MaxPreps Student Section
Add a 1.95 pop time, good decision making on the field, a .417 batting average, and the result is catcher, Chad Vanaman
. The 5'11, 185 pound senior from Calallen (Corpus Christi, Texas)
High School, poses a large threat not only parallel to the plate, but also behind it.
Coming off a 38-5 record last year, and ending the season in the State Final game, at Dell Diamond Stadium in Round Rock, Texas, Vanaman feels hopeful for the future of the 2011 season. "After losing only 2 starting players last year, the goal for our season this year was to reload rather than rebuild," Vanaman said. So far, the Calallen Wildcats are off to a successful start, with a record of 24-3 in an area that has many players advance to a collegiate level. Vanaman will begin his collegiate baseball career next fall at Texarkana College in Texarkana, Texas.
As a second year starter for Calallen, his opponents see him as a force to be reckoned with defensively. However, in previous years, his batting did not set him apart from the rest of the starters. Now, as a fifth hole batter, his swing is just as dangerous as his throw down, having accumulated 6 home-runs so far this season with 21 RBI's and 36 runs scored, making him a consistent threat for the opposing team in the lineup. As impressive as his offensive statistics are, defensively, he handles a Wildcat pitching staff that has a combined ERA of 1.71. "Going into my final year, I knew I had to have an outstanding season in both batting and fielding," Vanaman stated, "I worked out hard during the summer and fall. I practiced at the field as much as possible. I really was just trying to redefine my game."
On the diamond, Vanaman is a distinguished leader, calling plays and pitches from behind the plate. With 205 put-outs on the year, base runners may find it hard to not be intimidated by the strength of Chad Vanaman's arm. "The best thing about my position is that I get to be in the middle of the action every pitch," said Vanaman.
Just as he is recognized for his talents on the field, he is equally as competitive in the classroom. Vanaman is a member of the National Honor Society, and is within the top 15% academically in Calallen High School's 2011 class. He plans to pursue not only his dream of becoming a major league baseball player, but also his aspiration of becoming either a pharmacist or veterinarian.
Although sports fans may have yet to hear his name, by this time next year, the south Texas standout is determined to be the rising star behind the plate at Hobart Debter Field, taking the tradition of Calallen Wildcat baseball along with him.