Covering high school sports is fun

As I stated here about a month ago, I am covering the Central Connecticut Conference for GameTimeCT. Well, it’s been a lot of fun so far, but also difficult.

The first game I covered was South Windsor vs. East Catholic girls basketball. South Windsor was undefeated at the time the game started, but not when it ended…and this was just my first day.

The next game I covered was New Britain vs. Newington boys basketball. I thought I was going to see another upset, but New Britain, the best team in the CCC at the time and one of the best in the state, came back to beat their cross-town rival. The bright spot of this game, now that I like back on it was freshman guard Jared Simmons of Newington. The kid can do it all. He’s not afraid to drive and go after the bigs, he can shoot from anywhere on the court and has great vision. He will definitely be someone to watch in the coming years.

Starting in the middle of the season was strange, but I am trying to get some contacts and my name out there, especially during tournament time…which has been an experience in itself.

The first tournament I covered was the CCC girls basketball tournament at New Britain High School. The tournament was supposed to be 16 teams, like the boys was, but had to be shortened due to weather. This caused some fans to comments and show their displeasure, but it was a great tournament anyway. The top seeded Farmington lost in the semi-finals and #2 Weaver won it for the first time.

On to the boys tournament.

I have sort of developed a liking for Weaver basketball. I’m not sure how it happened, but I don’t mind. I went to Middletown High School for the first round of the CCC boys tournament last week vs. Weaver. The Beavers pulled the “upset” and moved on to the quarterfinals where they actually pulled an upset against #1 New Britain. They are playing in the CCC semi-finals tonight vs. Hartford Public in the only capital city school that didn’t make the semis, Bulkeley.

That game is sure to be wild.

The first of two semi-finals will be Glastonbury vs. Maloney where two of the best guard in the conference, Jalen Ollie and Tracy Rumley will face-off.

Tonight will be fun. Look for my game stories on GameTimeCT later.

Amateur Scouting: Francisco Lindor

I went back to New Britain Stadium last night to check out another top prospect in all of baseball, Francisco Lindor.

I have heard the name of the Cleveland Indians #1 prospect over the last year or two, but almost forgot about him until I checked the Akron Aeros roster about an hour before the game started. I made the decision and went to the game just to see this kid play.

Fifteen dollars and I got a front row seat just passed third base. As I walked to my seat I noticed a crowd of middle-aged men with their kids fishing for autographs, they were in my way. I knew what was going on and didn’t feel like making them move yet, I would watch them look ridiculous. One guy had his little daughter yell for Lindor, while a couple of others told him they were his biggest fan…just a reminder, these aren’t little kids. The award for most ridiculous went to the guy who tried to take a selfie with Lindor, he got him in position, thought he took it and then when he walked away realized that his camera was on video and the picture didn’t come out.

As for how the kid played…

In the first inning, Lindor grounded out to Twins prospect Miguel Sano at third base. He showed good speed, but Sano has a cannon of an arm. In his next at-bat, he led off the fourth inning attempted a drag bunt from the right side and grounded it right back to the pitcher. He finally reached base in his third plate appearance of the night. He chopped the ball very high off of home plate, the ball made its way to shortstop and Lindor beat it out. This was a pretty easy infield hit. He finally made solid contact in the last at-bat of the game, a single up the middle and showed his above average speed getting from home to first.

As for the defense, I was very impressed. There was nothing spectacular, but I think he makes the difficult plays look easy. He ranged to both his left and right and showed solid arm strength. He was charged with an error when he went up the middle, scooped the ball behind the second base bag and fired high. Jesus Aguilar said something to Lindor from first after the bad throw, it was his second of the game that weren’t exactly on target.

All in all, I can understand why Francisco Lindor is a top prospect. He doesn’t strikeout (44 in 99 games between A and AA this year) and he has great hands at shortstop. Oh and by the way, he has a .798 OPS this year as well.