JUPITER, Fla. — Outfielder Josh Bell was beaming this morning because his favorite team, the Rangers, are headed to their first World Series. He's also just happy to be back out on the field, showing off what he can do.
"It's a lot of fun," Bell said. "When you come out here, everyone's trying to play to the best of their potential, and when you have everyone trying to play their best, it makes a good atmosphere for baseball and it's a lot of fun to play in that."
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Bell is a switch-hitting center fielder from Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas. He stands out physically, even at an event with more than 1,500 players. He shows power from both sides of the plate and went 3-for-3 today with a single, a double and a home run.
"I knew it was gone, but it was a good pitch," Bell said of the home run. "It was inside, so I just got my hands in and sent it, you know?"
Performing well in Jupiter is a little bit more of a bonus for Bell, because he missed two months this summer after bruising and cracking his left kneecap sliding into a base. He's back to 100 percent now.
"I took most of the summer off and just worked on my swing a lot and watched a lot of baseball," Bell said. "It was kind of tough, but I came back stronger."
Some high school switch-hitters are relatively new to the craft, but Bell said he has been playing baseball since he was four years old and started switch-hitting when he was five. He stopped playing basketball two years ago to focus on baseball full-time, because it's his favorite.
Bell, who is committed to Texas, is hoping his success here in Jupiter will carry over into his final high school season.
"Last year, I think I had 11 home runs, and this year I think I can do a lot better than that," Bell said. "Last year I didn't get pitched to a lot, but I think that's going to change this year because our lineup is kind of stacked with Kevin Terry, who is committed to Nebraska, he's also on the team, so he's going to do a lot of damage, too. They're going to have to pitch to one of us, so hopefully I get more pitches to hit this season."
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