This is 6’4” 220lbs Brent Rooker the best hitter in the SEC and the nation. Rooker has 74 hits, 25 doubles, 3 triples, 19 home runs, 65 Rbis, and 17 stolen bases. This is what scouts would call a five told player. The Mississippi first basemen has done it all for State this year and leads the SEC in all hitting categories. In his last season “Only” hitting .324 with 11 home runs he has improved all of his number from last year to this year. This is even more impressive because there is still time left in the regular season for him to put up even more power numbers and rbis.
The most impressive part of these number is the league he is doing it in. The SEC Friday night starting pitcher is more times than not just as good as a AA professional starter according to several scouts I have talked to. Not only is Rooker having the best season of his life he is also doing it at the perfect time. Rooker is a Junior First baseball for the bulldogs which means he is draft eligible after this year. He is one of the only players that I have seen in this years draft to truly have all five tools. It is safe to say that if Mississippi State did not have the best hitter in the country that they would not be in first place in SEC west just one game ahead of LSU.
In every 9.6 at bats the Rooker goes to the plate he hits a home run. This is hitting at least two home runs every week of play. The SEC player of the year has not been announced because the season is not over, but it is safe to say that Brent Rooker’s name should be at the top of the list. In June is the MLB draft and I am excited to see where Rooker gets picked up having the type of season he is and if scouts think his number will translate to the pros.
The Washington Nationals are the hottest team in the MLB right now. They are the only team in the MLB to have twenty-one wins though thirty games this season. The Nationals are being led by Ryan Zimmerman who is leading the league in batting average at .435 and Rbi’s with 34. He is tied with Aaron Judge with 13 homeruns in the Mlb and leading the NL. If the season was over today he would win the Triple crown which is one of the hardest things to accomplish in professional baseball where he leads all the hitting categories (Average, Home runs, and Runs Batted In). One of the most interesting states that Zimmerman holds is a stat ESPN has provided “(tie game, up one or having the tying run at least on deck in seventh inning or later). He’s 5-for-11 in those spots with four home runs. Harper is 5-for-12 with one home run and four walks” Bryce harper is also another hot bat in the Nationals lineup right now and Espn is comparing the Harper- Zimmerman duo to Rizzo-Bryant duo of the Cubs team who won the World Series Last year. Along with the Nationals having the hottest hitter in the MLB they also having the NL leading pitching in Gio Gonzalez who has a incredible ERA (Earned Run Average) with a 1.64 allow opposing batters to only have a .222 batting average off him through 38.1 innings pitched.
The Nationals are had a great start to the beginnings of the season, but baseball is a funny game and you never know what can happen. It is tough to keep up the numbers that Zimmerman and Gonzalez have had so far this year and only time will tell if Zimmerman has what it takes with withstand a full MLB season having the outstanding numbers he does. Thirty games is a small portion of the 168 games that they will play not including playoffs , but it is still very impressive to see the performance that the Nationals are playing at right now. The remainder of the season they will be the team to beat and this will make the stage for failure that much greater.
Samford baseballs own Phillip Ervin is called up for MLB Debut
It has been a long-awaited moment for Phil after being drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the first round of the 2013 draft. He had struggled for some time going through the minors but still was on the Reds top 20 prospect list. Phil Ervin said he was in shock after hearing Thursday night that the Cincinnati Reds would be calling him up to the majors. Friday afternoon, it apparently had not yet worn off. “I just feel like I’ve been so close,” Ervin said. “I’ve finally achieved it. It’s just a life goal. I don’t know how to explain it. I’m all worked up right now.” That is exciting to see someone that went to your school just a few years ago finally living out their dreams in the major leagues. It brings a sense of hope that no matter how big or small the school you go to in college is, if you are good then scouts will find you.
This year, the Phillip began the year with his first taste of Triple-A, and has started the season hot. In 14 games, he’s hit .286. He’s hit three home runs already, after never topping 14 in any minor-league season. “I feel like before I was trying to drive the ball out,” Ervin said. “I’m just having fun now and reaping the benefits.” Ervin’s stay may not be long with the Red’s because he is replacing someone on the disabled list for the time being. Ervin is expected to serve as a bench bat for a few days until the team makes another roster move. Ervin won’t let that spoil his mood as he says, “I’m just here until they tell me I’m not anymore,” he said. “I’m going to enjoy it and have fun with it.” That is a great mind set and it is best to just live in the moment and be thankful for the opportunity that is given to him. His time may be short or it may be long term, no one knows, but he has finally made a dream turn into reality and I am very happy for Phil.
Derrick Rose entered this season with the upmost confidence in his return as well as turning around the Knicks mojo this season. Rose believed the Knicks were one of the “super teams” on the rise of the N.B.A. even after the rough seasons the Knicks had gone through previously. After several injury enduring seasons in Chicago, he would prove, in his first season with the Knicks, that he could reclaim his spot as one of the league’s top point guards. And he would lead his teammates deep into the postseason.
Rose’s return was a big deal for me because I have followed him throughout the years and I want to see him succeed because of his hard work ethic. I have also gone through season-ending injuries and can definitely understand the frustrations Rose has. But, the Knicks season has gone anywhere but forward this season as they have struggled and Rose has become the latest casualty. He was ruled out for the season on Sunday after test scan revealed that he had a torn meniscus in his left knee that would require surgery, with weeks of recovery to follow. It is truly sad to see someone work so hard for their job and have it blown away due to a tear to the knee over and over again.
Rose’s career has been non stop with operations. It will be the fourth knee operation of his career, all of them within the last five years. He will now enter free agency with a renewed reputation as a talented but known to get hurt easily player, and it seems highly unlikely that any team will offer him a long-term deal this summer. It is just hard to judge him as he continues to tear his knee so I can understand why teams would be very hesitant on taking a chance on him even though he is a great player.
With a lottery pick in an upcoming draft loaded with top of the line point guards, the Knicks should be able to pick a replacement for Rose, whose career in New York may indeed turn out to be a very brief one. He was once a star who leapt over the league, but he is now onto yet one more injury rehabilitation.
The World baseball classic has been going on for the last eleven years. It has been something that baseball fans look forward to watching; as it brings a different culture to baseball because it is an entire nations coming behind a team and supporting them. This year the USA had finally made it to the Finals which is the First time they have ever done that. Even though the USA and Japan are the only two countries to have professional baseball the USA up until now has never ever made it to the Finals to have a chance to win. This was the case up until 2017 when the USA team beat the Puerto Rico in a winner takes all game. The did so in a big way beating Puerto Rico 8-0 bringing back the Gold for the USA to hold onto for the next four years until the World Baseball Classic.
With the championship being a one game series which is different than the MLB Marcus Stroman was able to shine throwing a no hitter through six innings of play giving up a hit in the seventh. Which was amazing playing against the best players from Puerto Rico one of the other countries with unbelievable baseball talent. I saw on twitter after the series that Stroman was getting some beef for not throwing for his native country , but his response was he did it for his mother which was touching because she is from the USA. Stroman got the MVP for the world classic which was much deserved, it is tough to do what he did in any game of baseball and for him to shine like he did makes it even that much better.
The type of energy and passion it brought to me while watching this game with amazing. Here is my favorite picture from the experience that I feel sums up the feeling that I received from the game.
In the summer of 2016 I was playing in the Perfect Game collegiate baseball league in Elmira, New York. I am a two way player which means I pitch and play the field. I would switch between pitching and playing the outfield at the beginning of the summer. Roughly half way through the summer, I was pitching against the Adirondack Trailblazers and threw the 6th inning; I later came back out to throw the 7th inning when, after ten pitches, I threw a slider and felt a “pop.” I knew right then that something had happened in my elbow. I came out of the game and had the trainers look at it; although I did not have the normal symptoms of tearing an ulnar collateral ligament (UCL), I knew something was not right in my arm. I talked to the trainers and decided to give my arm two weeks without throwing to see how it felt after some time off. During this time I was the DH (Designated Hitter) which did not bother my arm at all. When I first tried throwing again, my arm did not feel that bad, but I would throw at about 50% and get super tired in my arm after 25 throws which was abnormal for me. The trainers performed treatment on it everyday and still didn’t think that I had the signs of Tommy John. After throwing and realizing that my arm did not feel right, I decided to just not throw the rest of the summer which allowed me to focus on hitting. When I got back to Samford I had our trainers look at it; I also tried throwing again and still could not get over 25 throws without feeling sore or tired. That is when our trainer decided that I should see a doctor at St. Andrews Hospital. I got my MRI, and the results came back within the week; I was told that I had torn my UCL. This was hard for me at the time because I knew what that meant: that I was gonna be unable to play the 2017 season. I had surgery on September 7th and have been recovering ever since.
The Day I got my Stitches out
At the beginning of my rehabilitation, I regained full range of motion in my elbow within a month which is one of the hardest thing to do in the recovery process. I am currently five months and eighteen days out of surgery, and I started throwing four months after surgery. I am on a strict throwing program to allow my arm to get used to the new ligament inside of my elbow. I do arm care five days a week to strengthen the rest of my arm so my UCL doesn’t have to take all of the pressure from the force of throwing. I am currently getting my arm in shape for this summer but will not be fully myself until 12 months after surgery which will put me right back at 100% going into the fall of my junior year. The rehabilitation of my arm has been a process, but every great story has some speed bumps, and this is one that I am going to have to overcome to get back on the Field and play the game I love.