Baseball’s hit king Pete Rose used to say that when he was in the groove, it felt like he was swinging at a beach ball. Surely, Waverly Post 142 catcher Dylan Shockley knows the feeling.
Not even this summer’s persistent rains can dampen Shockley’s current hot streak. In 26 games for Post 142 season, the recent Minford graduate has batted a team-high .489 while driving in 34 runs. He’s hit for 90 total bases in just 88 at-bats, good for a slugging percentage of 1.023.
Shockley has also belted an astounding 10 home runs for the Shockers — which is even more impressive considering that he didn’t hit one for Minford during the spring. No other player on Post 142’s roster has hit more than two homers.
But Shockley’s groove hasn’t been limited to the batter’s box. He’s also proved to be one of the aces on Post 142’s staff with an ERA of just 1.40 and 23 strikeouts in just over 20 innings of work this summer.
“No,” Shockley said when asked if he’s ever played this well. “Ever since the beginning of the summer, I’ve been on a hot streak. I changed a couple of things from high school ball, and the changes helped.
Shockley credits his power surge to an adjusted swing. Throughout the summer, he’s focused on keeping his weight on his back leg in the batters’ box. The changes have done wonders.
Shockley has been in the zone since early May, just as the high school season was coming to a close. Shockley opened the high school postseason with a 2-for-3, two-double night in the sectional semifinals against Unioto. He followed that up with a dazzling performance on the mound a few days later in the sectional finals, tossing a no-hitter against Athens.
“I would say (the no-hitter) was probably a start,” Shockley said. “I was on a tear at the end of high school season.”
Shockley’s high school career began with promise in 2012, but he was forced to miss his entire sophomore season due to Tommy John surgery. Though extensive elbow surgery can often be a death sentence to a young player’s career, Shockley bounced back with outstanding junior and senior seasons and recently committed to play baseball at Rio Grande University.
“I feel like (surgery) didn’t really affect me,” Shockley said. “It was just a year off from baseball, that’s all it was.I would say it probably helped me throw a little harder, but 12 months of therapy, you should throw a little bit harder.”
As he prepares to move to the next level, Shockley hopes his hot streak follows him to college ball.
“I just have to keep doing my own thing,” he said. “I just need to worry about myself and how I play, and do whatever is best for the team.”
Reach Alex Hider at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931 or on Twitter @PDTSportsWriter