Listed as the smallest player on Pasadena’s baseball roster at a little over 5’7 and 155 pounds, P.J. DeZotell‘s size does not translate whatsoever to the immense amount of production he’s provided so far for his team.
DeZotell, who won the “Southern California Player of the Week” award in California Community College Baseball for the first week of the season, has continued his solid play since the first game.
“I was very honored to be included in such an elite category and very satisfied to accomplish a feat like this so early in my college baseball career,” said DeZotell regarding his award. “My teammates were just as happy as I was when they found out I won the award and hopefully it will give us confidence throughout the season.”
Through the first seven games of the season, DeZotell erupted for 10 hits in 26 at-bats (.385 batting average) and nine runs batted in, which at the time was the most among players in the South Coast Conference. He has cooled off a little, now standing at 10 runs batted in and 14 hits in 11 games.
“P.J. is a very fundamentally sound player and he deserved the player of the week award,” said sophomore teammate Jason Clark, who plays catcher for the Lancers. “He always seems to be the one who starts or keeps a rally going for us. It’s always motivating to see someone on the team win an award as honorable as that because it makes us all want to do better.”
DeZotell said he uses his physical stature as extra motivation. He mentioned Houston Astros second baseman José Altuve, who made the All-Star Team last year despite being the shortest active player in MLB at 5-foot-5-inches.
DeZotell also credited New Orleans Saints running back and dynamic return specialist Darren Sproles, who is only 5-foot-6-inches, as an inspiration.
“I’ve mostly been 5-foot-6-inches tall since my sophomore of high school at St. Francis (La Cañada),” said DeZotell. “Altuve’s an inspiration to all us short guys and he’s really fun to watch.”
DeZotell also attributes his success to the coaching of Evan O’Meara, who is the head coach of the PCC baseball team.
“Coach O’Meara often preaches about playing baseball one pitch at a time,” said DeZotell. “We never let the last play or pitch affect the possible outcome of the present pitch. We are a very young but talented team and we should definitely scrap out some wins together soon in league play.”
O’Meara has been pleasantly surprised by the output of production in the 2014 season so far by DeZotell.
“He has some extraordinary capabilities,” said head coach O’Meara. “He’s simply been a super addition for us as a solid center fielder and hitter.”
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