Rowdy Tellez has spent much of April in extended spring training with other up and coming Toronto Blue Jays’ prospects. In the next few days he’ll be assigned to one of the Jays’ minor league franchises, barely a year removed from the season in which he powered Elk Grove High School to a Sac-Joaquin Section championship.
Tellez told the Canadian Baseball Network last week that what helped him prepare for professional ball was the time with some of the high school area code and elite squads the summer prior to his senior year at Elk Grove.
“You realize you’re not the best, but you’re not the worse, either,” he said. “There are guys with different skill sets than you. I got to play with Austin Meadows who was the ninth overall pick by the Pirates and Clint Frazier who was the fifth overall pick by the Indians and felt right with them.”
|Rowdy Tellez, now in the Blue Jay's minor league organization|
The Blue Jays were one of many organizations wanting to draft Tellez. The fact Tellez was already inked with the University of Southern California may have kept some clubs from selecting him higher in last June’s draft.
He ended up being drafted by Toronto in the 30th round because he told the Jays he would willing to forego college as long as he got the signing bonus he wanted. That ended up being $850,000.
Now, he’s showing the Toronto organization and its fans it’s been a wise investment to this point
“It’s huge to be a well-rounded player,” he said. “I’m working being a better overall hitter and the most important thing is to become a better defender at first base so I can hold down the first base job so I am not pegged at being just a D.H. I need to more solid at the bag so that my infielders are more confident in throwing to me.”
He’s been working in extended spring training with the Blue Jays’ infield coordinator Danny Mordecai at having better “feet” around the first base bag. Tellez says he’s been working much of the time working on timing and to be faster. He says he’s lost weight over the winter to be faster.
“I’ve been working on the little things that will be huge when it comes to my defense,” he added.
Definitely Tellez has been challenged by the rapid upgrade in pitching, yet he’s wowed the Jays’ fans with some bursts of power, not only this spring but also at the end of last summer where he ended up in Class A with Bluefield.
“You just don’t face these kind of (pitchers) in high school,” he said. “You may get one or two a year.”
Right after inking last June with Toronto he arrived in Dunedin, Florida and had a bit of a rough start in the Gulf Coast League.
“It kind of messed with my mind,” Tellez said. “So, I had to make some minor adjustments. I got rid of a huge leg kick. I had to stay confident every day, never getting down on myself.”
Nunez Playing Catcher In Rockies’ Organization
Tellez’ Elk Grove teammate, Dom Nunez, who also was drafted last summer, has spent extended spring training behind the plate, much like he did most of his senior year with the Herd.
Nunez played at Grand Junction in the Pioneer League after being selected by the Colorado Rockies, but he was a second baseman.
Nunez father, Manuel, said last week that Dom thinks he may end up with Grand Junction once again when the Pioneer League starts up in June.
Matthias Signs Letter With Sac State
Sacramento State head softball coach Lori Perez announced last Wednesday that Pleasant Grove High School pitcher Celina Matthias has signed a National Letter of Intent. She joins three other players who inked letters with the Hornets last fall - Sheldon High School second baseman Zamari Hinton, Pleasant Grove High School shortstop/outfielder Marissa Maligad and Center High School corner infielder Cassidy Martin.
Maligad and Matthias are currently in their fourth season as teammates on the varsity squad at Pleasant Grove. Matthias is currently 8-4 with a 1.45 ERA for the Eagles. The right-hander has struck out 88 batters in 82.1 innings pitched. Her strikeout total currently leads the league and the ERA is the Delta River League's second best mark.
Last year she led the Eagles to a runner-up finish in the Section’s Division I playoffs. That season, she was 15-8 with a 2.51 ERA, and posted a league-best 161 strikeouts in 153.2 innings.
Batson Wins 100 Meters at Mt. SAC Relays
University of Alabama sprinter Diondre Batson was back in California this past weekend and shined brightly in his home state, winning the 100 meters in the Mt. SAC Relays, hosted by Mount San Antonio College in Walnut.
What raised everyone’s eyebrows was that Batson, the NCAA indoors champion at 200 meters, ran the fifth-fastest 100 meters in Alabama history with a clocking of 10.06 seconds.
Batson, a former Laguna Creek High School sprinter, and his Crimson Tide teammates are now preparing for the Southeastern Conference meet which starts May 15th in Lexington, KY.
DVC Track Meet Wednesday
The second Delta Valley Conference track meet of the season will be run Wednesday at Davis High School. Davis, Franklin, Elk Grove and Monterey Trail will all vie for the top team score.
Top performers this season have included Elk Grove’s Jazmine Smith who has the best times thus far this year in the DVC in the 200 and 400 meters and the second-best time in the 100 meters along with Monterey Trail’s Ciara Levy who has the fastest marks in the 100 meter hurdles and the 300 meter hurdles.
In the boys’ competition, Monterey Trail’s Jahmar Sexton has the top time in both the 400 meters and in the 300 meter hurdles.
In the jumps Franklin’s Jorden O’Neal has the longest mark, 18 ft., eight inches, in the long jump by more than a foot. Tiara Webb of Monterey Trail likewise leads her closest competitor by more than a foot in the triple jump.