Any day with baseball is an effective day for Hobart junior outfielder Jevan Andrews.
The solar even peeked out of the clouds on an in any other case gloomy day as Andrews spoke.
“Simply have a look at it,” he stated. “It’s only a enjoyable recreation, and I like taking part in this recreation. Even after I’m having dangerous days, I can nonetheless stay up for baseball.”
Andrews’ expressed ardour for baseball is greater than phrases. He’s a loyal pupil of the sport and is hungry for enchancment, leading to a mixture of bodily and psychological instruments that make him one in all Hobart’s key gamers throughout his third varsity season.
He’s off to a red-hot begin. He’s batting .636 (7-for-11) by means of the primary 4 video games for Hobart (3-1). This comes after posting an identical batting averages of .359 in his first two years.
Andrews, who didn’t play organized baseball till he was 12, immerses himself within the particulars — reminiscent of the basics of his swing — to maintain up along with his opponents.
“At first, I didn’t actually care. I used to be simply swinging the bat,” he stated. “However I began studying that there have been mechanics to it when different children began getting higher. And also you needed to be sure that your mechanics can beat that child’s mechanics so as to be higher than them.”
It has been a multiyear course of involving numerous hours within the batting cages and fixed movie evaluate for Andrews to seek out the best swing.
“I went by means of a whole lot of phases: standing huge, standing tall, protecting my arms excessive, protecting my arms low,” he stated. “It’s all about discovering that one spot the place you’re feeling snug, and that’s what you persist with.”
That has labored to this point this season. However hitting is way from the one a part of the sport that pursuits Andrews. As an illustration, he led Hobart in stolen bases with 32 as a freshman and 34 as a sophomore.
“These had been all reliable stolen bases, not fielders’ indifference,” Hobart coach Trent Howard stated. “He’s each bit as aggressive now — if no more aggressive — however he’s rather more clever. He is aware of what he’s searching for on the market and picks pitchers aside. When you’ve got a inform, he’s going to seek out it.”
There are similarities between Andrews’ strategy to baseball and what Howard expects of his gamers. Every is targeted on exploring the nuances of the sport to seek out any tactical benefit accessible.
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“We’re a really cerebral crew,” Howard stated. “We use a whole lot of information and data. Between that and energy, that’s how we make up the variations between the expertise at a few of these faculties which are thrice our dimension. And a man like Jevan, he enjoys it right here as a result of we don’t dumb it down.”
That’s one thing that Andrews’ teammates have observed as effectively. Senior Cam Gonzalez, a pitcher and designated hitter, stated baseball-related discussions with Andrews are not often temporary.
“He actually loves the sport,” Gonzalez stated. “He’s one of many smartest gamers I’ve ever had the pleasure to play with. At any time when it involves baseball, he’s locked in.”
Andrews, who acquired his first Division I supply from Mississippi Valley State in December, additionally performs for the Chicago White Sox’s Newbie Metropolis Elite program. That has introduced him to baseball fields everywhere in the nation, together with the one in Iowa on the web site of the Field of Dreams game between the White Sox and New York Yankees in 2021.
He’ll keep a lot nearer to residence this spring, nonetheless, working by means of each baseball basic he can to make sure he’s taking part in effectively sufficient to assist the Brickies thrive.
“It’s simply doing no matter I can to assist this crew win,” he stated. “I’m not a egocentric child. I like seeing my teammates succeed and seeing my coaches and my household and the individuals round me be joyful.”
Dave Melton is a contract reporter for the Publish-Tribune.