With the 142nd pick in the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft, the Arizona Diamondbacks select, Buddy Kennedy, power hitting third baseman from Millville High School, in Millville, New Jersey. Yes, that Millville High School in Millville, NJ.
Back in 2009, another MHS Thunderbolt baseball player was drafted, he at #25 in the first round by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. His name of course is Mike Trout, and to date he has fared pretty well wouldn’t you say?
Of course, Kennedy the seventh pick of the 5th round, models himself after the reigning American League MVP and Millville alum. The two happen to be friends, and their relationship is chronicled nicely in this article by Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. They definitely have a big brother/little brother thing going, literally and figuratively. Trout is 6-2 and weighs 235 pounds, whereas Kennedy is a just 5-10 and 200 pounds.
Prior to the draft, which began Monday, June 12, and finishes up today, June 14, Baseball America ranked Kennedy as the 12th best third base prospect in the entire draft and the 94th best high school player eligible to be selected. In this his senior campaign at Millville, he put up big numbers (.493 batting average with six home runs and 24 RBIs in 20 games). Thought of by scouts as a well-rounded player who can impact the game in many ways, it is his ability in the batter’s box that is his calling card.
So as high school players, how does Kennedy compare to Trout with a bat in his hands? Well, Millville head baseball coach, Roy Hallenback who coached both at MHS, said this to Feinsand from the article referenced above:
“He doesn’t lift the ball as much as Mike did, so his home run numbers aren’t where they are,” Hallenbeck said. “But he hits the ball just as hard, has just as good hands, so he’s comparable to what Mike was as a senior. Let’s not get crazy and go forward, but senior to senior, very comparable.”
While Buddy would like nothing more than to follow in his buddy’s footsteps, let’s be realistic, Mike Trout is a freak. He is a five-time all-star who has two AL MVP Awards (2014, 2016), and finished second in the balloting three other times (2012, 2013, & 2015). At 25 years-old, he is on pace to go down as one of the game’s all-time greatest players.
So, let’s cool it on the whole next “Millville Meteor” stuff, and let Buddy Kennedy find his own way in the game. The University of North Carolina pledge must first decide whether to forgo a collegiate career and turn pro in the first place. However, if he needs some sage baseball advice and his friend Trout is busy, he can always ask his grandfather, Don Money, who played 16 years in the major leagues and was a four-time all-star himself.
Following Kennedy’s selection, Trout tweeted this about his “Buddy”:
Congrats @KennedyBuddy on getting drafted by the Dbacks!!! #Jersey #Bolts
— Mike Trout (@MikeTrout) June 13, 2017
And that is My 2 sense for this week.