Baseball America partner Student Sports, which operates the Area Code Games presented by New Balance, has made a series of Day in the Life videos featuring players from the high school Class of 2014 who participated in last summer's Area Code Games. We're happy to present them to you here. You can visit the Student Sports website for more on the 2014 Area Code Games.
Outfielder Jeren Kendall draws physical comparisons to Arizona Cardinals free safety Tyrann Matheiu, also known as the "Honey Badger." While Matheiu was chosen in the third round of the 2013 NFL draft, Kendall, a Holmen (Wisc.) High product, will likely be chosen higher in the 2014 MLB draft and was one of the breakout stars of the Area Code Games last August.
The second-team preseason All-American showed well in every aspect of the game at Area Codes, playing spectacular defense that included one of the best throws of the event, stealing an event-high six bases and making consistent, hard contact.
A plus, quick-twitch athlete, Kendall's carrying tool is his plus-plus speed that makes an impact offensively and defensively. The lefthanded-hitting Kendall routinely posted home-to-first times around 4.0 seconds on the showcase circuit, with a 3.96 for good measure. He has plus range in center field and could become a plus defender with an average arm. Kendall posted the second-best 60-yard dash times at Tournament of Stars at 6.40 and 6.47. His explosive first step gives him a chance to become an impact basestealer.
Using a tall, narrow stance and a quiet stride, Kendall is an up-the-middle hitter with a quick, simple, compact and direct line-drive swing. His level swing path and 5-foot-9 body limit his power potential but he has surprising thump to the gaps. He showed some swing and miss in the fall and at TOS but made consistent contact at ACG, with one strikeout and three walks in 14 plate appearances.
The 5-foot-9 Vanderbilt commit weighed in at 171 pounds at the ACG and has put on considerable strength to his live-bodied, athletic build over the winter.
Despite hailing from a non-traditional baseball state in the Badger State, Kendall is a baseball rat with bloodlines. His father, Jeremy, played five years in the minor leagues, as a speed merchant outfielder who stole 62 bases one season. Jeremy is the owner of the hitting facility that Jeren visits in the video, MVP Sports.