 At Bats:           184 Ranks 2nd     Tied with Logan Felch
 Runs:              Hard to score runs getting on base and being replaced by runner.
 Hits:               67 Ranks 2nd     Three years average 24 per year.
 RBI's:              38 Ranks 3rd
 Doubles:            13 Ranks 3rd     More of a slap hitter.
 Walks:              48 Ranks 1st     Walk is worth a single it keeps innings going.
 Batting Ave:      .364 Ranks 1st     Passed Wagliardo and will be hard to duplicate
 Batting Ave 2013  .413 Ranks 1st     Brady was on fire this season
 OBA 2013 season:  .546 Ranks 1st     That is an incredible stat in little league.
 Walks Allowed:      14 Ranks 1st     Based on 30 or more innings.
 ERA:              5.47 Ranks 9th     Explains why Brady caught all season.

OK, now you know the deal. You can vote for any of these players or write in who you might feel deserves this honor.

If you don’t want people to see your vote then you can contact The ReSporter on his real job email:
don@highpoint963.com (yes, The ReSporter will keep it confidential.

The ReSporter will announce the winner on Wednesday after 5pm and will also conclude this article with that spotlight player for next season.