Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tigers: Mid-Season Report

Jalen…plays on two teams. Often hurt. Fastest on team, but often plays tentatively.

Brandt…small but effective. Best pitcher on team. Lefty with a great pickoff move. Fine hitter and fielder. Good looking family.

Nate…small. Hits it harder than Brandt. Probably more useful in field than behind plate. Only batter Matthew ever struck out. Dad flies a model helicopter around field after practices.

Tanner…best hitter on the team. Good pitcher, but not overpowering. Handles shortstop well.

Harrison…fine hitter and fielder. Catcher, 1B, and 3B, but has been relegated to the outfield.

Alex…big kid, has a lot of fun. Had the championship winning hit while played with Matthew several years ago.

Jessica…athletic, but needs repetition and playing time in games. She & her brother are homeschooled, and enjoy goofing off with Matthew.

Randal…throws slow strikes, often befuddling batters. Makes plays at second base.

Matthew…is enjoying playing baseball. Makes contact in games, which is half the battle.

Thomas…looks like he can play, making the strikeouts and errors mystifying. Needs to try pitching.

Marlon…has made several good plays in the field.

With 3 games in the next 5 days, the Tigers will need more quality pitching. If Randal is open to it, he should pitch more than one inning at a time. I was going to mention this last Thursday! Randal could probably pitch in at least two of these games, if not all three. Looks like Brandt, Tanner, and Randal are our three top pitchers, which is fine.

Why not try Thomas and Harrison as pitchers? Me or Mitch could work with them, letting them throw about 20 pitches off the mound, for the repetition. Jalen could use this practice as well, if he’s there. If Jessica is ready, I’d let her try her hand at pitching as well!

I did talk to Harrison during the game. He was just bummed about playing so much outfield. Getting to catch those 2 or 3 innings probably helped. He’s probably as good an infielder as anyone, having played a lot of third and first. If he could get him an infield inning every now an then, that might cheer him up.

Alex is probably OK with not pitching. At practice I’ll try to ask him how he feels about it. Saturday he did well at third base.

Though Nate is a good catcher, I wonder if he can help the team more in the infield (and pitching?). I know there are only so many infield spots. This way Harrison and Alex could catch more (I could be wrong on this!).

For a big guy, Tanner plays a good shortstop. He, Nate, and Brandt seem to do well wherever they play.

It’s great that Marlon has made all those plays in the field. So many players to cram into so few infield slots. After practice last week he asked if we’d work with him more, so Will fed him soft toss, then pitched to him until dark. He made some progress, but Thursday he said he felt “uncomfortable” with the changes, and wanted to bat his regular way. Steve’s tip Saturday, to keep his eye on the ball, may be the most helpful tip he’s gotten so far. A former coach of Will’s (& Matthew, Brandt, Nate, and Alex) learned from an expensive batting instructor, so that’s what we’re trying to pass along to Marlon.

Poor Thomas. He sure looks like he’d be batting and fielding better. He may be more comfortable playing third, though he did make a good play at first. Perhaps he should try bunting!

Matthew just enjoys being out there with teammates. It's great that he's making contact in the games (Murphy’s Law: he gets moved up in the order, and the National’s fastballers struck him out!). Looks like Matthew, Jessica, and Randal have become buddies in the dugout, along with Alex.

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