LONG BEACH, Calif. — Stryker Trahan was born to be a catcher.
His parents—middle school sweethearts Chad and Donna—were both catchers growing up at Acadiana High in Lafayette, La., the same school Stryker attends now.
"I come from a long line of baseball players and catchers," Trahan said. "I started out when I was just a little boy. I remember my parents telling me stories about me walking in the room, when I could barely walk, and I'd give the baseball to my mom and I'd have my bat and she'd toss me the ball and I'd hit it right back at her all night long."
Trahan has been a catcher his whole life. At a rock-solid 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds with muscular thighs and huge, strong hands, he's certainly put together well for the position. Trahan has a quiet demeanor, but also exudes no-nonsense toughness and enjoys taking on a leadership role on the field.
"It's just like with football and being the quarterback," Trahan said. "I like having the ball in my hands and being able to control everything. You get to control the game, call pitches, control the tempo. . . it keeps me in the game and keeps me focused."
Although he's built like a linebacker or fullback, Trahan is actually the quarterback for Arcadiana, though he's having reservations about returning to the gridiron for his senior season.
"My family wants me to to play, but I'm not sure if that's what I want yet," Trahan said. "But I'll have to make a decision pretty soon."
Trahan's build also causes onlookers to underestimate his speed, as he's an above-average runner. His best tool, however, is his bat. A lefthanded hitter, Trahan has a good eye at the plate and hammers the ball with impressive bat speed and strength.
In Sunday's game at the Area Code Baseball Games presented by New Balance, Trahan went 2-for-2 with a double to the left-center gap and a triple off the right field wall on a hop.
"I felt real good today," Trahan said. "This whole summer, I haven't been hitting too good, but the past couple weeks I've been hitting really well."
Trahan doesn't just stand out for his combination of strength and speed—which has led some of his Area Code teammates to make Chuck Norris-style jokes about him—he also stands out for his unique name.
"My husband and I had plain-Jane names, so we wanted something that would stand out," Donna Trahan said.
Trahan, who was born April 25, 1994, was named after Burt Reynolds' character in the show "B.L. Stryker."
"The funny thing is, my mom and dad waited until I was actually being born to find out if I was going to be a boy or girl," Stryker Trahan said. "And she said when they wheeled the bed in for her to have me, the bed name brand was called Stryker, so she knew from there that it was something special."
Trahan will be playing in the Under Armour All-America Game Aug. 13.
Long Beach Leftovers
• Righthander Lucas Giolito from Harvard-Westlake High in Studio City, Calif. took the mound for the Brewers today. Giolito used his 6-foot-6 frame to get good downward angle on his 93-94 mph fastball that topped out at 96. He didn't allow a hit the first inning, but gave up three hits and a walk in the second inning, allowing two runs to score. Giolito came back strong in the third inning by striking out the side, in order, to finish his day. In addition to his fastball, he mixed in a nasty 82-84 mph curveball and an 83-84 mph changeup.
• Righthander Zach Eflin from Hagerty High in Oviedo, Fla. pounded the bottom of the strike zone with his 89-91 mph fastball this morning. The 6-foot-5, 200-pound Central Florida recruit showed good body control and mixed in a 74 mph curveball with 11-5 break, as well as a 79-80 mph changeup.
• Outfielder Nick Williams from Ball High in Galveston, Texas went 3-for-3 with three singles today.
• Righthander/third baseman Carson Kelly didn't have a great day on the mound, giving up five runs on five hits in his first inning, but he was one of the Royals hitters to square up Giolito, turning around a 95 mph fastball for a single.
• All four games set for Tuesday, Aug. 9 will be broadcast live on ESPN3.com.
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