When most college students think summer time, they think relaxation and a break. A break from the daily grind of studying and attending classes. As you get older, it means internships and things to prepare yourself for graduation to enter the real world.
Well, news flash for ya, folks. The summer months are probably more busy for student-athletes than most people realize.
"Our players who are playing in summer leagues live with host families, train and play 7 days a week, and many are enrolled in online summer classes," Player Development Coordinator Steve Sabins said. "The yearly schedule of our kids shows their extreme discipline and commitment to not only each other, but Oklahoma State."
It's a gruesome schedule, but most are aware of these "unspoken" rules prior to signing the dotted line on a National Letter of Intent. In baseball, this is where you make your mark. This is where you get scouts attention and make them fathom how they haven't discovered you prior to the game.
Summer baseball is a tremendous tool, but with it comes great responsibility and a steep learning curve.
"Summer baseball is a critical component to our teams' development," Sabins said."We work with quality summer collegiate leagues across the country to ensure our student athletes have an opportunity to better their baseball skills during the summer months."
Around the country you'll find numerous OSU players on summer league rosters, including the Cape Cod League, among others.
But that's not to overshadow or down play the achievement and dedication of others who aren't playing in the league. That's like saying because you didn't go in the first 10 rounds, you'll never make it to the MLB.
Thanks to coach Sabins, we were able to receive the necessary information about the whereabouts of the active Cowboys this summer. Here is a breakdown by league:
Battlecreek Bombers: Sr. Bryan Case, C
Madison Ballards: So. Andrew Rosa, MIF...So. Tyler Buffet, RHP
Mankato Moondogs: So. Blake Battenfield, RHP...So. Trey Cobb, RHP...Jr. Alex Hackerott, LHP...So. Matt Wlson, LHP
Rochester Honkers: Jr. Corey Hassel, OF...Sr. Michael Freeman, LHP
Wisconsin Rafter: So. Ryan Suder, OF
Jayhawk Summer League:
Dodge City A's: Sr. Kyle Bagnell, LHP...Jr. Reid Barnett, RHP
Texas Collegiate League:
Brazos Valley Bombers: Sr. Hunter Hagler, 3B...Sr. Tyler Nurdin, LHP...So. Robie Rojas, C
East Texas Pumpjacks: So. Dustin Williams, 1B
McKinney Marshalls: Fr. Austin Brooks, RHP
The number of players participating in summer baseball may come as a surprise to some, but it's a grind that goes unnoticed quite often in regards to other sports. If you take into account the summer months, it's as if baseball players play year-round-- which they kind of do.
There's a lot to be said about the program by sending this many kids around the country to compete in premiere summer leagues. The true testament of the productivity of the players will come in spring 2015, but for now, hopefully the players can enjoy somewhat of a more relaxed environment and still get work done.