St. Petersburg Times Online: Citrus County news
TampaBay.com
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
tampabay.com

printer version

Skills package

By BRANT JAMES, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published May 5, 2002

Many special talents go into making a good baseball player.

Instincts, skill, heart, knowledge -- and not necessarily always pure athletic prowess -- are some of the more obvious.

Never in the short history of the Times "Skills Package" have so many of those skills been packed into so few players. Whether that is good or bad depends on if you like quality or quantity, or if you root for Crystal River or Pasco.

That hint laid down the middle like a batting-practice fastball, we present the "2002 Skills Package."

BEST FASTBALL

RONNIE LOWE, Ridgewood

His first-class heater helped produce 9-1 record, 0.69 ERA.

BEST CURVEBALL

RONNIE LOWE, Ridgewood

The area's best bender helped with the 99 strikeouts in 60 innings.

BEST CHANGEUP

JIMMY METZ, Crystal River

His fastball is difficult to touch, but his changeup is deadly. Once Metz gets you looking fastball, you're in trouble.

BEST PROSPECT

LEE CRUZ, Pasco

He has the bloodlines. His brother, Alex, was drafted by the Pirates in 2000. Lee has the same projectable skills scouts adore.

BEST INFIELD ARM

AARON McLAMAR, Ridgewood

You must have a little something in the sleeve to play third base, and the Rams' corner man fills the bill.

BEST OUTFIELD ARM

ORLANDO ROSALES, Pasco

Possessor of the arm baserunners care not to challenge.

BEST INFIELD GLOVE

LEE CRUZ, Pasco

The shortstop is a steady force in the hole and pivot.

BEST OUTFIELD GLOVE

ORLANDO ROSALES, Pasco

Get the feeling he is the complete package defensively?

BEST INFIELD RANGE

LEE CRUZ, Pasco

Looks like Pasco is strong up the middle.

BEST OUTFIELD RANGE

ANTON STANDIFER, Pasco

How did this team give up a hit?

BEST CLUTCH HITTER

CLAYTON TRENARY, Crystal River

Has 12 home runs and 54 RBIs as the Pirates' No. 3 batter. Once the table is set, Trenary cleans it.

BEST HITTER FOR AVERAGE

CLAYTON TRENARY, Crystal River

A patient batter who waits for his pitch, he boasts a whopping .573 mark. He topped .500 last spring.

BEST POWER HITTER

CLAYTON TRENARY, Crystal River

Of the senior's 51 base hits, 12 are homers. He has 9 doubles and 3 triples. Trenary can go deep to any corner of the park.

MOST COMPLETE PLAYER

LEE CRUZ, Pasco

A .494 batting average, 9 home runs, 43 RBIs, 21 walks (just 7 strikeouts), 41 hits, 44 runs. Pretty complete.

FASTEST BASERUNNER

ANTON STANDIFER, Pasco

Now you know why his outfield range is so good.

SMARTEST BASERUNNER

RICHIE HITTEL, Ridgewood

With 22 regular-season steals, he is more than just a product of speed.

BEST KNOWLEDGE

ROBBIE ALVAREZ, Land O'Lakes

Crucial on-field coach, and in a good spot as catcher.

BEST BUNTER

TRAVIS TOLBERT, Central

Master of a crucial skill in the Bears' scientific baseball approach.

BEST CATCHER

CLAYTON TRENARY, Crystal River

Tall, athletic backstop caught for staff that has 1.40 ERA. A first-year catcher, he will get only better with experience.

CATCHER WITH BEST ARM

ROBBIE ALVAREZ, Land O'Lakes

Straying off first base is a risky venture against the Gators.

BEST DOUBLE-PLAY COMBINATION

LEE CRUZ & JOEY HARPER, Pasco

Cruz, a shortstop, and second baseman Harper are slick and quick as the leaders of the Pirates' solid defense.

* * *

-- Staff writers Keith Niebuhr and Greg Auman contributed to this report.

Back to Citrus County news


Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111