Tuesday, June 10. 2010. It was supposed to be one of the best days of Kevin Kiermaier’s life.
It was the second day of the MLB Draft, when rounds 2-30 were being held. “I had two outstanding years in college and everyone was telling me I would probably go between the 8th and 15th round,” Kevin explained. “So I had everyone come over, my friends and family, and we were all waiting for my name to be called.”
But the night didn’t go as planned. “So the 8th round passes… the 10th… the 15th… nothing. I thought ‘Okay, not where I want to be but it’s alright,’ Kevin said. “But then we get to the 20th round… 25th… 30th… and my name never got called.”
Tampa Bay’s Kevin Kiermaier is here to help you become a star outfielder.
There’s no luck involved in winning two straight Gold Gloves and a Platinum Glove Award. The only road to becoming as great an outfielder as Tampa Bay’s Kevin Kiermaier is consistent hard work and dedication. Luckily, Kevin is here to give you some great pointers on how you can start on your own path towards defensive greatness.
How To Cover More Ground
“As far as speed on defense goes, you have to put a lot of time and effort into that each day. If you want to be the best of the best, you need to do a lot of things behind closed doors. Spend a lot of time on speed workouts and footwork drills, because it’ll keep you crisp out there and you’ll be able to make the big plays. Like I said, you need to do everything you can to help your team win.”
How To Boost Your Reaction Time
“My time playing basketball and football has helped me react quicker—so play other sports. Another big part of it is instincts. The routes you take on balls, how fast you get there, all of those things are instinctive and factor in to making the big play. You only get that by spending a ton of time during practice on defense.
I’d also say, find little things to motivate you each and every day. Part of why I train as hard as I do is that I never want to come up just short of a ball. I remember moments, like last season in Detroit. I came up a little short, and unfortunately my hand got caught in the grass and I broke two bones. But if I would have been a step quicker, it probably wouldn’t have happened. I let those moments eat at me and push me during every workout.”
How To Throw Out More Baserunners
“I would recommend long tossing. Head to the outfield with a teammate or coach and throw the baseball as long and far as possible. That definitely helps you maintain and increase arm strength. I’ve been doing that for years. Long toss can help every baseball player, not just outfielders.
And I can’t stray away from the fact that my brothers and I played catch with a football our whole lives. We have to be top-10-all-time in passes completed! No joke. I credit my brothers Dan and Steve, because I’m telling you, it’s unreal how much that has an effect. You do that throwing motion so many times and, obviously, throwing a football is heavier than a baseball. I just feel like it really increases arm strength.”
Baseball is finally here and this year is full of intriguing storylines. Can Chicago repeat? What crazy stats will mega stars like Clayton Kershaw and Mike Trout put up this season? Which young prospects will emerge as the faces of their franchises? It is sure to be a year of intrigue and the baseball players who have graced our cover promise to be at the center of all the action. So let’s take a look at some of baseball’s biggest names, break down what to watch for from them this year, and check out what they’ll be wearing on game day.
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Center Fielder
Let’s start with a 5-time All-Star and 2-time MVP. Trout is coming off another monstrous individual year, but is focused on leading LA back to the postseason for the first time since 2014.
The world champs got the breakout season they needed from Bryant last season. His .292 BA, 39 HRs, and 102 RBIs earned him a well-deserved MVP award. Want to hear the crazy part? At only 25 years old, he’s still got plenty of room to grow.
Miami had their best record in six years last year and will count on their mighty cleanup hitter, Stanton, to power their offense. The three-time All-Star has over 200 career homers and is sure to launch plenty more long bombs in 2017.
Few players make as big of an impact on the diamond as Kiermaier does. The two-time Gold Glover is one of the best defensive players the game has seen in a long time. He also took major strides on the offensive side last year, setting career highs in HRs and OBP.
Speaking of outstanding defensive players, Posey finally captured his first Gold Glove in 2016. It was a long time coming for the veteran star who has been a lynchpin on both sides of the plate for the perennial contenders.
The surefire first ballot Hall of Famer will look to add to his ridiculous trophy case which already includes 3 Cy Young Awards, 1 MVP, and 6 All-Stars. But at this point, the one he really cares about and has a nice spot cleared out for is that world title ring.
Boston’s trusty starting shortstop would love to win his third consecutive Silver Slugger award this season, but he’s much more concerned about getting his team back to the Fall Classic for the first time since his rookie year in 2013.