By Dylan Wolter
July 8, 2015
ORLEANS – There has been plenty of anticipation for the debut of Vanderbilt outfielder, Jeren Kendall, and he finally made his debut for the Kettleers in a loss against the Orleans Firebirds. Kendall was a stud outfielder for the Commodores, playing in 60 games as a freshman with a .281 batting average, 40 RBI’s, eight home runs and 19 stolen bases.
Kendall doesn’t shy away from big moments either, hitting a walk off home run in the college world series against Cal St Fullerton. Not many players get to even attend the College World Series, never mind hit a walk off home run in it.
“It was amazing,” claimed the young outfielder, “especially being a freshman and going through that. It’s one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had so far.
This Cotuit team could certainly use more depth to its offense and Kendall will provide that. Manager Mike Roberts is certainly happy to have him, mentioning, “He’s just a really good athlete. I like the way he moves around the field and I like his swing. I think he’s really going to help us.”
Kendall hit second in the lineup on Wednesday, and played centerfield. His athleticism is apparent from the moment he stepped on the field. He has great instincts for the game, tracking balls in the outfield and using his speed to get under fly balls in plenty of time. He has an easy and quick stroke at the plate, with the ability to hit the ball for average and power.
His speed is tremendous. After hitting the ball, he comes out of the box extremely quick. Kendall hit a ball down the first line that took a bad hop on the first basemen, it went past him and Kendall scurried to second base on the play.
Kendall has had an array of excitement in baseball this year, but he is humbled to be part of the Cape League. He claims to have been following the Kettleers while he was still at Vanderbilt and knows that they can turn around the season.
For now Kendall is still just getting acclimated to the team but is excited to be playing for the Kettleers. He already feels like he belongs and fits in. “It’s been great, the guys have been really welcoming.”
Paez Goes Yard – Michael Paez (Coastal Carolina), has done it all for the Kettleers this year. He has played a solid middle infield all year but his bat is equally as important. Paez is an on base machine, taking walks or lining hits all across the field.
Paez is second on the team (7th in the league) with a .314 batting average, first on the team in walks (2nd in the league) with 16, and first in runs with 11. His on base percentage is at a stunning .461, constantly finding a way to reach base.
Paez added to his impressive line by hitting his first home run of the year against Orleans. Paez launched a towering fly in the eighth inning, sending the ball over the screen in deep left field. It was a no doubt home run and one that Paez knew was gone off the bat.
“It was a good feeling,” remarked Paez, not nearly as excitable because of the loss, “at the end of the day you want to have good at bats to show that you’re working and practicing so hard.”
Paez has easily been the most consistent bat for the Kettleers and he displayed some serious pop against Orleans. He has hit cleanup the last few games and although not a particular power hitter, Paez certainly has the ability to launch the ball.